8 Femmes instantly seemed ideal for my feminine film project. Front the play, I mainly kept the setting and a simplified version of the story. live tried to strengthen the humor, deepen the characters and add complexity and modernity to the rivalries and family problems between the eight women. I wanted to make a comedy combining a classic crime thriller with Agatha Christie-like intrigues and a closed environment where the murderer is among the group. But underneath this surface, I wanted to paint a light and amusing reflection an femininity, actresses, class struggle and family secrets.
Like Water Drops on Burning Rocks, 8 Femmes is an anti-naturalist film which focuses on stylization and the artificial to heighten feminine beauty and glamour. All the actresses had to be of the kind of beauty that makes the audience dream so that the cruelty and horror become even more colorful, meaningful and strange.
Placing the action in the 1950s helped give credibility to the extravagant situation of these eight "caged" women, as well as to the story's wild twists and turns, and as much to the films artificial effects. But the French 50s, often in black and white (like in the somber films of Julien Duvivier, Jean Delannoy or Claude Autant-Lara), are less of a reference than the technicolor of Vincent Minelli musical comedies and the flamhoyant Douglas Sirk melodramas.
The songs of 8 Femmes, performed by the actresses but arranged in 50s style, help to distinguish the time period. The songs also allow each character to unveil her inner life, as a sort of monologue both moving and comic.
2000 UNDER TUE SAND (SOUS LE SABLE)
1999 WATER DROPS ON BURNING ROCKS (GOUTTES D'EAU SUR PIERRES BRULANTES)
1998 CRIMINAL LOVERS (LES AMANTS CRIMINELS)
Cast & Crew
Directed by: François Ozon
Written by: François Ozon
Produced by: Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonnier
Cinematography: Jeanne Lapoirie
Editing: Laurence Bawedin
Costume Design: Pascaline Chavanne
Make-Up & Hair: Thi Thanh Tu Nguyen, Cedric Gerard, Hervé Soulié, Gill Robillard
Original Score: Krishna Levy
Sound Design: Pierre Gamet
Cast: Emmanuelle Béart (Louise), Catherine Deneuve (Gaby), Fanny Ardant (Pierette), Virginie Ledoyen (Suzon), Danielle Darrieux (Mamy), Ludivine Sagnier (Catherine), Firmine Richard (Madame Chanel), Isabelle Huppert (Augustine)
Nominations and Awards
- European Actress 2002
- European Film 2002
- European Screenwriter 2002
- People's Choice Award 2002
- Feature Film Selection 2002