François Ozon's gay knowledge excites Zinemaldia

François Ozon's gay knowledge excites Zinemaldia

The hyperactive French director surprises at Zinemaldia with one of his most delicate and deliriously anarchic, free and deeply anti-pandemic films

François Ozon's gay knowledge excites Zinemaldia

There is no record that François Ozon entertained his days of confinement with a careful reading of Nietzsche. But there are signs. 'Summer of 85 ', for example, is the closest thing to an ode to that danger that the philosopher claimed as a matrix not so much of living well as of living fully and, therefore, sensible. “The secret to reaping the greatest fertility and the greatest joy in existence is to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships to the unexplored seas! Live at war with your equals and with yourselves ! “, he wrote in the book where he first formulated the theory of eternal return and in which he declared himself optimistic for the first time. And Ozon believes him. And it reads to him.

The latest film by the hyperactive French director is in his own way a translation of 'El gai saber ' (of this book we spoke also known as 'La gai Ciencia') and it is from any point of view: the most elementary, homosexual and cheerful, and the deep, if this cantata to the senses allows one to leave the surface for even an instant. The film was the star presentation of the official competitive section of the Festival and his was the privilege of surprise, enjoyment and, as we are, the erupting Vesuvius.

François Ozon's gay knowledge excites Zinemaldia

The film travels to the necessarily mythical terrain of an adolescence not so much past as dreamed. We are in the 80s and Ozon offers the camera and the word to the kid that he probably once imagined himself to be. It is about reconstructing the first contact with matters such as love, sex, life and death itself. But always from the point of view and the look, by virtue of a virgin, of the one who loves, fucks, lives and even dies.

' Verano del 85 ' is melodrama with the same intensity as parody; it is a tragedy without giving up being built as an intrigue . It is all at once and in such an extraordinarily fast and happy way that it cannot help but invite enthusiasm. The director himself likes to refer to his latest work as a vaccine against the depression of the pandemic and the confinement of confinement. In fact, to support his judgment is his undeniable success in French cinemas. And, in its own way, it is that and one as free as it is fleeting and full celebration of the cinema itself.

Against him, it could be said that the artifice built as the engine and sense of everything (that of the look that does everything for the first time) is itself the perfect excuse to break all the rules, to indulge in everything. In other words, from very early on, the film's style book makes it clear that there are no limits. But the regret is short-lived. The desire not to argue with anyone and less with Ozon is too strong. As in 'En la casa ', a film with which he already won the Golden Shell in 2012, also here the word guided by the letters that are written, exchanged and read 'off' (there were no mobiles yet) adds mystery to chaos, to danger. And against the engoled affectation of 'Thank God' , his latest film, everything.

If you like, Guadagnino, president of the jury, has someone to measure himself against. In addition to being an epilogue of 'Gai saber' , it is also valid as an epigone of 'Call me by your name' . And so.


For the rest, the official section offered a new work by Pablo Agüero, always looking to weave metaphors in half light. Or directly in the dark. The last time he was seen in San Sebastián was with 'Eva no duerme' , a hypnotic journey through the inevitably incorrupt corpse of Eva Perón that was also a dream and despair. Now, with ' Akelarre ', he proposes another sleepwalking tale that talks about persecuted women and very black nights.

The Holy Inquisition arrives in a fishing village in the Basque Country. While the men are at sea, all the women (or almost) are taken as witches. What follows speaks of domination, ignorance, stupidity and violence. It refers to a past tense, but as if not. Everything sounds like the news. The precious tension of each frame is surprising, it enthuses the grave and deep gloominess, and discourages the pedestrian ritual of an interpretive verismo as pompous and affected as it is sadly melodramatic. Be that as it may, the night is over and, as Nietzsche would say, “The time will soon be past when you should be satisfied with living hidden in the woods, like timid deer!” Well that.

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