Tag Archives: The French

Engrenages: Avec La Participation De JIMMY

With a 12 new episodes of Spiral being filmed in Paris at the moment,  Europe’s Best Website reminds you that it was there at the beginning with Ricky Young’s 2013 billet doux to Paris’ finest

Reasons why the French remake of Star Wars failed #1. The trash compactor scene.

BBC Four Scando-drama just doesn’t do it for me.

A shocking notion to some – what, you don’t like to spend your Saturday nights watching thick blocks of oft-rudimentary police procedural drenched in existential gloom as if that’s interesting in and of itself? Well, no. Put it this way, if noted idiot Emma Kennedy can write a cash-in book about something, then I want no part of it.

The overseas drama that kicked off the trend for exotic coppers doing exotic police-work is back for a fourth series this Saturday, however, and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s dirty, it’s brutal, it’s sexy and it’s French. The BBC calls it Spiral, but everyone else, including Europe’s Best Website, calls it Engrenages. So let’s pull up a chair, sit on that chair, realise that chair is in the interrogation room of a dingy Parisian police station, and let’s get punched repeatedly in the face by an angry foreign policeman.

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In The House

By Ricky Young

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As we join the start of another school year in suburbia, François Ozon opens his film Dans La Maison (In The House) with a clean and crisp montage of modern architectural lines, frosted glass, polished corridors, and crushing normality. In the first staff meeting, Germain (Fabrice Luchini – a shuffling, ill-dentured turtle of a man) learns that even with regards to the students’ dress, uniformity of thought is making a big comeback. A failed novelist and only-mildly-engaged literature teacher, we watch him deflate further than even he thought possible, then waddle off to his first class to set the traditional ‘What I Did This Summer’ paper and wait for the day to be over. His story ended some years ago, we imagine.

Marking his papers at home, however, he finds a surprisingly fruity submission from a new wrong-side-of-the-tracks pupil, Claude Garcia (Ernst Umhauer – like a fresher James McAvoy, but without that constant worry that his nose is about to drip), detailing his desire to get inside the house of a class-mate, for purposes as yet unknown. The essay ends with ‘To Be Continued’, leaving Germain and his art-dealer wife (Kristen Scott-Thomas – doing that suspicious ‘speaking-French’ thing again) hanging with a mixture of unease and prurience that threatens to spice up their comfortable yet boring existence. If, that is, they choose to let it.

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