Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dans La Maison, French Film Festival ****

Dans La Maison (In the House) by Francois Ozon 
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Preview
Palace Cinemas from March 6 -24, 2013
Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth
Cinemas & Kino Cinemas
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
This is not a Herald Sun review. KH

Dans La Maison (In the House), a film by Francois Ozon that is featured in the Alliance Francaise Film Festival, is an intense, domestic thriller that tantalises the audience with an unsettling and unusual sense of menace.

A jaded, high school literature teacher, Germain, played by the compelling Fabrice Luchini, becomes a mentor for a teenage student, Claude, (Ernst Unhauer) who is writing regular instalments of disturbing material about his voyeuristic visits to a schoolmate’s family home.

Claude writes from his personal observation with scathing bluntness and an underlying layer of threat and his material shifts from non-fiction and creative non-fiction to fiction and character assassination.

Germain tempts and trains Claude with different writing styles that are informed by the suggestions and classical literature.

Because of his work with Claude, Germain’s work life unravels, as does his seemingly stable home life with his cool, elegant wife (Kristin Scott Thomas).

This is a riveting movie that explores the heart of writing and literature, the soul and purpose of an artist and teacher, the mentor-student relationship, and the dangers of a writer using the lives of those around him as research material.

By Kate Herbert

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