The history of TV Shows

Before becoming the dominant audiovisual format that we know today, recognized by some as the 8th art, offering us many and many heroes accompanying us on a daily basis for several years and on several platforms, tv series made their timid appearance long after the cinema.

It was at the end of the 1940s that television series were born in the United States. Why then are you going to tell me? Quite simply because it was at this time that television was commercially produced and invaded homes en masse. Of course, above all, without television…. Well there is no TV series!

The genesis

The appearance of the TV series is therefore the result of numerous technical, scriptwriting and narrative attempts carried out on different media and in particular radio.
You probably know soap operas?

but if, don’t do like there, these stupid things where the same thing always happens like “The young and the restless”, “Santa Barbara” and so on. Well even if it can be hard to hear, know that Breaking bad, X-files, Peaky blinders, Game of thrones and even The Wire are its descendants. Indeed, soap operas were a hit on the radios in the early 1930s for several reasons. First of all because like today’s series they have a very specific target, here the American housewife, the taste for theatrical twists, a multi-episode format to keep the housewife as long as possible and above all the talent to relaunch and constantly maintain the viewer’s attention. Basically the basics of all series today.

This radio origin largely explains why TV series have for years put more emphasis on the script than on the production. Although of course there are many exceptions!
And here I feel that you are wondering

“Hey, but why are they called “soap opera”? »

Quite simply because they were sponsored by detergent brands. Yeah, that’s a disappointing explanation.

Short ! In 1928 General Electric develops its famous W2XB, that is to say a television channel, an electromechanical TV station which will allow the first broadcasts of TV shows but also of the very first television fiction, “The Queen’s Messenger “. Obviously the result is not crazy, the image keeps disappearing and reappearing but the goal at the time was above all to test this technology which was going to revolutionize, for better or for worse, our fashions. of life !

The first golden age

From 1948 we entered the first golden age of the TV series with 4 channels that would broadcast non-stop. This is how we see series of 3 types appear:

  • The “soap opera” therefore, of which they adapt the radio versions to the screen while integrating an advertising page at the beginning. (Well yeah the guys are no less stupid than at YouTube huh.)

  • The sitcom, abbreviation of “Situation and Comedy”, whose episodes are shot in the studio, live in front of an audience, and which will experience the enormous success that we know of him by educating us until today as “bewitched », « Friends » or even « The office »!
    Thank you “I love Lucy” who is responsible for the popularity of the genre until today! And which, moreover, it is important to note, was the work of a woman, Lucille Ball, who then approached the theme of female emancipation through work. Something rare at the time, since sitcoms were above all an opportunity to broadcast a lot of Puritan values ​​to the American public. Remark…. our European values ​​were not necessarily better!
  • Finally, the last genre is the Anthology or drama. That is to say, a more dramatic TV series which will mainly consist of more or less filming plays. And we will not regret this format because it allowed the emergence of Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman and Sidney Lumet!

Then as soon as the technique makes it possible to record the series, without necessarily shooting live, the format will evolve by trying out different genres such as with “Alfred Hitchcock presents”, or even “The Twilight Zone”. Flagship series of this first golden age, which could be described as an author series, since its creator, Rod Serling wrote ⅔ of the 156 episodes by addressing a lot of metaphysical, philosophical and societal subjects. (Yes I’m a fan!!!!)

But at the end of the 1950s, 7 of the most watched series were Westerns, simply because it was the fashionable genre in cinema at the time. Which proves in passing the strong synergy between the TV series and the cinema.

In short, the series are beginning to have a real purpose, and represent, like all works, the spirit of their time. And at the end of the 1960s, there were clearly 2 currents in this tune that clashed on television. That of the conservative and puritan America of the 50s, praising the family against that of the counterculture and the sexual liberation of the 1960s. And of course in the middle of all that there is a whole gradient nuances, as for example with “Bewitched”, where the image of the housewife changes a little thanks to her magical powers. Without, however, ever questioning her place as housewife, ultimately returning her to the archaic vision of a witch woman.

We also see series with an anti-communist unconscious, where extraterrestrials infiltrate humanity as in “The Invaders”, or, on the contrary, those representing the fantasy of an America carrying democracy and bringing peace throughout the world. with “Star Trek”

Then the format will gradually be revolutionized with series like “Columbo”, which breaks the narrative codes by reversing them, or even “The Wild Wild West”, “Mission: impossible”, etc.

Okay, it’s interesting what’s happening in the United States, but where we are?
In Europe, it is above all Great Britain which occupies the front of the stage in this regard, and which continues to occupy it well elsewhere. This is how we owe them great classics like “The Avengers” (NO! I won’t make the joke about the guys in tights), “Doctor Who” and “The Prisoner”.

True work anchored in its time and addressing many political and social themes such as the alienation of man in the face of a capitalist and bureaucratic world.

So yes, I don’t often talk about politics on my blog but those who know me won’t be surprised to see me using words such as “capitalism” and “alienation” 2, 3 times anyway! By the way, to stay within the theme, here are some examples of series from this era that say a lot about the political and social context in which they were born. And no, I promise you it won’t be boring!

At the end of the 1960s, the parenthesis of flower power closed around the Vietnam War and an authoritarian policy. Progressives and reactionaries face each other more than ever and inevitably that infuses in a good number of series. And the one perfectly embodying this opposition, is :

“All in the family”, where a young hippie faces his reactionary father-in-law. In the same line we can cite “Happy days” or “Little House on the Prairie” where we feel the fantasy of a past era and above all a desire to return to the pre-hippie years.

But we also see the emergence of feminist ideas such as equal pay or how women can live their celibacy with the series The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Or even an anti-militarist thought in the satirical series M.A.S.H.

America is also trying to face its slavery past with the series “Roots” without offering real roles to African-Americans in the series of the time. Which clearly shows the limits of such a format, always caught up in a societal unconscious where mores take a long time to evolve. A very good example of this is the “charlie’s angels” series:

At first glance we see 3 women who have been able to emancipate themselves from their social status and housewives, by studying and integrating a rather masculine job, policeman. Then it is indeed because they still occupy thankless tasks assigned to women that they emancipate themselves once again from their work by integrating a private agency where they will finally be in the foreground. But despite what seems like a great victory for the time, they are nevertheless, once again, under the orders of a man, Charlie, and serve as objects of fantasy for the spectator during the fight scenes.
In short, there is still a long way to go!

Especially since in 1978 appears a series which will be totally the incarnation of a
America Reaganienne, liberal, paternalistic and reactionary, “Dallas”! And it will last until 1991! And this is how many series will have served as cultural imperialism, soft propaganda to serve us the American way of life as the most enviable, as the horizon to reach! And it hurts to say it but among these we find for example “K2000”, “MacGyver”, “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “The A-Team” etc.

At this time, we also see the arrival of Super Hero series, such as The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman. And they meet with great success, demonstrating the need to reassure a population traumatized by certain military defeats such as Vietnam. A population that needed to rediscover the image of a strong and protective America embodying the return of heroes to the country.

