Francois Ozon talks autism and filmmaking at the Cannes Film Festival

Written by Staff Writer at CNN Filmmaker François Ozon is no stranger to making controversial movies, but when it comes to his newest project, “Squid Game,” he wants people to beware of any parental…

Francois Ozon talks autism and filmmaking at the Cannes Film Festival

Written by Staff Writer at CNN

Filmmaker François Ozon is no stranger to making controversial movies, but when it comes to his newest project, “Squid Game,” he wants people to beware of any parental reservations, too.

“Everyone has the right to watch what they want. But if they are concerned about the content, don’t watch it,” Ozon told CNN on the red carpet at the film’s premiere in Cannes.

The film, loosely based on Ozon’s real-life experience of growing up with his autistic brother, premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Camera d’Or for best first film, an award which was handed out a year after some critics lambasted the concept of the “un-family” within the film for baring too much of the filmmaker’s own life.

“When I was a little boy, I was doing all the activities of the teenagers. I was playing baseball with my brother. I was doing what teenagers do,” Ozon explained. “But I was born into a family that couldn’t live with the baseball bat. It was like I was reborn, to go back to the authenticity of life, instead of the world that existed in this film.”

A scene from “Squid Game.” Credit: South Korean Broadcasting Corporation

The “Squid Game” storyline follows a young man (Guillaume Gouix) who becomes obsessed with slathering his face with his favorite item in order to look like his hero, a former ball player turned caterer.

“It seemed like a bit of a preposterous fantasy to me, but what fascinates me in his vision is that if it really existed, it would be an extraordinary thing. And it is,” Ozon said.

A masked cast pose on the red carpet for the premiere of “Squid Game.” Credit: South Korean Broadcasting Corporation

A French production, the film was shot entirely in South Korea. According to Ozon, the country’s three main stars, Choi Min-sik, Jun Sung-ki and Lee Jae-hoon, were very particular about where and how they would be filmed during the movie. The cast spent their first days on set singing and dancing with the assistance of a pianist from Korea who brought his own guitar on set.

“I’m very happy that they were able to make this film,” Ozon said. “It would be nice if it could bring some attention to autism.”

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