Equally at home in such diverse genres as passionate love stories (CAGES), militant movies (ILLÉGAL) or political thrillers (LE SANCTUAIRE), Olivier Masset-Depasse has imposed an edgy and dynamic style, revealing his potential in genuine psychological action movies.
Psychological action movies: this is how Olivier Masset-Depasse describes his works. From his first short films to his second feature, ILLEGAL, he has made films filled with tension, characterized by their rapid editing and inquisitive camera that closely scans bodies and souls. He films enclosure and the quest for emancipation; the lack of communication and the conflicts in a relationship resulting from this; the violence of feelings, exacerbated by work on the contrast between shadow and light. A sensorial form of cinema, marked by his in-depth practice of child and adolescent drawings, his admiration for the painters of the flesh such as Bacon, Ensor or Bosch, or for Lynch's "Elephant Man", a genuine aesthetic shock that propelled him towards the cinema.
Having trained at the IAD, his first short film, CHAMBRE FROIDE (2000), contained all the seeds of his future work. A mother and daughter, confined to the family butcher's shop, tear each other apart, caught between love and hatred. Incommunicability already stifled feelings and the clash of hearts and bodies flooded the screen. Anne Coesens brought her determination and incredible density to the heroine created by Masset-Depasse, just as she would do in subsequent films. Tommaso Fiorilli already brought out the contrasts between light and shadow. Masset-Depasse's talent would subsequently develop through his films to tackle very different themes, from the relationship between mother and daughter in CHAMBRE FROIDE, to the issue of illegal immigrants in ILLEGAL, via the disappearance of love in a relationship (CAGES), or voyeurism and infirmity (DANS L'OMBRE). Nevertheless, each time, we find a distinct style, a very organic approach to bodies and rapid editing with numerous shot changes. We also find the leitmotif of imprisonment, mental but also physical, shown in different forms, the two most remarkable of which are the silence of Eve in CAGES, deprived of speech, and of course the holding centre in ILLEGAL (where we also have the prison of language).
In 2014, Masset-Depasse changed registers once again, bringing his style and talent to the TV-movie SANCTUAIRE (an original idea by Canal+, co-produced by Haut et Court and Versus), a historic thriller on the struggle between the ETA and the GAL in the mid-eighties.
He is working in parallel on two new projects: IRREMPLACABLE, an adaptation of Barbara Abel's bestseller, "Derrière la haine", Prix des Lycéens 2015, and the third episode in the LARGO WINCH saga. The opportunity for Olivier Masset-Depasse to bring his style and talent to two genre movies, a classical psychological thriller (the stressful confrontation of two mothers following a tragedy that strikes their families), and an action movie adapted from a cult comic-strip in which Olivier Masset-Depasse plans to give his hero a social conscience by confronting him with the problem of capitalism and its devastating social consequences.