Film-Philosophy Conference, Film-Philosophy Conference 2012

"Queering the maternal in Francois Ozon's Le Temps qui reste (2005)"

Sarah Forgacs


As the second instalment in his trilogy of mourning, Francois Ozon's Le temps qui reste (2005) explores how a young, gay man, Romain, struggles to come to terms with his impending death from a brain tumour. As we see Romain’s health gradually deteriorate, I argue that what we are seeing in the film is a portrait of the male body in decay. Using Hélène Cixous’s philosophy of écriture féminine, a writing in the feminine which can be produced by both men and women, I argue that the film is an example of a male director writing a male body in the feminine. Similarly as Romain makes the decision to help a barren couple have a child before his death, I will argue that the film also queers the maternal by showing a gay man engaging in heterosexual intercourse for the purposes of procreation, which stands in distinction with the writings of Lee Edelman and his conflation of homosexuality and procreation in No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Ultimately my reading of the film seeks to present a case for seeing Ozon as a male director capable of écriture féminine who simultaneously queers questions of sexuality and maternity.

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About the Presenter

Sarah Forgacs
King's College London
United Kingdom

PhD Student, Department of Film Studies at King's College London