DECRYPTION – After a deadly flu pandemic, what’s left of humanity rebuilds itself in this hopeful series. Meeting with its creator Patrick Somerville.
“The stories of the end of the world are furiously lazy. They stand still, show anarchy and ruins. Like my little sister who destroyed her sandcastles. But there’s beauty in rebuilding them even if the tide is approaching smiles screenwriter Patrick Somerville. With his new series Station Elevento follow on Syfy, the former creator of maniac and The Leftovers depicts the post-collapse of civilization without obliterating hope. A moving tour de force.
Adapted from the novel by her Canadian friend Emily St John, the HBO Max series traces Kirsten’s odyssey at ages 11 and 30. As a child actress, she witnessed the death on stage of the main actor of the King Lear. Heart attack for the actor. The chaos of this evening foreshadows the one that will take Chicago and the whole world, decimated by a deadly flu that leaves only 0.1% of humanity alive. As an adult, Kirsten (Mackenzie Davis) travels across North America with a traveling troupe, the Traveling Symphony, which plays Shakespeare for survivors and their children.
“Tenderness and warmth”
The series jumps from one timeline to another, brushing the formative journey of Kristen and the Broadway showgoer who took her under his wing Jeevan (Himesh Patel, Yesterday). If their paths filled with painful decisions end up diverging, Station Eleven outlines, touch by daily touch, the resilience of a civilization. The world before is bathed in an austere winter twilight, the world after in the warm colors of a conquering spring. The hope is there.
“Traumatizing an audience to entertain it does not correspond to my conception of the profession of storyteller. If you sign for ten hours in our company, we owe you tenderness, warmth,” assumes Patrick Somerville for whom such a cataclysm “pushes people to grow or become even more themselves”.
A frightened child, Kristen has become a dangerous woman. The slightest detail sends her back to the pivotal moments of her existence. Buried memories revived by a newcomer behaving like a prophet.
Destabilizing because it seems like a parable of our Covid-19 years, Station Eleven saw its filming interrupted by the confinement of March 2020. “ Being a prisoner of my family made me consider the camera between Jevan and Kristen differently”admits Patrick Somerville who delivers a plea in favor of artistic creation through the representations of the Traveling Symphony. “Today, everything is codified. We savor the works in the museum or on a support. We have lost the spontaneity of it when everyone can produce art”, does he think. Culture, as the cornerstone of society, is one of the beautiful legacies of this dystopia which refuses defeatism and fatality.
Leave a Comment