See The Sea And A Summer Dress

Two films by the young French writer-director Francois Ozon, both in similar seaside settings. The 52-minute See the Sea (1997) is a gripping and extremely creepy tale of an encounter between two young women, a new mother, and a mysterious backpacker who asks to camp out on her lawn; this is very accomplished work, but I didn’t much care for it, mainly because its dark pessimism seems to have been adopted like a clothing style rather than arrived at existentially. More lighthearted (and much more lightweight) is the 15-minute A Summer Dress (1996), a comedy about gender bending and cross-dressing. (JR)

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