SÉRIE NOIRE

SÉRIE NOIRE


 

 

Winner of 3 PRIX GÉMEAUX for

Best Original Score (2016, 2014) and Best Musical Theme (2014)

awarded by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television

(for an outstanding total of 11 wins! amongst others best writing: François Létourneau & Jean-François Rivard, best direction: Jean-François Rivard)

“This comes courtesy of François Létourneau and Jean-François Rivard, the same writers behind Les Invincibles, one of the most  acclaimed series on Quebec TV over the past decade. This time ’round, the comic-drama focuses on two TV scribes, Denis (Létourneau) and Patrick (Vincent-Guillaume Otis), who’ve penned a cheesy crime-legal drama La loi de la justice, which has turned it into a bit of a hit.

But the critics have just savaged the show. In spite of the bad reviews, the network wants a second season and that sends our two anti-heroes into an existential crisis. They decide they have to make the writing more real…by living it. So by episode two, they’re trying their hardest to get arrested by the cops, in a totally-hilarious scene at a local massage parlour.

It has some of the quirky humour of Les invincibles and, in fact, both main characters are just the sort of mopey, angst-ridden males that made the first series so appealing for so many (and irritating for others). It’s also often very, very funny. There is a real complicity between Létourneau and Otis and they get help from a terrific supporting cast, notably Guy Nadon as a B-rate actor and Édith Cochrane as Denis’s wife.

In the U.S., this kind of edgy fare plays on cable networks like HBO and it’s intriguing that one of the two big generalist local networks has no trouble counting on this as one of its marquee prime-time dramas. Only in Quebec.” (text: The Gazette, Brendan Kelly)


La nouvelle série de François Létourneau et Jean-François Rivard (créateurs de “Les Invincibles”), une comédie dramatique en diffusion sur Radio-Canada des le 13 janvier 2014.

“Série noire raconte l’histoire de Denis Rouleau (François Létourneau) et de Patrick Bouchard (Vincent Guillaume-Otis), deux scénaristes dont la série télévisée, La loi de la justice, a reçu de fort mauvaises critiques. Pour se donner de l’inspiration afin d’écrire une deuxième saison, le duo se met en danger pour vivre des situations folles, fertiles en rebondissements.” (text: Radio-Canada)

Page officiel

NOW on Netflix with English subtitles!

UTOPIA

UTOPIA


 

 

Winner Intl. Emmy Awards 2014: “Best drama series”

Winner Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards 2013: “Best Original Score”

Winner Music & Sound Awards 2015: “Best Original TV Score”

Nominee: Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards 2014 “Best Original Score”

Nominee: Televisual Bulldog Award 2014 and 2015 “Best Original Score”

“…six weeks of politically terrifying, narratively sophisticated and stylistically idiosyncratic, conspiracy drama for brain users…” Guardian

“Dark, intelligent, striking and ambitious – it makes a mockery of claims that UK TV cannot compete with high-budget US drama…”  DigitalSpy

“Utopia has become a clear-eyed dissection of conspiracy fiction. Pragmatic, idealistic, cynical and naïve all at once, it remains one of the most interesting pieces of TV made in the 21st century…” Filmdivider

“Utopia is a domestic thriller that can equal the current output of American television. The six part series revolves around a group of graphic novel fans who discover a terrible secret. Stylish, intelligent and cinematic the show has now been confirmed for a second series in 2014.” (text:Silva Screen)

Enigmatic conspiracy thriller, written by Matilda the Musical co-writer Dennis Kelly for Channel 4. Tom Burke (The Hour), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Trystan Gravelle (Mr Selfridge), Michael Maloney (New Worlds) and Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars) join the ensemble cast which includes; Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Jessica Hyde), Alexandra Roach (Becky), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Ian), Adeel Akhtar (Wilson Wilson), Oliver Woollford (Grant), Paul Higgins (Dugdale), Neil Maskell (Arby) and Geraldine James (Milner).

The second season of the six part series by Dennis Kelly (Matilda, Black Sea) is directed by Marc Munden (ep 1-3) and Sam Donovan (ep 4-6); produced by Bekki Wray-Rogers (This is England 88) by multiple award winning Kudos Film & TV, with an original soundtrack by Cristobal Tapia de Veer. Executive producers are Karen Wilson (Hustle, Spooks), Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, Life on Mars, The Hour), Dennis Kelly and Marc Munden.

David Fincher (Fight Club, House of Cards) will direct the US-remake for HBO.

What else can we tell you? Well nothing actually, otherwise we’d have to send Arby round to kill you.

OST available on all platforms, released through:

Silva Screen Records

Utopia official page


This article , written by Phil Harrison for The Quietus, really says it all:

No More Heroes: How TV Series Utopia Is Right For Now

With its unique mix of black humour and existential paralysis, is Utopia emblematic of the times we live in, asks Phil Harrison. (Contains mild spoilers)

MI5 operative Milner is telling conspiracy theorist-turned double agent Wilson about the requirements of his new job. Wilson sighs. “Am I capable?” he asks, despairingly. Exchanges like this are inevitable when the paranoid but creative vigour of the ’70s meets the impotent languor of the current decade; a decade so indistinct and underpowered that it doesn’t even have its own nominal abbreviation. And the thing is, Wilson’s doubts are entirely well-founded. He probably won’t be capable of anything much beyond acting as a bewildered patsy. But that’s okay. Because nothing much beyond that will be expected of him. Both Milner and Wilson himself know that he’s at the mercy of forces way beyond his control.

