Showing posts with label French TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French TV. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Petit bonhomme qui tousse

Le burlesque a été tout petit. Soirées = 1. Audience = 11,9 %. @PatrickSébastien a reçu une tarte dans la gueule. C'est vraiment dommage, parce qu'il ose, Patrick. Il est tout sauf vulgaire. Il a un cœur gros comme ça. C'est du Drucker rien que pour rigoler.

Cela dit, le premier numéro du machin "burlesque" volait tout de même au ras des pâquerettes, comme s'il avait été confectionné à la hâte, pour remplir un trou. J'ai été choqué notamment par le fait que cette esquisse d'émission (morte-née) de Sébastien ose se moquer d'un collègue, Laurent Delahousse, qui portait en permanence un spray pour ses cheveux, et prend sans cesse des poses. Dans le domaine-là de l'auto-satisfaction, Patrick Sébastien dépasse Delahousse de loin. Bref, cette émission m'a intrigué, voire amusée, le temps d'une soirée... qui était exactement le temps qu'elle méritait, ni plus ni moins.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Michel Drucker found the right words

French TV is supposed to be in color.  I prefer to say it's black and white: either incredibly lousy or splendid. The time-honored TV celebrity Michel Drucker had harsh words concerning a nitwit named CH who would make me vomit if ever I were obliged to watch him for any length of time. Drucker has been around for decades, and his TV credentials are the finest in French media history.

Concerning the vomit guy, Drucker came up with a delightful formula:
It was impossible for me to do that kind of bad TV work. My mother would have been disgusted. She wouldn't have let me come home. She would have changed the door locks to keep me out in the cold.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Early arrival of a future Oscar winner

Click here to view a TV-studio performance
of Jean Dujardin in December 1996.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

An alert too many

On Tuesday evening, the excellent investigation show run by Elise Lucet wanted to illustrate the problems they had encountered in trying desperately to contact the French minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, So, they screened a fake alert message, of the kind sent out by police when a child has been kidnapped.

There was just one big problem. At that same instant, a baby had in fact been kidnapped, and the police sent out an authentic alert message. But that was neither here nor there. The confusion simply added to the atmosphere of an excellent show, whose highlight was a no-holds-barred debate between the brilliant journalist and Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice. The right-wing politician, with financial egg on his face, was being blasted for the costly deal he had struck up with a private firm in order to obtain for Nice a luxurious sporting stadium… which appears to be half-empty most of the time. As for the baby kidnapped in Grenoble by her father, she was soon found, unharmed. So, all's well that ends well.

Funnily enough, the people being blamed are not those who were responsible for the fake alert, but rather the police who created the authentic message. They were silly enough to write that the alleged kidnapper was a man "of the black race". It's high time those nitwits learned that there's only one human race on the planet Earth, Homo sapiens. And its possible colors are, not only black and white, but all those of the human rainbow.

Friday, October 7, 2016

France can produce both very good political TV and very bad political TV

Last night’s L’Emission politique was a calamity. My personal opinion is that both journalists—David Pujadas and Léa Salamé—should be invited to take a break of a month or so, giving France 2 the possibility of halting this show and replacing it, if possible, by something more coherent, more friendly and peaceful. The current style has simply veered into nasty absurdity. Last night, to greet a smart French statesman, Alain Juppé, who'll probably become president of France, that pair of tired little nincompoops decided to hurl at him two fellows who seemed to emerge from a low-quality movie. One was a dubious specimen from the field of finance. The other, a brain-damaged extremist-right-wing politician. I was so disgusted that I almost turned off the TV… but I persevered in order to appreciate the skill with which the candidate might succeed (he did) in trudging through all the smelly slime thrown in his face.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Morandini in police custody

The well-known 51-year-old journalist and TV producer Jean-Marc Morandini has been in police custody since 9 o’clock this morning, in the context of an inquiry into the corruption of youth.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dishonest French TV shows

A popular fellow on French TV participates regularly in travelogues in which he gets filmed in the midst of local folk in all sorts of exotic places throughout the world. His friendly personality enables him (so it seems) to meet up with unexpected friends. He also has a taste for doing crazy things such as patting a wild animal.

