In 2009, the series Kaamelott ended with the suicide attempt of King Arthur, who then entrusted the keys of the kingdom to Lancelot, his rival. The latter, transformed into a tyrant, forced Arthur to leave the country. As for the Knights of the Round Table, they organized, more badly than good, the resistance, hoping one day to witness the return of the king.
More than 10 years after the end of the cult series created by Alexandre Astier, King Arthur and the broken arms of the Round Table are setting the scene again, on the big screen this time, with Kaamelott – First part. To say that the feature film following the series was expected would be an understatement since the pre-sales for the previews broke the record for a French film: 60,000 seats sold in 24 hours.
Yes, the wait has been long for fans of the series. For legal questions, among others, but also, because the story would gain by waiting, explains the creator and director, “because there is a situation of occupation, because things had to be wedged between resistant and collaborators. Or, to quote Lord Perceval, because “patience is a dish that must be prepared in advance”.
A man of his word
However, since 2009, King Arthur’s performance has not been idle, as he has released two animated films adapted from the Asterix Beds. Here again, we found the paw of the author who blooms well with the French guilloche, the same one that made the success of Kaamelott. A verbiage as we had heard more since the end of the Audiard father era. One would even come to wonder if it is not this line of the famous dialogueist of the Uncle gunslingers who inspired the creation of the characters in Alexandre Astier: “The idiots, that dares everything. That’s why we even recognize them. “
Not consensual for a penny, the director – also a screenwriter, dialogue writer, composer and editor – however has a method all his own: “I let myself be guided by the natural musicality of the actor. It is above all the desire to make someone speak. It is above all musical, not semantic. It is the actor who takes precedence. “
Astier says it bluntly, he doesn’t write characters. He writes for someone. To the point of not doing a casting. “I choose someone, I ask him to work with me and because he says yes, I write something to him. But he must want to and he modifies history by his presence. It is the actor or actress who will enlighten me on where the film is often going. They are at the birth of the thing. “
I choose someone, I ask him to work with me and because he says yes to me, I write something to him. […] It is the actor or actress who will enlighten me on where the film is often going.
As to whether it was thanks to this bespoke writing that he convinced Sting – that we will not commit the offense of presenting – to join the cast, “Sire Astier” sends with a burst of laughter which he says. had it “by asking him!” Was it that simple then? “If you don’t try, he doesn’t come. I asked him, he came. Afterwards, I believe that there is a French musician at the moment, who must be quite a fan of the thing, who must have said good things to him about it. But between all we have been able to tell him, even though I don’t know him very well, Sting seems to me like a guy who now allows himself, after the incredible career he has had, to be. curious about very diverse things, in many countries, full of cultures. He doesn’t care now, he does what he wants! And I think he let his curiosity speak there. “
As for “reducing the sails on bullshit” – according to Clovis Cornillac in the film – nobody wants it. Even if Alexandre Astier is careful not to pretend to make people laugh. ” [Faire rire] is a power. You can’t claim to have that power. You can pretend to try. “I’ll make you laugh”, I find the proposal very dangerous. [Le rire] you can’t ask for it, it can’t be offered. Promising laughter, I’m very uncomfortable with that. However, it works quite well. “But maybe that’s why I don’t promise it works pretty well,” he retorts, smiling.
Have the means to achieve your ambitions
Promising nothing would therefore be a safety net. A safeguard applicable to other aspects of this feature film. Because the public’s expectations of Kaamelott in terms of comedy have not changed over the years, while those concerning the genre in which it fits, theheroic fantasy, they have nothing more to do. The environment has changed a lot. The phenomenon Game of Thrones raised to an unexpected level the quality of the productions of the genre, as well as the expectations of the spectators. Not enough to frighten the King of Brittany, mainly because he has changed format.
“I’ll make you laugh”, I find the proposal very dangerous. [Le rire] you can’t ask for it, it can’t be offered. Promising laughter, I’m very uncomfortable with that. […] But maybe that’s why I don’t promise it works pretty well
“The cinema is directly something that offers, let’s say, means. The sets are really there, the countries are really there. We build things, we have a lot of special effects. And for 10 years the technology of special effects has moved so quickly that to make a castle in its entirety in one shot, today, a TV series can afford it. 10 years ago, no. If I had done a season VII, with television budgets for 6 hours of programming, I would have asked myself the question otherwise. The film’s budget of 15 million euros, that is, to the nearest cow, about 22 million dollars, also allows a certain comfort in the matter.
It remains to be seen whether the success of this Kaamelott – First part indoor will meet its budget. As we have already explained above, the start is looking good. As for the next part, Alexandre Astier does not promise it for now. “I still have several projects that are in the making. I’m very comfortable with not deciding which one is going to go first and letting happen. All I know is I’m not sure if the second installment will be the next thing I do, but I would love to do it and I absolutely don’t plan to wait that long. The future will tell us when. Alea jacta est.
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