In early 2013, the first season of writer Dennis Kelly’s conspiracy thriller Utopia made a splash on C4 thanks to its expertly calibrated mixture of tangled plotting, jarringly atmospheric direction and stylised ultra-violence. The first episode of this second run takes us right back to the beginning. What were the roots of the Janus population control conspiracy? How did the protein containing the Janus DNA end up in the bloodstream of tormented Tank Girl Jessica Hyde? And how did Milner become so jaw-droppingly cold-blooded?

This season two opener is a bravura exercise in the detournement of real-world history in order to milk its story-telling, myth-making potential. Utopia reimagines the present and future by reinventing the past. As such it’s both an astute critique of conspiracy theories and a willing participant in their possible creation. Were the assassination of Airey Neave, the 1979 vote of no-confidence in the Labour government and the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster linked? Of course not. But even so, Kelly plays audaciously fast and loose with dates, means and motives in order to construct his disturbing, mischievous thesis. And, as he juggles with the lingua franca and events of the ’70s, his series has plenty to tell us about today’s TV landscape too.

Is there a common thread running through current British TV? Consider the ’70s, where we join Milner, Jessica et al as they stumble around in the power blackouts and wallow in the filth of the winter of discontent. Think of a contemporaneous show which is now established as a key component of the British TV canon. Porridge maybe, or The Good Life or The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin. What oddly subversive pieces of mainstream, prime-time entertainment they now seem. A querulous and dissenting career criminal with whom we’re supposed to identify and sympathise? A pair of suburbanites who reject conformity and materialism and mock their aspirational and conservative neighbours mercilessly? A man driven to suicidal despair by the world of work and the intangible nausea generated by a settled but bloodless family life? And all of these played for laughs? The 70s were weird. Looking back, the asylum really does appear to have been left in the hands of the lunatics.

But what of the ’80s? Consider the unashamedly polemical fury of Boys From The Blackstuff. Or the visionary strangeness of The Singing Detective. Even ITV’s hardscrabble recession fable Auf Wiedersehen Pet looks surprisingly pointed and gritty in retrospect. These were shows with real energy and vitality; with ideas that unnerved and polarised and characters who clearly articulated their creators’ visions. By the ’90s, the Soviet Union had collapsed and it was decreed in some quarters that history had ended. Accordingly, the decade’s keynote TV began to gaze inwards towards family, friends and workplaces – think Cold Feet and This Life. The best of it, exemplified by the work of Chris Morris, self-reflexively critiqued the medium itself. The post millennium TV ‘golden age’, meanwhile, saw British drama dwarfed by US imports like The Wireand The Sopranos which offered universality by probing the dark heart of unchallenged, unrestrained capitalism.

Drawing a line between Porridge and The Wire might seem like a tenuous exercise. But what all of these shows had in common was characters with clear, firm, fearlessly expressed points of view. And that’s remarkably rare in today’s TV landscape. For now at least, the idea of television as comfort blanket has won. In fictional terms, its victory manifests itself in everything from the ‘dark’ but predictable, tabloid agenda-driven horror-schlock of Broadchurch to the simultaneously earthy and fantastical communal warmth of shows like Stella and The Cafe. And it’s in this context that Utopia is so interesting – because it feels like a genuine attempt at truth-telling and a very honest recognition of powerlessness.

What Utopia seems to be suggesting is that there are no more heroes anymore – or if there are, they’re rendered impotent by the scope of their mission. It might seem like a paradox in the light of our current societal fetishisation of the notion of choice but recent British TV heroes (or indeed anti-heroes) with real agency are comparatively rare. Instead, things happen to them. And so it is in Utopia. None of the characters here are taking back power or even, like Reggie Perrin or Norman Stanley Fletcher, vainly but heroically challenging it. Instead, they’re cowering in the face of it; they’ve found themselves – pretty much by accident and misfortune – in the middle of a vast, incomprehensible, impossibly wide-reaching conspiracy that they can’t hope to understand. It’s telling that Ian’s reason for re-engaging with the Janus project in season two is simply that he wants his girl back. Why would he go anywhere near it otherwise?

So, if powerlessness is the key to much of this decade’s TV, how did we get here? We hear so much about the crisis of disengagement – how politics and civic life has never seemed more poisonous or more irrelevant to those who have to live with the decisions made on their behalf. We’ve all come to the conclusion that power is not maintained by politicians – and Utopia‘s central plot is fuel for those who point to lobbyists, hidden hands and corporate interests as the unaccountable wielders of real power. Government ministers in Utopia are ideologically neutral. They’re also cynical and more to the point, helpless – doomed to drift listlessly without the steering of drug companies and omnipotent secret service operatives.

