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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Les Brigades du Tigre 

Last night TV5 offered Les Brigades du Tigre (2006). This was apparently a TV series in the 1970s but I don't remember hearing of it. There were a couple of historical drama series back then which I found rather dull, though. It's hard to convey a period in a TV series for some reason, maybe because the really good work is just too expensive. The actors always look like modern people dressed up in period costume, as if they're just not comfortable with celluloid collars and waistcoats and so on. The set seems awash with props. Oh, look, now he's getting into his quirky old historical automobile and adjusting his spanking-new prewar cloth cap. Riingkx!Pocka-pocka-pocka-pocka, as the engine starts. Mind you don't run over the kid in the sailor suit playing with his hoop! Or M. Seurat, who's pointilising the scene for posterity!

Les Faucheurs de Marguerites (1974) is the one I do remember. That's to say, I remember seeing a lot of ads for this tiresome nonsense about Édouard Dabert and his aviation pioneer chums. They were always running around in the fields trying to get their aeroplane to fly, and when they succeeded, it was a time to rejoice by rippping your cap off and hurling it to the ground and hugging someone. There was also a mixed choir humming along dramatically at these moments.

But to be fair, it was nowhere close to D'Iberville (1968) for outrageous, smouldering cauldrons of boring anti-entertainment. That was a piece of work. Coming home from school to find nothing on TV but those guns firing out of the side of a ship and the little trumpet flourish as the title “D'Iberville” unfurled across the screen, that was a letdown. And once again, Frontenac would be confronting someone in a wig with an important piece of paper.

This movie, however, was not bad, if a bit complicated. Actually, the story was that interesting that it would have been better to have spent less time on the brigade (an early motorised police squad) and a bit more on the villains. And, I guess, the story.

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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.