“Polar Park”, the detective series of Arte which combines cold murders and humor

As if making several agendas coincide wasn’t already complicated enough, it’s a national strike day. The conversation between the two actors will therefore take place in a virtual bistro room, as in the time of confinement. No big deal, because behind their respective screens, it’s as if Jean-Paul Rouve, 56, and Guillaume Gouix, 39, had left yesterday. And since only the first will be present at the Series Mania festival, in Lille – the second being retained on the set of Christopher Thompson’s next series – this is an opportunity to get some news. Between two jokes about the beard of the younger of the two, left fallow for the needs of his next project, Jean-Paul Rouve says he is delighted with this visit to his native region to present Polar Parkhe who had not played in a series since, as a young boy, he had made a few appearances in Julie Lescaut.

Created and produced for Arte by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu, Polar Park presents itself as a version of his film Poupoupidou, released in 2011. Same setting – the Jura massif and the coldest city of Mouthe (Doubs) in France – same duo of investigators – a writer of thrillers out of inspiration and a policeman with chilling repartee – carried by the same duo of actors, same balance between comedy and drama. But not the same story: this time it is not a question of elucidating a murder but several, which have in common an aesthetic staging inspired by works of art.

If the series, in a certain way, takes up the reflection on celebrity developed in Poupoupidou starting from the figure of Marilyn Monroe, it is conceived less as a remake than as a parallel version. “As Gérald Hustache-Mathieu says, Poupoupidou could be the film directed by the protagonists of Polar Park », explains with mischief Guillaume Gouix, who embodies Warrant Officer Louveteau, an austere gendarme launched in the footsteps of the killer. On paper, it looks complicated; yet everything is very fluid in these six episodes that are both tense and funny, which play with the mixture of thriller codes and a form of burlesque.

“I have the impression that a lot of filmmakers have fun [dans le monde des séries] like in a playground. »Guillaume Gouix

between the movie and Polar Park, a little over a decade has passed. We are still far from the twenty-six years that separate Fire Walk With Me of the third season of Twin Peaks (the two works by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu are also dotted with Lynchian references), but the file has had time to pass through several hands. Driven by Céline Kamina, who is both the director’s and Jean-Paul Rouve’s agent, the adaptation of Poupoupidou finally landed on Arte, which will broadcast it a little later in the year. “Gérald’s universe is very marked and quite atypical, it’s difficult to impose it on the cinema, notes Guillaume Gouix. He was able to take advantage of the rise of the series. It’s a freer world. I have the impression that a lot of filmmakers have fun there like in a playground. Gérald knew how to occupy this space. » Jean-Paul Rouve confirms: “If you don’t know Gérald, it must be quite complicated to read his scripts. It’s a good thing that its producers and Arte trusted its people. »

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