But in short! For the moment, the series are still all cast in the same mold and differ a little from those of today. And surprisingly it is a detective series, very little known to us, which will revolutionize serial art: “Hill Street Blues”. Indeed, this series will reinvent the usual narration by bringing much more realism and nuance, by de-idealizing the figure of the American policeman. But it is above all with it that we see many of the narrative springs used in all today’s series appear, especially with the creation of parallel plots associated with the main narrative arcs running over several episodes.
Kind of like X-files. But it is especially with them that we see the appearance of the pre-credits that we love so much when we launch our series of the moment.

The revolution

We are in 1990 and the series have existed for about 40 years! And as we know, 40 is the age of the midlife crisis, this crisis where we want to relive our youth a little and put subversion in our lives! And that’s exactly what happens with the appearance of series that will no longer aim to reassure us and brush us in the right direction, but that will be ambiguous, acerbic, precisely criticizing all this pop culture that has constructed as a spectator. This is how 2 masterpieces once again revolutionized the genre with The Simpsons by Matt Groening and the mystical-cult Twin Peaks by the great David Lynch.

2 series that will take 10 years to impose a genre that has become the norm today. And indeed it is clearly thanks to Lynch, who introduced cinematographic ambition through the series on television, that today many great directors want to have their series. Do you remember when I told you that serial art, like all art, says a lot about the evolution of our lifestyles, our sociology, etc.?
Well this is once again what will happen with the appearance of series like Friends or even Seinfeld which this time will focus more on the lives of young single people, since the classic family model has lost some of its superb.

In reality and as with everything, this is mainly due to the fact that these young single people have precisely become the new main target of the consumer society which has found a new niche here. As she also did with the teenagers of our generation by precisely creating the series for teens with for example “Beverly Hills”, “Buffy the vampire slayer”, “Teen Wolf”, “Supernatural”…

Second Golden Age

And I think we can all thank the HBO channel, which historically was rather associated with sports and cinema, for having started producing series, each one more cult than the other. And above all more radical, leaving authors and directors the freedom to create their works. So Netflix can also thank them I think! The cause of all this? Well, as often, money and transgression, because HBO being a subscription channel, it was able to overcome the fear of not pleasing advertisers to offer something completely different.
Moreover, as a cable channel, it is not subject to the Federal Communications Commission, which prohibited sex and vulgarity. Suffice to say that she will take advantage of this freedom without skimping with the Oz series where the prison universe had never been shown with such realism, without any limit.

Will obviously follow, The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under until Game of Thrones today.
In short, since it works for HBO, all the other channels finally get started, making advertisers happy with all these series that we know by heart: “Lost”, “Dexter”, “Dr House”, “Weeds “, “Nip Tuck”, “CSI”, Desperate Housewives…
In England we are entitled to Dr Who and The Office…

The Netflix era

2007 arrives and with it the economic crisis. A crisis that will encourage channels to make sequels and other remakes rather than continuing to innovate. But fortunately or not, it’s not up to me to decide, the streaming platforms are coming, re-bringing a fresh wind to all this and giving a boost of creativity. It must be said that with streaming and other illegal downloads, our consumption habits have drastically changed and it has become out of the question to wait each week for the broadcast of your series on a channel.
of TV! Exception made with Game of Thrones which still manages to stay the course with its many twists which will also make its signature and create a new genre, that of the Blockbuster series.

But in short, with the internet and the attention economy, everything goes faster and precisely our attention needs to be captured in the midst of the hundreds of proposals that we receive per day. This is how platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, or even Amazon Prime Video arrive, offering us entire seasons without having to wait patiently for 1 or 2 episodes each week. And therefore with less risk of being spoiled by an asshole colleague / classmate!

Yes ! Yes, I still have resentment!

And this is how many directors come to find in the series, the new comforter for consumers, the artistic freedom that they no longer have in the Cinema.
In short, the series really gains its letters of nobility and becomes the format of audiovisual consumption par excellence. In particular, she appropriates the codes of her time with, for example, a much more feminist and transidentitarian approach which began in particular with “Madmen” until the famous “Sense8”, “Orange is the New Black” or even “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

We also have a number of so-called “historical” series which are starting to make a name for themselves, such as “Vikings” for example, and which, through their commercial success, reinforce stereotypes or propagate fantasized versions of History. In Vikings, it is the figure of the barbarian who is put forward, in “Downton Abbey”, an idealized aristocratic society is born, while “Game of Thrones”, largely inspired by History,
conveys the image of a still dark and violent Middle Ages.
This should not be seen as a necessarily negative criticism on my part, like other media, historical series allow the general public to be interested in them, and that’s already not bad!

So much for my little overview of the history of TV series. I hope you found the reading interesting.
I leave you until next week with a new Ethereal Stories.
Until then, take care of yourself and your loved ones and see you soon!

Fear Street 1994

“Fear Street” is basically a series of books in the line of “Goosebumps” but more adult, at the same time we find the same author: R.L. Stine. “Fear Street 1994”, available on Netflix, is therefore an adaptation of those books, which I haven’t read, so it’s impossible for me to say if the story is a revival or if the screenplay is new.

I was expecting a somewhat crappy Goosebumps movie, but right off the bat you end up in a real slasher with blood staining, which was a pleasant surprise to me.
Of course the film is not free from flaws. Hello, the slightly irritating clichés related to the model he was inspired by. Was it really necessary to incorporate them here?

Otherwise, the feature film is frankly effective in its formula. We are clearly dealing with a tribute to the Slasher of the 90’s with “Scream”, “The Faculties” and “Friday” 13 (we have a Jason right now), all placed in 1994. No, but don’t lie to us, a slasher Nowadays, in the age of smartphones it’s still damn ridiculous …

It’s more of a pretty picture, the pace is steady, which gets carried away to never let go, until the last seconds and the supernatural aspect adds a little originality to the whole.
The characters are well put together, quite quickly by the way. Even if some have ultra cliché or stereotypical writing (which is a shame) this bunch of young people are doing admirably well.

Well… Not her!

Too bad the plot is simplified enough from the 1st part, and we discover the how and why even faster. That said, there will be other surprises that will come when we least expect them (except those who know the codes of any good Slasher by heart) and especially the set can be much more interesting than expected.

The ending made me want to see what happened next. Indeed, “Fear Street 1994” the first part of a trilogy including “Fear Street 1978” which will be released on July 9 and “Fear Street 1666” on the 16th. I like the idea of ​​going back in time to the origins of evil. a lot. The mood should be really different. Hopefully, they will manage to keep artistic consistency and at least the same level of qualities.

In short, for me, it was a nice surprise. Failing not to renew the genre, this 1st part pays it a nice tribute (like the 1st Season of Stranger Things). Not to mention a 90’s soundtrack which makes me very happy (there is Iron Maiden, from there I was already conquered). For lovers of the genre, I think you will be in for a treat.

It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s a nice movie to pass the time, alone or with friends.

Arrival, Monument of Science Fiction!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to win a little film critic writing contest for a magazine. You had to write about what you considered to be the best film of the decade 2010-2020. The winners were published in a booklet and on the publication’s website a few days later in the form of a top 10 films to watch for containment.
I thought it might interest you even if the tone is … a little different from what I used to write!
^^ ’
I translated it and voila!

