a dark and desperate beauty like a song by Michel Berger

a dark and desperate beauty like a song by Michel Berger

A rising star in directing who is entrusted with the artistic direction of the ceremonies for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, Thomas Jolly was born almost three years after the premiere of starmania, in 1979. Suffice to say that he was the perfect choice to update a rock opera which had nevertheless inherited the skin-tight jumpsuits and rhinestones of glam-rock, and showed the suburban zonards of the Giscard and Trudeau years (Pierre Elliott , Justin’s father). To also present it to millennials and those who have succeeded them, he made the right choice: to return to the original work to modernize it, to capture its spirit without worrying about the context of the time. What is worth to us the welcome resurrection of a character who was abandoned, the Guru Marabout. The ecological adversary − not very recommendable − of the infamous billionaire Zéro Janvier, symbolized by a megalomaniac letter “Z”…

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A universe of skyscrapers on which a star would have crashed, bristling its branches. The scenography is, for its part, faithful to the original cover of the album published in 1978, all in verticality and beams of light, which are those of the show but also those of generalized surveillance – “We will all have a number on our back / And a star on our skin”sings host Cristal in Monopolis. Similarly, the black, white and red trichromy will evoke the beauty of supremacy or the horror of totalitarianism.

A thousand leagues from the cutesy image that Michel Berger continues to carry around with his critics, Thomas Jolly has therefore opted for a dark and chilling phantasmagoria, with a decor that brutalizes the singers. These evolve in the old way, microphone in hand, which is particularly inconvenient to climb on moving plates or on a Jaguar immediately tagged.

Urban choreography

In this pitiless world saturated with images, Cristal’s kidnapping is filmed like a trash documentary chase. Entrusted to Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the urban choreography, set back in the first part, then unfolds further, up to the grandiose scene in the Naziland nightclub, with dancers as zombified as those of the Thriller by Michael Jackson.

By a curious mise en abyme, the recruitment of the leading roles for this work evoking the illusion of celebrity through a tele-hook show was done in part through “The Voice” (TF1) or its Quebec version – naturally titled “La Voix”. What to fear a standardization of stamps. The risk is fortunately averted by an unequal distribution moreover. Alex Montembault’s automaton waitress wins membership,A boy like no other, played on acoustic guitar, at the final collapse (The world is stone).

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