The Best Reason to See François Ozon’s New Film?
By Jason Lamphier
Photo: Courtesy Cohen Media Group
In the House, the new film from François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women), has everything we’ve come to expect from the Parisian writer–director: a twisty plot that blurs fact and fiction; meta-commentary on the writing process; homoerotic undercurrents; French people being, you know, fabulous. But what really blew our minds in this tale of a schoolteacher named Germain (Fabrice Luchini) and his relationship with a teenage student who’s penning disturbing, reality-based short stories about his classmate’s life is the scene in which Germain’s art dealer wife, Jeanne (a brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas), shows him the work she’s selected for her latest exhibit: a trio of female sex dolls with the faces of Hitler, Mao, and Stalin.
“Jeanne wants to make money, and her conception of art is more modern than that of her husband, who is very classical, very conservative,” says Ozon, who explains the lark as a piss-taking of both the contemporary art world and uptight bourgeois values. “Also, they have an intellectual relationship, but they don’t speak about or have sex anymore. So I thought it was funny for her to have these very sexual things in her gallery.”
And where are the inflatable trans-y fascists now? “At the end of my films, the crew always wants the furniture we used,” says Ozon. “Nobody wanted to keep the dolls, so they ended up in the trash. Nobody wanted to have Hitler in his lounge… maybe if he’d had a penis.”
The film is currently scheduled for an April 19, 2013 release.
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