21 September 2019 | dromasca
Mathieu Stannis, the hero of the French television mini-series 'Kim Kong' is a French film director, a disciple of the New Wave. He is very blasé and is in crisis of ideas, which is not surprising, more than half a century after the New Wave swept the world cinema. And then, a 'miracle' happens, which may save his film career. Our hero is kidnapped by the secret agents of an Asian dictatorship whose Supreme Leader is a big movie buff who wants the French director to make a revolutionary version of the King Kong movies, based on a script he wrote. A good opportunity to relaunch the director's career, isn't it?
The theme is not completely original, it was also approached by Hollywood in the parody 'The Interview', with which the French series has many points in common, but also some significant differences. The main role of the series created by Simon Jablonka and Alexis Le Sec is played by Jonathan Lambert, an excellent actor, who gives much depth to the film director's character by creating an ironic tribute to the cherished directors of the New Wave of half a century ago with the extremist and far-left anarchist political positions held by some of them, more or less visible in their films. How would the 'leftists' have behaved then (or today) if they had awakened overnight to live and create in the reality of the dictatorships they sympathized with? A little historical retaliation. Does art made under constraint have any real value? How does it feel when the slogan 'art is a matter of life and death' becomes a reality? Serious questions asked in a light manner.
It is obvious that the filmmakers know the world of French cinema much better than the dictatorships of distant countries. The character of the director is the only one alive and authentic, those surrounding him are more or less successful comic stereotypes. The series can of course be watched as entertainment, quite a reasonable one, but it lacks a degree of craziness that would have amplified the comic effects. An extra good note for the sets inspired by those of Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis' painted in festive colors. At the end of the day 'Kim Kong' is a predictable comedy with a touch of authentic thrill and love for cinema.