Anthology Film Archives


November 2 – November 13


French filmmaker F.J. Ossang is in many ways an underground directorpar excellence– his highly stylized, often-hallucinatory films are intensely personal and uncompromising, and his work is known – in North America in any case – only to a small but passionate band of devotees. Though Ossang has been directing films since the early 1980s, his filmography consists of only five features and five shorts. This is no wonder though, given that he has also released numerous albums with his band MKB (Messageros Killer Boys) Fraction Provisoire, and has written some twenty books. Nevertheless, he has returned to the cinema on a regular basis over the past 35 years, creating a body of work that constitutes an uncanny mixture of Tarkovsky and H.G. Wells, Jean Cocteau and Guy Maddin, German Expressionism and American noir, with the whole wild, stylized brew set to a soundtrack of Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Tuxedomoon, and other seminal post-punk, new wave, and industrial bands. Infused with a (distinctively European inflected) punk sensibility, Ossang’s films predominantly take the form of dystopic science fiction tales, rendered via unapologetically low-budget production values and a laconic, minimalist style that oscillates between earnest and comically deadpan.

This comprehensive retrospective takes place in conjunction with our week-long U.S. theatrical premiere run of Ossang’s most recent feature film, 9 FINGERS. The series will be graced with the presence of Ossang himself, as well as his frequent star Elvire, the cinematographer Darius Khondji, and acclaimed French actor Pascal Greggory, who appears in 9 FINGERS and will be enjoying his own retrospective at the French Institute Alliance Française, from November 6-December 18 (for more info, visit:

This retrospective is presented with support from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and Unifrance. Special thanks to F.J. Ossang; Pascal Greggory; Marie Losier; Nicole Brenez; Mathieu Fournet & Amélie Garin-Davet (Cultural Services of the French Embassy); Adeline Monzier (Unifrance); and Julien Rejl & Jim Martin (Capricci).


The Nicole Brenez film descriptions were written for the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

F.J. Ossang and Elvire will be here in person throughout the retrospective. Cinematographer Darius Khondji will join for a Q&A following the 3:45 screening of TREASURE OF THE BITCH ISLANDS on Saturday, November 3. And Pascal Greggory will be here on Sunday and Monday, November 4 & 5.

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