Good reading!

The wonderful thing about genre cinema is that it is infinitely renewed. Because if you tell the synopsis of “Arrival”, a priori, you will have the impression of having already seen this film a thousand times.

“Extraterrestrials arrive on earth but we don’t know what their intentions are… blah blah…”

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Contact”, “2001: a space odyssey”…
Yet “Arrival” is a film that was a breath of fresh air for me. An intimate film, with a mesmerizing staging that offers us a grand fable on inter-species communication and I would even say communion, and I am not talking about communion in the religious sense. “Arrival” is a film with a universal, timeless message that falls in almost none of the clichés associated with films of extraterrestrial invasions. And it’s rare enough to be highlighted. I say it right away, it was for me the best film of its last 10 years..

The story:

Overnight, mysterious extraterrestrial entities appear on Earth. For the moment, no sign of hostility in sight. Affine to decrypt the language of extraterrestrials to say the least enigmatic, The army calls on a linguist, played by Amie Adams who will try somehow to communicate with her beings of which everything remains to be discovered.

Even if Denis Villeneuve has already accustomed us to obscure films open to interpretation, “Arrival” is not a film which knocks you out with mathematical formulas or theories of quantum physics, as if to prove to you that it is a mature film, which must be taken seriously. Symbolism quickly takes over and the images speak for themselves.
This film is poetry.
Villeneuve purifies his staging to keep only the essentials, only what serves his purpose. Halfway between a blockbuster and an experimental film, “Arrival” enjoys an atmosphere that oscillates between light and shade. And you feel that disturbing strangeness from the first minutes, which makes it impossible to look away from the screen. I don’t think I have seen such an intoxicating film since Melancholia by Lars von Trier.

I do not intend to make a surgical analysis of this film, which as you can imagine raises a lot of subjects on different themes. I’ll only talk to you about what touched me personally. And it is so rare to have the impression that a film is addressed to us directly.

Because yes the aliens of “Arrival” speak to us, but what are their intentions?
Why are they there?

If the film takes its full interest when scientists enter the alien spacecraft, it is through the prism of the staging. In the era of triumphant digital, I think we all agree that even Hollywood studios have little to sell us when it comes to digital creatures, and it’s certainly not with glasses 3d that things will get better.
From “Jurassic Park” to “Avatar” or “Terminator 2”, our references are saturated with monsters always more detailed, imposing, always closer to the screen. And if there is one thing that forces my admiration for Denis Villeneuve, it is this knowledge of cinema, that which suggests more than it shows, in order to let our imagination fill the gaps, to keep us captive of its history. “Arrival” is Science Fiction in the noblest sense of the word.

Without speaking about the work on the architecture which is just breathtaking, the artistic direction of this film is in perfect adequacy with its story, and the arrival of its beings appears to each of us in a different way.
A spider, an octopus or simply a hand, a member, or simply an ink stain on a screen, the design of its creatures, rests only on abstract forms. This is a great idea that we owe to Denis Villeneuve. As Rorschach tests, it is up to you to decide what you see.

And there is a fine line between what can seem dangerous to you and what you think is very watchful. Everything is ambiguous in this film, until the end you never know how to interpret the actions of your creatures, and in my opinion, that is the main subject of this film.
We humans, the dominant species on this planet, we have created empires, civilizations. Master of a technology that is overtaking us, we even walked on the Moon! However, today we are still unable to talk to each other, knowing how to approach each other without going through a balance of power.
The character of Louise, will not simply communicate with her aliens, she will transcend her human condition to enter into symbiosis with them.
If this film speaks to us well about contact, He does it in the most natural way possible. And this contact, it goes above all through trust.
For me the key scene of this film is when Louise decides to take off her jumpsuit in order to show herself to the aliens. If a person is to represent humanity, then above all, he should not be governed by fear.

“Arrival” is a great film about language, both inside and outside of fiction. Like Louise, who never ceases to want to decode the meaning of these “hieroglyphs”, we spectators are also invited to decode each shot. If this film is not very talkative, all the iconic plans, push us to multiply our grids of readings, until the very arrival of the extraterrestrial vessels.
If we compare them to the aliens of “Independence Day”, aggressive invaders whose arrival on Earth, literally hides the sun, the aliens of “Arrival” opt for them in a vertical position and above all motionless, silent. They respect our living space. By levitating above the ground, high enough to not crush anything and just ready enough for us to enter.
Besides, we can see that the director is Canadian, because even if it can be fun from time to time with directors on the other side of the border, when there is something unidentified in the Heaven immediately war.

Gods, it’s nice to see a filmmaker shift even the code of science fiction cinema to present us with such an ambitious film. Because yes, “Arrival” is one of the most ambitious films of its last years. We are talking about a film that shows us that we can:

Open time!

So scertainly, we have already seen humans enter into psyche with entities with higher intelligence, to build but in hand a better world. But, if this film is inspired by a large number of references already cult for the most part, it sublimates them.
For example as a fan of “2001: a space odyssey”, I simply loved this scene where Louise explains to the army chief, the semantic ambiguity between the weapon and the tool.

Louise Banks: If all I ever gave you was a hammer …
Colonel Weber: Everything’s a nail …

What is “Arrival” for me:

“Arrival” is not a film that gets lost on the way. It’s not a film that starts off on a high note and doesn’t really know how to end.
It’s a film that arrives at just the right time in a particularly turbulent period in our history when humanity is taking a collective awareness that it is time to question our whole way of life.
In the genre of extraterrestrial invasion, “Arrival” represents the film of maturity.

If I had to compare it to another science fiction film, I would take “Contact” by Robert Zemeckis in 1997. Without too much spoiler, we see a young female scientist tempted to decrypt an extraterrestrial signal.
So even if the moral and the stakes are ultimately quite distant from Villeneuve’s film, despite all the similarities that are obvious, we hardly noticed that in the film of Zemeckis, the finality of the adventure, the outcome is based only on contact with the aliens.
Judy Foster looks at the sky, without worrying too much about what is happening below, while in “Arrival”, if the aliens came of their own will on Earth, it is not only to provoke the meeting, but also and especially to make us understand that before wanting to get in touch with the rest of the universe, it might be time to learn to communicate with each other.
It’s not a fluffy outcome, or a particularly optimistic one, because as the film says, if the aliens help us, it’s because they will need our help later. This is not a morality full of good feelings, it is an exchange of good procedure, because in nature, this is how it happens, and frankly, just for that thank you!

I realize that this review may seem a little solemn or pompous, but I’m sorry, I can’t moderate my enthusiasm at such a film. “Arrival” has been admirably received by both critics and the public, and that’s important. These are exactly the kinds of movies that Hollywood should encourage in production.
So no, personally, I do not want to see a filmmaker as promising as Villeneuve make suites / reboots / prequels / my ass … To know that my grandchildren will have nothing to do with cinema as “Star Wars episode 89 “And” Terminator 28 “makes me pissed off.
It’s a film like “Arrival” that should make the event, and I’m glad that this film has the success it deserves.
With that, I wish you a session and a good day and always keep in mind:

“In this universe, we never create anything, we only make this memory. “

The Midnight Session n°2 : Doctor Sleep

Dr Sleep by Stephen King, the novel following his shining, has been brought to our screens by Mike Flanagan who takes the gamble, not only to adapt the book, but also to make it a sequel to the cult film by Stanley Kubrick!
So is it successful? I tell you everything
this in this new Midnight Session.

