"HE'S NOT EVEN AFRAID OF BAD TASTE, NOT AFRAID TO GO FURTHER"
François Ozon's Double Lover was released on Blu-ray and DVD last week-- if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it: a boldly stylish sexual thriller with some truly audacious images. The discs include a 17-minute interview with Ozon and lead actress Marine Vacth, conducted by Richard Peña at the Quad Cinema in New York. When Peña asks how Ozon became interested in adapting a novel by Joyce Carol Oates, Ozon replies:
"I've long read and been a fan of Joyce Carol Oates. Once, an article said even she had a double-- she wrote detective novels under pseudonym. I was very surprised. I wanted to see what she wrote. I finally found this book of hers, Lives of the Twins, translated as L'Amour en double (Double love). I read it as the perfect material for a psychological sexual thriller, a vintage Hitchcock or Brian De Palma. So, I got started working on it, and then learned that the rights were taken, so I stopped. Years later, my producer said the rights were available again, they were in the U.S. I worked and developed the adaptation. I changed a few things, preserving the toxic, perverse, and sexual spirit of Joyce Carol Oates."
Later on in the interview is the following exchange:
Peña: Were there other films that were coursing through your mind while you were making this film? Because it seems to me there are a number of different references, conscious or otherwise...
Yes, certain images do come to you working on a psycho-sexual thriller. First, yes, there's Hitchcock, my favorite filmmaker. I watch him regularly-- a master of narrative and also of manipulation. So, certainly, there are references to him. The same goes for Brian De Palma. He too replays along Hitchcock's lines. So, I fall in that line of art. As a filmmaker, I really like Brian De Palma's fearlessness. He's not even afraid of bad taste, not afraid to go further. He gets deep into his subject, in... in an extreme way. He has a very visual form. There's work behind it. I thought that this film, this story, would give me formal freedom.