Ossang on Notebook

Adventures in Punk: F.J. Ossang Discusses « 9 Fingers »

The punk poet, musician and filmmaker talks about his gangster noir turned maritime hothouse, for which he won Best Director at Locarno.
F.J. Ossang. Photo by Locarno Festival / Sailas Vanetti
A punk poet and musician, F.J. Ossang’s shorts and features produced since the early 1980s pull vividly from silent cinema, particularly German Expressionism, as well as American noir, to reinvent cinema’s legacy for a new era. His latest movie, 9 Doigts (9 Fingers), which premiered in competition at the Locarno Festival and has now traveled to the International Film Festival Rotterdam, begins as a cryptic gangster film—shot in silken black and white 35mm—before the criminals make a break for a cargo ship, plunging the film in the kind of feverish maritime malaise found in Joseph Conrad’s The Shadow Line, Georges Franju’s 1973 TV adaptation of that novel, and pre-Code tropical hothouses like Safe in Hell (1931).
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