This Dr. Sleep brings us back thirty years after the terrible events that took place at the Overlook hotel. Young Danny has grown up and is trying to drown his torments in drugs and alcohol, but he will meet a girl who also owns The Shining, who is chased by a group of hippies. Kind of vampire who feed on those who have this power.
By going to her rescue, he will have to relive certain events that he would have liked to leave behind.

From the start, the film sets us in the mood for Kubrick’s work. The unforgettable music, the plan of Dany on her tricycle in the corridors, door 237 … It is a big visual slap that we take with full force. Then we see these characters who are like two peas in a pod with the original ones:

• Young Danny is immediately identifiable;
• Then comes the turn of her mother Wendy who is the spitting image of the original actress ...

We understand after a few minutes that we are not dealing with a simple adaptation but a real work done with a sincere love of the Kubrick film.
The one behind it is Mike Flanagan, director of the nice Oculus and the most forgettable Ouija the origins. He had already tried his hand at the King universe by adapting the novel Jesse in 2017, but it was especially with the haunting of Hill House that the director imposed himself in my eyes. Superb psychological horror stories in which the director really seems to have found his way.

With this Dr. Sleep, he still succeeds in a rather daring bet, adapting the story of Stephen King who follows his own novel but also making it the continuation of the film which was not the most faithful, Kubrick having taken a great artistic freedom and had moved away from what King had written, attracting the wrath of the latter who had treated it with very bad adaptations but still recognizing that it was a very good film.
So there was a lot of work to come to merge the two works making concessions on one, the dead end on details of the other to get to create this masterful film that is Dr Sleep.
Mike Flanagan gives us an incredible film in which he also succeeds in imposing his own artistic touch without coming to denote with the film which he wants to follow.

The adult Danny Torrance is embodied by an Ewan Mcgregor, who during 2h30 of film will never make you doubt his role perfectly embodying the little boy become man, tired of these nightmarish visions and who tries to find a place in this world despite its difference.
For the rest of the actors it will be of the same ilk:
The young Abra is beautifully interpreted, the members of the band are all very charismatic, especially Rose the Hat embodied by a Rebecca Ferguson who literally bursts the screen by the aura she gives off.

Visually the film is superb, the photography is magnificent and certain visual effects such as Rose’s astral journey which will fly over the Earth is breathtakingly beautiful. At that time I even thought that It Chapter 2 could have provided us with something equivalent to present to us the passage where Bill leaves his body to bring his mind back to Pennywise in the Macroverse.
in short, this passage from Doctor Sleep is absolutely sublime.
The final, on the other hand, will only give you chills all over your body with this return to the Overlook hotel, with these plans which perfectly copy this from the introduction of Kubrick’s film.

I would not go into details but know that Mike Flanagan will even succeed in giving us the final that King had written for the end of Shining and which had not been kept by Kubrick coming therefore finished the history of the hotel and of dany at the same time.

In fact, the more I talk about it, the more I have only one desire, it’s off to see this film again, and you know what I think that’s what I’m going to do, so I’m not telling you more but really go see this movie, you will not regret it because it is really an experience to live! Right now good movies are still quite rare so let’s not sulk our pleasure.

See you soon for a next Midnight Session!

The Midnight Session n°1 : The Shape of Water

Today I wanted to offer you a new article format.
In “The Midnight Session”, I wanted to talk about more or less known films, all of which had a strange or disturbing atmosphere in common. My goal here is to introduce you to films that are worth watching or to try to teach you some things about others that are already well known to the general public.

What I love about Guillermo Del Toro :

What I like about Del Toro is that he is still one of the only directors to offer original and intelligent stories, populated by strange creatures taking the spectators into worlds oscillating between dreams and nightmares.

And strange creatures, he loves it!
It is inside his house nicknamed “Bleak House”, a sort of huge cabinet of curiosities, that our director stores his collections of books and objects related to horror and fantasy. Collection which constantly feeds his imagination and which he transcribes through his films to the delight of fans of the genre.

« The Shape of Water »

“The Shape of Water” tells the story of a mute woman working for the United States government (know you know why I choose this film for this first midnight session 😁). Around a corridor she discovers a room in which a strange creature is held. The two will end up having this friendship, until their relationship turns into a love story.

Guillermo Del Toro signs there a poetic and moving film whose history places it in America of the Sixties plagued by paranoia and racism. The woman and the creature, both too different in their own way will see through each other this beauty that the others do not perceive and will not leave indifferent other characters who will come to help the liberation of the creature.

Kind of Beauty and the Beast aquatic version, borrowing its sticky side from Howard Philippe Lovecraft, “The Shape of Water” is visually superb. With an aesthetic that will also remind video game enthusiasts of the atmosphere of the “Bioshock” series.

One would have thought that this film was a prequel to another film by Del Toro, his adaptation of Hellboy, in which another creature half man half fish was already present, but, although it is the same actor under the two masks , it is not so.
“The Shape of Water” is a unique and poetic film that pays tribute to a great film from the 1950s:

“The creature from the black lagoon”, directed by Jack Arnold in 1954.
The film tells the story of a team of scientists who during an expedition to the Amazon discover that a very ancient creature lives in the waters of the river.

Accusation of plagiarism!

“The Shape of Water” also raised a few waves of challenges and Del Toro was accused of plagiarism.

It seems that a novel by Paul Zindel, “Let me hear you whisper” would have the same theme. A cleaning lady from a biology laboratory falls in love with a captive dolphin.
There are many identical elements:

• The 60s ;
• The military scientific complex;
• Tyrannical superiors;
• The escape in a linen trolley …

Although Del Toro is still prohibited from having read the book, it is doubtful.

Another work may still have been a “strong inspiration”, it is the short film “The space between us”, released in 2015.
We find exactly the same themes and very similar plans.
Here’s what to make your own opinion:


Plagiarism or not does not detract from the charms of “The Shape of Water”, which I absolutely recommend to you, because this kind of film is far too rare in cinemas. Supported by charismatic actors like Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, the work of Del Toro is a fantastic and extraordinary film, as only a passionate storyteller can bring us.

The alternative :

If you liked “The Shape of Water”, on a similar theme, I suggest the film “Cold Skin”. A Franco Spanish film directed by Xavier Gans.

In the early 1900s, a man settled on an island lost in the middle of the Atlantic to study the climate, but the island was also inhabited by a lighthouse keeper and a strange creature.
Adaptation of the eponymous Catalan novel, this film is a real gem worthy of the stories of Lovecraft.

See you soon for a next Midnight Session!

Dune: What is a good adaptation?

