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France, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: François Ozon

Francois Ozon's feature-length debut—after more than a dozen shorts and featurettes (including MIFF 1998's See the Sea)—is an hilarious black comedy, irreverent, wacky, weird and wonderful. The director introduces his viewers to a bourgeois family, even opening wilh a flourish and a red velvet curtain pulled aside to reveal a bucolic suburban home where mum. dad and kids have lived in harmony for 20 years. The sun shines, birds chirp, cheerful voices sing Happy Birthday and then father shoots everyone!

Flashing back to several months earlier, this murderous patriarch, Jean, arrives home with a white rat in a cage which becomes the catalyst for radical change in the home. Recalling Pasolini's Teorema (1968) and MIFF 1994 Sandra Bernhard comedy Dallas Doll, Sitcom focuses on the impact on a seemingly innocuous addition to an otherwise stable household. A quiet chaos consumes these comforlable surrounds as sexual trysts, in many permutations, begin to spontaneously occur. The new Spanish maid and her husband become involved, son Nicolas announces that he is gay over dinner and his sister. Sophie, immediately does the same. Sophie attempts suicide soon after, but not before episodes of incest, S&M and assorted kinky sexcapades spice up an already fiery yarn that remains only too true to its title. Grand comic fun for the daring.

See also...


A beautiful elaboration on personal loss and what it means to be left alone. In a film radically removed from his past works, Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks MIFF 2000) again shows ... More »

5 X 2

A festival favourite, François Ozon returns with a thoroughly affecting excavation of love. The forensic 5x2 won the Pasinetti Award, for Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's remarkable performance as ... More »


Direct from Cannes, the chameleon-like Francois Ozon returns to MIFF screens with two of his favourite actors, Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand, MIFF 2001) and Ludivine Sagnier (Water Drops on ... More »


See the Sea, the most ambitious film in a recent trilogy of shorts and featurettes by prolific French director François Ozon, portrays the clash between the worlds of two women. Alone with her ... More »


Somewhere in a block of apartments a couple wakes up in the morning of January 1st, 2000. As they enter upon a new day at a leisurely pace they find themselves under an unexpected attack. Simple in ... More »


Based on a play by legendary German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Water Drops on Burning Rocks is a playful yet perverse study in sexual game playing. Structured around four tightly constructed ... More »

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