In reality, these TV shows are dishonest, in that they've been assembled out of fake elements that were not at all spontaneous. I'll give you an example, so that you'll understand what I'm trying to say. Let's refer to this TV star as Fred. At one stage, you see Fred moving towards a group of locals, and asking them in French, with a friendly smile: "Can I join you?" Then you see the locals smiling back at Fred and saying something along the following lines: "Yes, please sit down. What would you like to know?"

Most French TV viewers would imagine that this guy has such a friendly personality that he can meet up easily with locals and communicate with them immediately. First, you must realize that, when Fred arrives in such-and-such an exotic place, he probably (?) can't speak the local language, and the locals surely can't speak fluent French. So, much later on, what French viewers seem to see on their TV screen has been totally contrived, well after the events, by a team of smart video specialists. It's as fake as false breasts, but the tricks are so smartly executed that most people fail to see that they've been tricked. In reality, the production operations would be carried out along the following lines:

1. The video director (let's call him Jacques) is in contact with a local native (let's call him Wombat) who understands a few words of French. Jacques asks Wombat to gather together a small group of locals who are prepared (no doubt for a small fee) to be filmed in a would-be contact and conversation with Fred, who might be thought of as a stooge (like the secondary actors in old-fashioned Chaplin comedies).

2. Once everybody is gathered together in front of a few video cameras, the director Jacques says to the stooge Fred: "Put on a big smile, say hello to the locals, and ask them if you can join in with them. Tell them that you would like to learn how to catch koalas." Easily said. Easily done. Smiles everywhere.

3. The director Jacques then calls upon Wombat, and explains: "Tell your friends to smile as if they're happy to meet up with our Fred. Then ask one of them to look into the camera and talk for a few minutes on the subject of catching koalas, saying anything that comes into his head." All this local gibberish will, of course, be replaced by everyday French in the edited video. The locals are then filmed, talking gibberish, and that's basically the end of this nonsense.

4. The director Jacques then says to Fred: "Let's imagine that these idiots have given you information on how to catch koalas. Let me film you now, smiling happily while you listen to their alleged explanations. Then finish your supposed listening by asking them, with a big smile, if koalas are dangerous animals that can bite you."

5. The director Jacques tells Wombat that he wants to film the locals once again, all laughing hilariously, and apparently making fun of Fred. Obviously, Jacques knows exactly how he's going to put together the fake conversation, once all the elements have been obtained.

6. My readers will have understood by now that Jacques will surely produce a sufficient stock of fake elements that will enable a video editor to put together a convincing would-be conversation between Fred and the locals. So, that's the end of my explanations.

I'm disgusted by this kind of fake TV, but it's an everyday phenomenon in France. If the cutting and editing are handled expertly, most viewers would fall into the trap of imagining that they're watching a real encounter between friendly Fred and a group of naive savages who are happy to teach him how to catch koalas.

As a former member of the French Service de la Recherche de l'ORTF, which enabled me to make authentic science documentaries in France, England, Sweden and the USA, I dislike intensely this new kind of fake TV.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Killed by helicopters... not by reality TV

Like millions of my fellow-citizens, I was shocked to learn (through an early-morning tweet) that the collision of a pair of helicopters in Argentina had killed eight French individuals who were participating in the filming of a TV show for the TF1 channel, called Dropped. Two Argentine helicopter pilots also died in this accident, seen here:

I consider that it's important to insist upon the fact that none of the commonly-criticized features of reality TV seem to have played any part in this terrible accident. It was neither more nor less than yet another dramatic aviation accident [presently inexplicable].

French people were stunned to learn of the brutal deaths of three celebrated sporting heroes, seen here:

Camille Muffat (swimmer), Alexis Vastine (boxer)
and Florence Arthaud (veteran yachtswoman).

The list of victims included five accomplished members of the TV production team, seen here:

• Brice Guibert was the camera operator.

• Volodia Guinard [professional role undefined for the moment].

Lucie Mei-Dalby was the journalist in charge of interviews.

• Laurent Sbasnik was a well-known director of TV documentaries (including several programs in the series Détour(s) de mob featuring my son François Skyvington).

• Edouard Gilles was handling the audio recording.

The names of the two deceased pilots [to be verified] were Juan Carlos Castillo and Roberto Carlos Abate.

To borrow the title of the TV series in which they were participating, these individuals were literally dropped out of the sky, to their deaths.

May these splendid and talented adventure-seekers—struck down while at work in the noble avant-garde domain of entertainment media—rest in peace.