This weekend, I do not come back to Århus. I preferred to leave my daddy alone so that he could spend a romantic moment with his sweetheart. So, tonight I planned to go to the party of my cinephile club, to bury me under the pizzas and drowning under the beer with my friends. In these evenings, 2 or 3 of us are drawn to choose a movie on a theme chosen in advance. Tonight the theme is: “Adaptation of a literary work”
For my part I decided to choose Dune from David lynch, because I love this universe and I can not wait to see the version of Denis Villeneuve, scheduled for November 2020.

But Dune, what is it? And, why is it good?

Dune originally, it’s a saga of Frank Herbert whose publication of the various parts is spread out from 1965 to 1985. (I speak here only of the original material written and published by Frank Herbert himself, but to those We can add the volumes of the extended universe that his son Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson wrote in the 2000s.)
Reference in the universe of science fiction, Dune is a very dense work where philosophy, theology and cosmic visions are mixed with the initiatory narrative. In six volumes, the reader is transported through ages and places incredibly distant and half facing a reflection on the power, spirit and nature of the individual.

David Lynch’s Dune, which is the adaptation of the first part of Frank Herbert’s cycle, was released in 1984.
The story is in the year 10191 (and yes it is accurate!). The universe is ruled by a sort of feudal system where a multitude of power spheres struggle in the midst of a complex political intrigue that sends Star Wars prequels to the sandbox with a small humiliating spanking in passing.
Between the emperor, the big influential houses of the Landsraad, the spacing guild, the order of the Bene Gesserit or the merchants of the CHOAM (Combine, Honnhete Ober Advancer Mercantiles), the universe of Dune is a brothel sacret and it probably does not change anything for you …

Well, we’ll do it easier. As Princess Irulan would say in the monologue that opens the film, the most precious substance in the universe is the spice. Spice being what allowed the expansion of humanity through galaxies. It is this spice that allows guild travelers to push the limits of exploration by folding the space. And sincerely when we watched Event Horizon (I love this movie) and we saw what fold the space can give … respect!
The spice can only be found on one planet in the entire universe, Arakis also called Dune. Desert world which is necessarily at the center of all the political shenanigans of the empire.

Dune’s story focuses on Paul, the heir to the Atreid house, whose father, Duke Leto, is entrusted with the management of Dune and the extraction of the spice by the emperor. He replaces Baron Harkonnen, whose house is the sworn enemy of Atreid. What the duke does not know is that it is a plot of the Emperor and the Harkonnen to eradicate him.
In the midst of all this the young Paul will have to reveal himself, especially by piercing the secrets of the Fremen, the people of the desert, hidden and spiritual strength of Arakis.
Dune is both the story of revenge, initiation and revelation.

Well it is of course, as often, an adaptation much criticized by many purists of the book, but you must know that Dune, it is a project that has experienced a very difficult gestation and that comes from far.
There have been several adaptation projects prior to David Lynch’s arrival on the project. Ridley Scott was notably hired in 1979 before leaving seven months later discouraged by a slow preproduction, as well as the death of his older brother. But before the attempt of Scott there was also from 1975 that of Alejandro Jodorowsky, cult multifaceted artist who had engaged Moebius, Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger to work on the artistic direction. The film will be canceled due to financial shortcomings and Ridley Scott will recover the team that Jdorowsky had gathered to shoot Alien.

“Ridley, you rascal! “

It should be noted that Jodorowsky wanted to make a 10-hour film, with a cast including:

  • Salvador Dali,
  • Orson Welles,
  • Alain Delon
  • Mick Jagger

and that he had approached among other things:

  • Pink Floyd
  • Magma
  • Stockhausen

To make the original tape. I swear it’s true!
As much to tell you that the Dune of Jodorowsky, because it has never been shot has become totally cult.
Jodorowsky will take revenge later by performing the script for the comic strip Metabarons, which is clearly a tribute to Dune. (to read absolutely😉)

Well maybe the movie will have been very bad actually. We do not know, even the best can wallow. Jodorowsky is a genius capable of creating killings such as El Topo and The sacred mountain but personally, for a film like Fando & Lis I think that the word trouble is not enough any more, it would be necessary to find a more addapted, I do not know me a mixture between hanging and rusty ax

After his failures, Dino Di Laurentis, one of the most famous producer Megalo in the history of cinema ended up entrusting the project to David Lynche who had just released the success of Elephant Man. Lynch had also been illustrated with EraserHead in 1977, so Di Laurentis knew exactly where he was going by asking him to do Dune. He knew that Lynch was not a mere maker and that he had a particular universe and not really …. Great public, to put it mildly.

He had thought, quite rightly, that Dune needed a very personal and determined look to do him justice.
On the other hand, he must have been disappointed because dissensions quickly appeared between Lynch and him. Dune is a very painful film for Lynch. He first took the project very seriously before being stolen Finalcut by Dino Di Laurentis.

“Deceitful, the Dino! “

In summary he was robbed of the right to have the last word on the editing of the film and was therefore removed from the project. If the film released in 1984 bears his signature, Lynch has however, clearly disavowed. And when we know that George Lucas had proposed to achieve Return of the Jedi, we can say that level producers demiurge and megalo, Lynch was a close call, but just halfway.

Over the years and depending on the broadcast market, several versions of Dunes appeared, often confidential and more or less retouched. For the most part, the differences are rather innocuous and mainly concerns occasional cuts to mitigate the violence of the film, however two versions will interest us here, the one with the most notable differences. On the one hand the cinema version, which everyone knows and the other by the television version, dating from 1988, edited by Dino Di Laurentis. David Lynch has demanded that his name be removed from the credits and replaced by Alan Smithee, the pseudonym used by directors who are ashamed of the result they have achieved.

“One is a short version, the other a long version, will you guess, dear reader which is what? “

One would tend to think that a producer, wanting to align with market imperatives and wanting to offer viewers an easily consumable product, would be at the origin of a short version, whereas the director would be the source of a direcor’s cut longer, leaving him more space to express himself. But there … no, it’s the opposite. For this Dune is a very special case and, to my knowledge quite unique, the long version is that signed Alan Smithee.
One could also think by reflex that this long version is necessarily bad because the producers are big bad guys who only wants to destroy the creativity of the nice directors, but the reality is a little more complex.

The version of Di Laurentis, full of really good new scenes, like this scene where Gurney Hallec makes us a space mandolin solo (in dune it’s called a basilet). Scene not essential, but just excellent that allows to deepen the attachment of the viewer to the character.
Thanks to its additions, the first three quarters of the film gain in clarity and depth, and only the last quarter in comparison, unnecessarily precipitated. This televised version, although less known, has finally become almost as cult as the movie version released in 1984.
Finally the long version, also has weaknesses compared to the short version, as badly finalized plans, which had not been worked by Lynch.

In short, Dune is far from being a perfect film, whatever the version, it is full of ellipsis and shortcuts sometimes rude, but at the same time, it is difficult to adapt such a huge thing in such a short format . No, for excellent adaptations, it is better to go to see TV movies created in the 2000s … no I’m kidding!
Finally, more seriously, without getting to Lynch’s ankle, these Telefims are watchable, especially for comparative curiosity, but also to take a look at the rest of the story, The Children of Dunes. Although at this level, the detour by books, is essential.

