According to M. Tahourdin, the French editor of the Great Supplement, the first thing that will strike many viewers of François Ozon's new film In the House is the sight of lycée students wearing uniform that would not look out of place in a secondary school in Britain. Uniforms are rare in France, restricted to some Roman Catholic schools. But then, as Ozon has shewn in his earlier work, he is not strictly interested in realism. The stern new principal of the Lycée Gustave Flaubert in the nondescript town of Serris has introduced this change in the interests of egalitarianism in a multicultural school Germain, the weary-looking literature prof, is unimpressed and munches his lunch throughout the principal's address at the start of the year, having earlier revealed to a colleague that he spent the summer reading Schopenhauer. The film In the House is on at various cinemas, none near me. Have any members near whom it is on seen it? M. Tahourdin tells us that it is actually all about Claude, sixteen, who silently glides around the house. Ozon has described it as his most Hitchcockian film to date.
Thanks to the Inter-fishing-net I have now watched this film. I can assure members that it has a pleasantly light-hearted tone, and contains nothing gruesome. Ernst Umhauer (Claude) is decorative enough. The main interest appears to reside in the intertwining motivations of the six principal characters. Oddly enough I would have been happier had the few obviously unrealistic sequences been omitted. There is no grand final moral, and it is not deep.
Time Out describes it as a "social satire." Why not read all about it in the Guardian
'The Eye of the Storm' is the story of a rich, egocentric old matriarch, Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling) and her two expatriate children, Sir Basil (Geoffrey Rush), an actor living in London, and daughter Dorothy (Judy Davis), a divorced French princess living in Paris, who returns to inherit her wealth. Both are in need of money and in thrall to the famous "cultural cringe" that has made all things British and European seem superior to their own culture. Neither will ever get over the way this beautiful, cold, promiscuous woman has denied them her love and constantly humiliated them.
Shakespeare's 'King Lear' (one of Sir Basil's key roles) hangs over the film, and in one of the numerous flashbacks Elizabeth has an epiphany that echoes the storm scene in Lear. It's a chilly, cruel film about characters that are difficult to like or warm to, and it obviously means a great deal to a country that for so long rejected its greatest writer. It is an interesting film from and about Australia, but unfortunately, I cannot commend it to everyone reading 'The Third'.