Sunday, February 23, 2014

Creeping unease in French television

Based on the recommendation of my son's friend who has never led us in anything but the right direction, we have now seen two episodes of the eight-episode first season of the French series LES REVENANTS, known in English as THE RETURNED.  In it, some of the dead return.  That is all we know, for now.  A review here may give a tiny bit away.  It is enough to know that it is unrestrained praise, which is how I would review it, based on two hours.

It is a treat to see actors whose faces are not familiar, to enjoy spoken French while subdividing the brain to read the subtitles.  Of the actors, Yara Pilartz who plays Camille, has a look, a face, from a painting, that timeless, expressive beauty.
My son called the program "like Stephen King at his best" from the very beginning.  There is much reading to be found about the making of the show, based on a movie, but for now, the less I know the better.   Its atmosphere reminds me of another series we liked, TOP OF THE LAKE.   No way to tell what is really going on.  American television is nearly ready to debut its remake, about which I am not hopeful and will not watch.  I will never understand the why of remaking anything that was done exquisitely the first time.

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