To get back to David Lynch’s Dune, once the writing problem has been set aside, there is still the mood. An atmosphere carried by a skewer of actors just great, some of whom will become followers of the Twin Peaks series a few years later.
Special strain Brad Dourif in the role of the mental Peter de Vries, Patrick Stewart who has always been bald, and Max Von Sidow, who is as usual master without too much force.

And quite amazingly, even by being ousted from the project, lynch had such a strong vision, that its bizarre aesthetic is infused throughout the film. It makes it a brilliantly bastard object, a kind of blockbuster both deviant and public.
Level gloomy gloomy, lynch is especially given to heart jois at the level of Harkonnen, the villain of the film.

The addition of the Weirding Modules, a sonic obedient weapon that does not exist in books, has surely been added to accentuate the martial rigor of Paul and the Fremen, a little more spectacularly. The idea of the weirding modules also gives a literal meaning to this sentence that Paul, our main character, pronounces and which comes directly from the novel:

“My name is a killing word”

No but serious, relax, the guy could have said “poopoopidoo” and he would still broke the stage.

My first time with Dune was when I was 15 and I thought it was so great that I did a lot of research to understand why this movie was not at the same level as a Star Wars in the pop culture. In my research, I came across a sentence that had marked me and explained why the film did not find his audience when he left. The author said in essence that the film was too simplistic for book lovers and too obscure for neophytes, so condemned to remain eternally stuck between two logics.
For my part, the version of the film we had had no subtitles, so I had to rely on my dad, himself a big fan of books to explain to me what was happening there. He could give me all the keys to understand the story. So honestly, I do not know how someone arriving without any information can approach the film (well I’ll see tonight).

In fact Dune is mainly a question: What is a good adaptation in the end? Who should she satisfy first? Must the film be primarily faithful or cinematographically relevant?(OK, that’s three questions, but I’m bad at math!)Dune with his narrative flaws shows that this relevance has nothing to do with perfection. Even if the film is objectively a failure on certain levels and that it has a very dated aesthetic (which I adore!), It is of these works, which incites the spectator to make an effort to tame them but which then reveals all their wealth. By giving the air of not knowing to which public to address, Dune is finally to carve a unique identity.

Alexendre Dumas said:

“It is possible to rape history, on the condition of making him beautiful children.” (What a pervert, this Alex)

From there to say the same thing for the adaptation, there is only one step that I would cross with pleasure. Dune may not be the most beautiful child, but it is the illustration that a film can be both an unsatisfactory transposition of the book, a wobbly film but also an incredible work that defies logic predictable film industry. It’s a snub to the literary extremist who shows that there is no immutable rule regarding fidelity to the original material and that jumping from one medium to another is never, ever a science accurate.
Forged by unlikely circumstances, Dune is one of the awesome anomalies in the history of cinema. These exceptionally flawed exception, which had all the reasons to crash miserably, but which are, almost miraculously become cult.

In short, if you ever fall someday to someone sleeping in front of Dune, do not hesitate to gently remind him that:

“The sleeper must awaken ”

Robocop 3

Launched, from the production of the second opus, the story of the creation and release of the film Robocop 3 is a disaster scenario all by itself.
We asked Frank Miller for a script first, then we went to find an inexperienced director in feature film, in the person of Fred Dekker, who as a big fan of the first part, tried to put his heart to the book to not disappoint.

The problem is that, as for the second film, Robocop is now synonymous with marketing and merchandising, The producers then asked to relax the script to make it a public movie. When Peter Waller was asked to take over the role of the robot, he refused and a new actor was found in the presence of Robert Burk, who later played Agent Pierce Tiler in the excellent Oz series. Nancy Allen accepted, but only if her character died in the first act and to top it off, Orion went bankrupt during the production of The Addams Family (heart with the hands). And the film waited on a shelf for 2 years, before being able to go out in theaters. What was funny then is that when Robocop 3 reached the big screens, the game was available for 2 years in the arcades. What was less funny was the reaction of critics and the public, which was the fate of the robot man in the cinema until the remake of 2014.

In short, I see you already sharpen your knives, surely waiting for you, after having descended the second part to that I disassemble this feature film. Well we will see.

Synopsis of the film:

The film begins with an advertisement retracing the dream of the old man at the head of the OCP, aka the return of Delta city. Then go back through a newscast, telling the story of Detroit until now … well now in the movie, not now now.
Finally, we learn that a Japanese firm named Kanemitsu has bought the OCP.

The next scene shows us a little girl doing mathematics of a level far too high for her age.
Let’s say that his father is played by the official Kurt Russel look-alike, but for a fairly modest family, living in the old unhealthy neighborhoods of Old Detroit, they still have the money to buy a state-of-the-art computer!

We have no time to think about all his beautiful questions that a demolition ball reduces their habitat to nothing. And the family is expelled without notice in the calm of a civil war. Like Fivel, the little one finds her separated from her family.
In parallel with this tearful scene, we also see CCH Pounder get beaten in front of number 12 the nasty Arian of the film. And that’s when it’s all exploding that we find out that in fact it’s the leader of a resistance group named Martha Washington, sorry Bertha Washington (Martha Washington is a Heroine of a comic from Frank Miller).
Chance doing things well, this one collects the girl of the beginning.
This cell of resistance is composed, among others, of the president of the films of Mickael Bay and the commander Spangler of Malcom in the Middle.

In short our team is stopped by ed209 which is found very quickly hacked by the girl and who will serve a minute later to destroy a whole team of rehabilitation as they call it. Alas we will not see the robot again. Note also the presence of Scart socket on the machine. Proof that this is an outdated technology.

Some scenes later we come across an Anne Lewis chewing gum version during the brakage of a coffee shop.

And after 20 minutes of film, a car squeaks its tires on the roof of a car park and launches into the void. She landed on her 4 wheels (but I doubt that the suspensions have survived). And Robocop breaks the roof of his car to make his entry! And in addition he stops a bullet between his thumb and his index! Ok, this is the most badasse scene of the movie.

In reality Robocop 3 is not the bad film so much decried by the fans even if this one is far from being a masterpiece.
In fact the real problem is that it does not happen much. The action scene is a deep boredom, as robocop’s truck pursuit into Barbie’s car.

In summary ?

  • The bad guy shoots,
  • Robocop shoots
  • The bad guy shoots
  • Robocop shoots
  • The bad guy throws money
  • Robocop loses the bad guy.

In the rest of the film, Robocop goes to help the resistance, while the OCP wants to destroy everything. And the film parallels a humanist Robocop rescuing disowned resistors from their lands, with OCP villain becoming him a real war machine and in the middle there is an android ninja named Otomo Surely in reference to Katsuhiro Otomo and in reference to Frank Miller’s Ronin too.
The police surrender their badges and join the resistance.

Okay it does not happen, but I can not hate this movie.In 1991, it was one of the first times that Hollywood was referring to martial arts movies, it was only in 1993 that John Who came from Hong Kong.In the Final the story is a crippled soldier who finds himself in spite of himself in a history of land expropriation and will eventually take part for the inhabitants, helped by the professor who rebuilt him and rebelled against a villain haired white.(But … But it’s the same story as James Cameron’s Avatar!)

