French television festival Series Mania got off to a fun start with a series of humorous remarks directed at its star guests during the opening ceremony, including Brian Cox, who returned to town to give a masterclass and present the latest episode of his great hit “Succession”.
“I didn’t have time to watch season 3. I have to watch my kids grow up, Brian!” exclaimed host Daphné Bürki, before introducing this year’s opening show “Greek Salad” by Cédric Klapisch: “A prequel from ‘Norwegian Omelette’, always starring Romain Duris”, joked Bürki.
Series Mania CEO Laurence Herszberg joined in on the fun and thanked “Emily in Paris” Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, who was in attendance with co-star Arnaud Binard: “She became a symbol of a Parisian woman. I hope there’s not too much weight on your shoulders, Filipina!”
Leaping from stage to screen, Herszberg also starred with art director Frédéric Lavigne in a video parody of “The Crown,” in which Hugo Bardin, known by his drag name Paloma, was named as the Queen’s successor.
“We have been making these films for three years, but before we only parodied French series. This is the first time we decided to participate in a show that is world famous and we even found a place that looked like [Buckingham Palace]Lavigne said. Variety After the ceremony.
He also pointed out that, despite a lighter note, the current protests in France against the government’s proposed pension reform plan are very much on people’s minds, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine and the situation of women in Iran and Afghanistan, as Herszberg pointed out. . Nicole Ansari-Cox also took to the purple carpet of the festival, presenting the motto “Woman, Life, Freedom”.
While Jury President Lisa Joy, joined by Emmanuelle Béart, Anurag Kashyap, Chris Chibnall, Judah Levi and Lou Dillon, underscored the importance of “world-making, whether it’s the world in general in a series or the emotional landscape Of the characters”. In addition to looking for things that resonate with people, Frédéric Lavigne talked about multiple new trends, starting with stories set in the ’80s and ’90s.
“I am not exaggerating, at one point we counted and it was half of the programs we received. We were getting fed up! It probably has to do with the fashion of that time, and ‘Strange Things’ really launched the trend. Furthermore, it was the childhood of many creators who are emerging now”.
But setting shows in the recent past also allows their creators to talk about present struggles, he said. From economic issues to terrorist threats and women’s rights.
“We have several programs on abortion, which at that time was not allowed. The issue is coming back as some countries are trying to steal these rights once again.” As in the Quebec limited series “Disobey”, which premieres in the International Panorama section, one of many stories featuring women this year.
“There are almost no male roles anymore! To sell a show, you need a female lead,” said Lavigne, who also mentioned the Greek “Milky Way,” “Funny Woman,” the Helena Bonham Carter lead “Nolly” and the German “A Thin Line.”
“There are two twin sisters hacking into companies that don’t care about climate change. A few years ago, we would have had two brothers instead. It is a strong trend, but we probably have to balance it out a bit more. [in the future].”
Lavigne also commented on the shorter and shorter shows these days, a big change from the days of “Mad Men,” which were left to simmer for seven seasons.
“The number of episodes is also being reduced. It’s cheaper this way: with recurring shows, everyone keeps asking for more money or starts competing. Therefore, the platforms need new content every week. They love to announce new projects with new talent: ‘We’ve got Tom Cruise!’ But they know they won’t have Tom Cruise four years in a row, so it’s better to have a miniseries with Nicole Kidman.”
Not shying away from the big names either, with the arrival of Marcia Cross from “Desperate Housewives” in Lille later this week, the festival is all about doing “everything, everywhere, everything at once,” Lavigne observed. Just like a certain Oscar winner.
“We can show small author shows and big titles, but we are convinced that our role is to find things that nobody expects or could not see otherwise,” he said, mentioning the new shows from Iran (“The Actor”). and Pakistan-India (“Limboland”).
“Now, the shows are global and I would say that the local platforms are even more daring. Also, nobody thinks that you shouldn’t do a series before your first feature film, for example, citing ‘Vía Láctea’, by director Vasilis Kekatos, who won at Cannes for his short film”.
Still, there’s no denying a commercial success like “Emily in Paris” either.
“From a realistic point of view, for the French this spectacle does not make sense. Parisians say: ‘What? That is not my city. but somehow [Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s] ‘Amélie’ was the same. It’s a love-hate relationship: we love to hate the show and we love that it makes France look good. I live near this show square and often see American tourists there, taking pictures. Of course, it has nothing to do with our daily life, especially now, with the garbage crisis caused by the strike. Everybody says that the next season will be called ‘Garbage in Paris’”.