François Ozon revisits the cinema of Reiner Fassbinder in a personal and creative tribute

François Ozon revisits the cinema of Reiner Fassbinder in a personal and creative tribute


Admirer of the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, whose play he has already adapted to the cinema Water drops on hot stones (2000), François Ozon revisits Petra Von Kant’s Bitter Tears (1972) in Peter von Kant which comes out Wednesday, July 6. Its adaptation is based on the transformation of the female character of Petra, into a man, Peter. The film deals with homosexuality, an interesting transposition whose subject becomes Fassbinder himself.

Successful director, Peter Von Kant (Denis Ménochet) shares his life with his assistant and servant Karl (Stefan Crepon) whom he likes to mistreat. Through the intermediary of the star Sidonie, actress and singer (Isabelle Adjani), he meets Amir (Khalil Ben Gharbia), of modest origins, whom he falls in love with. He invites him to live with him and will launch him into the cinema.

François Ozon’s transposition of one of Fassbinder’s major films is based on the French filmmaker’s conviction that his German counterpart confided intimately in the female character of Petra Von Kant. Claimed to be homosexual, twice married to women, Fassbinder is ambiguous. What we find in the character of Peter Von Kant, openly gay but also fascinated by his actress Sidonie, interpreted by a resplendent Isabelle Adjani.

Filmed entirely in an apartment, Peter von Kant avoids filmed theatre, like a Polanski, master of the camera. The space is not scenic, Ozon moves from one room to another, multiplies the angles and discreet movements that play with the sequence shot, without overdoing it. Denis Ménochet, rather confined to virile, even violent roles (Up to the hilt), or combative and enterprising (Thanks to God), is in Peter von Kant steeped in emotion, overwhelmed, staggering with love for her young lover. If the “bitter tears” of Fassbinder’s title have disappeared, Peter Von Kant cries a lot at Ozon.

The author-director is always the storyteller that we know. This goes through the characters, therefore the actors, for whom the director has concocted an unexpected and choral cast. sentimental story, Peter von Kant is also that of a man who, from dominating his companion Karl, becomes dominated by Amir, his lover. A dramatic progression that makes all the salt of a subtle and touching film.

L'affiche de "Peter von Kant" de François Ozon (2022).  (DIAPHANA DISTRIBUTION)

Genre : Drama
Director : Francois Ozon
Actors : Denis Menochet, Isabelle Adjani, Stefan Crepon, Hanna Schygulla, Aminthe Audiard

Pays : France
Duration : 1h25
Sortie : July 6, 2022
Distributer : Diaphana

Synopsis : Peter Von Kant, famous successful director, lives with his assistant Karl, whom he likes to mistreat. Thanks to the great actress Sidonie, he meets and falls in love with Amir, a young man of modest origins. He offers her to share his apartment and help her get into the cinema…

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