Well, I think it’s cool as a story. And then Robocop, makes everything explode in Jet Pack!

And then there are plenty of references to the first film, and of course, knowing that it would never get to the ankle of the first film, the director did the opposite of Robocop 2. Instead of doing in auction, more gore, more violent … He just tried to convey an optimistic message.I also admit having liked the animated sequence mocking the marketing service. And that of the journalist who refuses to say propaganda in full direct.Not to mention the funny jokes, like the punk who do not know how to put on his helmet with his crests.

The film is flawed but it is full of good intentions with a humanist message and can also be seen as an unofficial adaptation of Martha Washington comics.

Robocop 2

As prophesied in the first part, Robocop is now available in all forms: Cartoons, video games, toys …
And inevitably a new opus was started, Robocop 2, subtitled: “Subtlety, I write your name in letters of blood! “

Forget the first part, here we make a sequel, more direct and more violent, the fault being incumbent on the principal screenwriter, the finesse embodied: Frank Miller. And do not tell me that his scenario was bridled or changed, if we read the original scenario little has changed.

Our film starts with what appears to be an action scene but no, in fact it is an advertisement presented by Daniel Klamp from Grimlins 2.

Again we chained on a newscast that explains that after the threats of the first film, the police strike, the remaining agents facing angry citizens including a John Carpenter look-alike. Of course in his remaining cops we find our new Robocop with new suit that is always team with the … new face Loreal? My god, agent Lewis, but how do you keep this impeccable brushing despite wearing the helmet all day?

The television news also shows us the new scourge of the movie, Nuke, a brand new drug that is raging in the beautiful neighborhoods of a strait reminiscent of the current Los Angeles. Fortunately Robocop is still there to clean up and rid Detroit of his bandits with his new musical theme written by Leonard Rosenman, which has significantly twisted the ears of people watching the movie with me.

I forgot to say that Robocop became super creepy by spying on his wife who had made a new life in the previous movie but here she is still called Murphy, surely to facilitate public understanding?
He thus searches for traces of his past and we discover here the big theme of the film to know if Robocop is a man or a machine.
In the end, Murphy tells his wife that the “real” Murphy is dead and we will not hear about it anymore. His wife will only be seen again in the next film.

We learn that the decline of Detroit is organized by our friends OCP, who want to ruin the city to buy it, while it was enough for them to wait a few years for it to be done alone in real life .
We also discover Professor Faxx who is looking to develop a brand new Robocop. She is venal and sleeps with the boss, basically a typical woman of the world of Frank Miller and all in parallel, we see rising power of the new villain of the film Cain and so we find all the biblical elements of the film . Cain getting closer to Jesus becoming the rival of Robocop, the true Jesus of history. In the original scenario Miller calls the original villain Kong for legitimizing a scene at the end of his story where the villain kidnapped Lewis and took him to the top of a tower … Oh subtlety!

In the film it looks like just a junky hippie performed by Tom Noonan who has been known to be more enthusiastic. And in the rest of the henchmen, we have Catzo, a fan of Elvis, who has his own coffin at home and who does not pronounce a single memorable replica of the whole film, we have Nancy, from Twin Peaks, who is still a venal woman, normal, Miller. And Don the kid, played by Gabriel Damon who had made additional votes for Super Baloo and that’s it. It’s a bit cheap as a casting!

In short, for the rest of the story, Robocop is trying to stop the villain alone, he is chopped, he is destroyed and dismembered, and his new version is shown, I quote in a comic montage … Then they reset, happens to motivate the cops to stop the strike, they then return to Cain, Cain is killed and placed in a robot with a super gore operation, while everything was suggested in the first and it was good. Faxx using Cain’s brain, because she had read Mary Shelley too much.

The new robot, called Robocop 2 is then presented in the new OCP tower, decorated with Nazi flags where the OCP symbol replaces the swastika, and whose guards wear uniforms reminiscent of the Hugo Bosse uniforms of the dark period of german history.
Cain is returned and all is well who finished well.

Robocop 2 represents all the defects of a marketing machine too lapped. Stronger, bigger (the movie is 20min longer than the first), too much excesses, too many stupid scenes, including commercials, just there to shock in all directions, without sub-text to enhance the plot.
If the first film was a reference to the world of comics, here the producer is called to a screenwriter from comics, aka Frank Miller at the top of his ego that makes the film a comic actually. Once again he places all his themes dear, folded to the bone, namely:

  • Women are all whores, literally and figuratively;
  • the society only works on sex and drugs (the first advertisement to show a robot for sexual pleasure);
  • Corrupt cop;
  • The perversion of youth (presented by Don, but also by a gang of kids that we see only once, without explanation except that they are bad kids …)

I have nothing against his themes (except the first) but it is sorely lacking in subtlety, everything that does not work in the Spirit of Frank Miller by the way.
If in the first film, we were openly making fun of consumerism here it is the party with product placements! Hello sony walkman and Data East arcade.
The director, Irvin Kershner, who had made Empire Strike Back, who here again wanted to make fun of the fascination of the violence of our society show, but, where did he manage to show that? Personally all I see is that the weapons are toys and that there are even sound effects of cartoons. Yes Robocop has become a cartoon!

There were some interesting tracks, like:

  • the reprogramming of Robocop, which … is useless in the film
  • The acquisition of the city of Detroit by the OCP.
  • The mayor’s attempts to earn money
  • Don who also tries to buy the city but he is stuck by Cain in a picture full of subtlety!
  • The hit of the Nuke that is all the rage but who is here just to mount a new drug that is all the rage
  • Finally there was the reflection on whether Murphy remained a human, but it had been done in the first film

But Robocop here is neither a human nor a robot, it’s just a product.

To be continued…


Part man, Part machine, all cop.
First American movie by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. Robocop talks about a police robot with a steel spirit at the antipodes of the other robot of the same period.

To occupy my cousins in this Easter weekend, we watched the trilogy and I was able to see if the films were not too old today.
So let’s start with the first one.

The feature film also does not waste time locating the action by starting directly, like any film of Verhoeven that is respected, by a newscast showing us the universe of the film and unveiling the various protagonists. And like any consumerist society, the newspaper is interspersed with fake advertisements. We learn that apartheid has become a civil war in South Africa, that the Star Wars project is still relevant and especially that the company Omni Cartel of Products (OCP), has just privatized the Detroit police. The OCP is obviously a critic of his big company that controls a little everything, a kind of Monsanto. It is run by an old gentleman and Captain Bogomil, from the Beverly Hills Creeks. Their project, shown by a nice camera movement being, within 6 months of starting construction the city of Delta City instead of Detroit.

Bogomil also wants to install its big military robots called ED 209 everywhere to do the dough, except that the robots have a slight design flaw.