But eventually, even this feels like a smokescreen. And this is the source of both the true horror and the true brilliance of Utopia. Most dramas play with fairly well-worn signifiers of ‘darkness’ – paedophile rings, people trafficking, state secrets, espionage and corruption. But usually, it’s possible to dismiss these as either ugly singularities or wild speculations. But at the heart of Utopiais the crisis of over-population. And ultimately, over-population is the elephant lumbering around in the real world’s living room. The realpolitik facts surrounding it are impossible to ignore and this knowledge adds both a layer of possible plausibility and a grim moral dimension to Utopia – faced with these fast-encroaching realities, who can really say which potential solutions are defensible and which are grotesquely fascistic? The viewers of 1982 knew what they were supposed to be thinking about Boys From The Blackstuff. But which side are we supposed to be on here? The dilemmas bedevilling the characters are reflected right back at the viewer. Now that really is powerlessness.

Dennis Kelly is, of course, well aware of this. Indeed he’s stated that he chose this issue to animate the black heart of Utopia precisely because it’s the problem that defies the good intentions of the most rational, liberal and progressive among us. For all the fond humour at the expense of conspiracy theorists and graphic novel nuts, the drama can’t help but point out that a crisis is being wilfully ignored by the rest of us because it’s simply too vast and terrifying to be truly reckoned with.

And it’s here that Utopia stops being simply a drama and becomes a satire too. Firstly, there’s the show’s immaculate branding – somewhere between a drugs company and a mid-market fashion label and something that no pre-millennial TV drama would have felt remotely necessary. But what is a brand if not someone else’s imposed and idealised version of reality? And so – Utopiaseems to be saying – how do you like this reality? Then there’s the horrific, stylised violence – most often perpetrated by Arby and Lee who come across as the terrifyingly yet amusingly blank result of a focus group study of the banality of evil. It’s simultaneously guiltily titillating and utterly chilling. Because for all of the violence’s artful invention, in this just-about plausible version of reality, this is how things get done. Most pointedly of all, the climax and trigger of this series looks set to be ‘V-Day’ – a delicious parody of one of those pointlessly feel-good Sport Relief-style communal backslaps – this time involving the supply of medicine to the developing world. And underpinning all of this, there’s the distinct absence of any solution that wouldn’t cause utter outrage if suggested in public and therefore, a big problem that isn’t going anywhere.

So, with its unique and heady mixture of black humour and existential impotence could Utopia be the emblematic TV drama of the decade? Quite possibly. We live in the age of algorithm-driven consumerism, of capitalist realism, of state surveillance that’s no longer hidden but seems almost entirely accepted anyway. We live in a world which has just reacted to an unprecedented crisis of capitalism by destroying essential public services in order to restore almost exactly the same system that caused the collapse. We live at a time when our knowledge of the extent to which our institutions are dysfunctional and corrupt is matched only by our disinclination to challenge them. And, as this series seems to be saying, the scariest thing is, that’s by no means the worst of it. Utopia indeed.

 

JAMAICA INN

JAMAICA INN


 

 

A bold new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, adapted by Emma Frost (The White Queen, Consuming Passion) and directed by BAFTA award-winning director Philippa Lowthorpe (Call The Midwife, Five Daughters), this gripping and haunting 3x60 serial is made by Origin Pictures for BBC One.

Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Labyrinth) will star as Mary Yellan, Matthew McNulty (The Paradise, Room At The Top) as Jem Merlyn, Sean Harris (The Borgias, Southcliffe) as Joss Merlyn, Ben Daniels (The Wipers Times, House Of Cards) as Davey, Joanne Whalley (The Borgias, Gossip Girl) as Aunt Patience and Shirley Henderson (Southcliffe, The Crimson Petal And The White) as Hannah, in this adaptation set in 1821 against the backdrop of the windswept Cornish moors.

Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire and Executive Producer on Jamaica Inn, says: “Emma Frost, Philippa Lowthorpe and Origin Pictures have delivered a ‘Jamaica Inn’ that is visceral and authentic, and while being true to Du Maurier’s classic, brings the sensibility of a Sergio Leone film, or Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller.

“It features fabulous performances and brilliant production design from Grant Montgomery, showcasing the world class talent that our region has to offer film and TV producers .’’

Producer David Thompson said: “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit Yorkshire to film large parts of ‘Jamaica Inn’, which is a particularly rich source for period locations, providing us with huge possibilities to adapt this much loved novel for the screen.

Text: Origin PicturesThe Examiner (BBC’s Easter blockbuster…”)

MIRAGE D’UN ELDORADO

MIRAGE D’UN ELDORADO


 

 

Mirage of El Dorado leads us far into the Andes of northern Chile, where a pitched battle takes place between a farming community and mining giants like Canada’s Barrick Gold and its Pascua Lama project. The good, the bad and the powerful play for keeps in our political cowboy flick where radically different views of development collide. Check it out here: Mirage of Eldorado