Well that’s for the background being located in the near future, in Detroit but as for Robocop, the guy who gives his title to the film, I put you so the topo.
We then follow the story of Alex Murphy, a freshly posted police officer in the West Detroit area. His arrival coincides with the death of another cop killed by the father of the family of That 70’s show. On the way he meets Officer Anne Lewis Allias Nancy Allen and goes in pursuit of an armored van stolen by … ho surprise: the cop killer in question. And because Lewis did not want to wait for the reinforcements and that it is swung overboard because of a lack of inattention, Murphy is chopper and massacre by the big bad Clarence Boddicker. Oh yeah forget Peter Weller, the actor who plays robocop, because the great interest of the film is it! Like a big movie villain, Clarence has the class, he kills for fun and dredges shamelessly, he deals with the hull and out of classy sentences!
Note that even his henchmen are too classy, ​​with the doctor Roman Arrow who had played in season 5 of 24, as well as the vice president of that same season of 24.

In short, while we were doing the presentations, Murphy slaughtered and patched up in in first person view by Miguel Ferrer. In a scene too coo,l we offer him so a vision like in command and conquer videogame series. We also give him 3 rules of robotics:

  • Serve the public trust
  • Protect the innocent
  • Uphold the law

And a hidden last that I will not give you to not spoiler. Like Jesus, so Resuscitated Murphy discovers that he no longer has a wife and child because they have gone out, anyway they are playing very badly, and will forgive our sins by going on a hunt for the wicked. I will not reveal the whole film but it is at this moment that the film of Verhoeven becomes very modern for the time.

Already we are witnessing in a hyper-inlaid blockbuster a very critical film about American society with Verhoeven’s foreign gaze on this country. Whether it’s the television review and the big-screen news with the presenters commenting while smiling at global disasters, the Americans’ fascination with guns in a totally gratuitous destruction sequence with a grenade launcher and let’s not forget also the contributions of screenwriters Edward Mayer and Mickael Miner who themselves manage to make fun of their own movies and Hollywood movies with phrases such as:

« He doesn’t have a name,. He has program. He is product. »

And also emit cults like:
“I buy that for a dollar”
“Your move, creep”

The great quality of Robocop is to include everything that makes the success stories of super hero movie:

  • There is his life in civil life;
  • his beating;
  • his transformation into Judge Dre … into Robocop;
  • And finally his badass entry with epic music in the background.

And the film is not lost in a happy ending end or sentimental history. The Lewis / Murphy relationship remains strictly professional and once the big villain is eliminated, he says, “Murphy” and, generic.

So Robocop the first is a pure masterpiece that has barely aged. well ok, it includes all the clichés of action movies of the 80s with the attacks of supermarkets, the nightclub, cocaine, but also includes all his share of actions, comic scene, parodies, publicity, explosions to make Mickael Bay pale and scenes super cheeky for the time.

In short, Robocop is pretty good and if you have not seen, go for it!

To be continued …

Critic: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I was long to write my article and I apologize, but I spent my weekend with friends. I had a very big desire to tell you about my favorite movie, a musical that made me discover my mom when I was 9 or 10 years old. And yes it’s strange to discover this work at this age when we know what it’s about. I’ve seen it dozens of times, and even after losing hearing, every time I see it, I still feel like I hear the music and songs <3. A film that marked me a lot and that certainly explains my foolish side.

Welcome to a world of dementia and absolute pleasure. Prepare your best suspender, I’ll take you to Dr. Frank N. Furter’s lab, Today I’m talking about the “ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW”!

But what is it ?

Certainly one of the most what the fuck movies you’ll see in your life, but it’s not a nanar, although it’s ridiculous. A film that made a total flop but which today has become cult. A film that any moviegoer must see alongside his other friends belonging to the club Midnight Movies.

Okay, but what about a Midnight Movie?

The Midnight Movies are a handful of 70s movies that, being too disturbing for the general public, have been moved to midnight sessions. They are composed of:

  • “El Topo” by Alejandro Jodorowsky in 1970, a mystical wetern speaking of a pistolero seeking to defeat the four masters of the desert.
  • “The night of the living dead” by George Romero, released in 1968 but scheduled for midnight cinema in 1971.
  • John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos” in 1972, extremely trash comedy,
  • “The harder they come” by Perry Henzell in 1973, recounts the disappointment of a reggae singer played by Jimmy Cliff.
  • “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” by Jim Sharman 1975,
  • Finally, in 1977, the sublimely disturbing “Eraserhead” by David Lynch.

If the film is like a parody of series B, it is an adaptation of a British musical comedy: “The rocky horror show” by Richard O’Brien who plays here Riff Raff:

This is the story of a freshly married couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss who, in a car breakdown and a stormy evening, (you see the cliché?) Will progress in a totally separate universe in an adventure uh … beyond anything they could have imagined
If the film starts from a postulate that seems simplistic, it is served by great dialogues, and fantastic songs.

But if the film was a flop when it came out, what made it cult?

Answer: This guy:

but also the creature of Frankenstein, characters introduced in three quarters of the film and killed just to make them shut their mouths, the laughter of Susan Sarandon, percussive dialogues:

Modern art, aliens from a planet called transsexual…

But the Rocky Horror is not just a series of scenes more burlesque than each other, without any meaning or background.

This film is actually a true hymn to sexuality, but what is incredible for the time, I remind you that the film dates from 1975, is that it offers a true openness to the sexuality that are much less represented.

The themes of sexuality and love are approached in various ways throughout the film and from the opening scene.

Close-up on the lips of Patricia Queen who plays Magenta, so we assume, seeing female lips appear that it is a woman who sings, since the voice is relatively acute. This is not Patricia Queen’s voice at all, but Richard O’Brien’s voice. From the beginning, we try to destabilize us to get full foot in the unbridled atmosphere of the film.

The film covers other topics, such as first love, first emotions and adultery, but The Rocky Horror Picture Show is above all an ode to difference and encourages tolerance.
We see it mainly in the totally unbridled sexuality of Transylvanians:

  • Patricia Queen and Richard O’Brien are camping a brother and sister to the supposedly incestuous relationship long before Game of Thrones.
  • It can be assumed that Magenta and Collumbia are not just filing the nails in their room
  • And Dr. Frank N Furter who creates a pure sexual object…

Frank N Furter who could seem perfectly unfriendly from the beginning to the end of the film and yet offers us the most committed song: “Don’t dream it, be it”.
Song while sub-text about transsexuality.

The message of tolerance and criticism of American society is all the more clear that in the film this form of sexuality is presented as a norm, which will upset the clean and all-pink world of Brad and Janet.

Beside that, I think it would be a bad idea to put this film as a serious spokesperson for the LGBTQ cause, alongside more realistic films that deals with the subject in a more profound way.

The other major reason for his rise as a cult film is its context. In the USA, the film has aided, it is quickly found at midnight sessions, where people had the least chance to see him and yet it is there that he will start to be successful.

Indeed since “El Topo” by Alejandro Jodorowsky a community of moviegoers became more and more interested in the midnight sessions to see films coming out of the usual shackles of the cinema of the time. Word of mouth will make the projections complete. The film reached such an aura that people came to dress up to see the film.

You too play with the movie by responding to the characters with salacious comments, throwing water in the room during the rainy scene, rice during wedding scenes and snapping your latex gloves together with Tim Curry, in fact, this tradition is still being perpetuated throughout the world, or regular costumed sessions of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are on the bill.