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[Review & Interviews] “Black Spot” season 1: A crime and fantasy television series

Dernière mise à jour : June 3rd, 2021 at 04:59 pm

A truly ambitious direction

Black Spot season 1 image
© Jean-philippe BALTEL / EGO PRODUCTION
Julien Despaux was very on the polar and construction. Me, a little more on the atmosphere.
— Thierry Poiraud

What makes the quality of Black Spot season 1 and which is often lacking to the series with the promising concepts is that there was a real agreement between the creator Mathieu Missoffe, the producer Vincent Mouluquet and the two directors Thierry Poiraud and Julien Despaux: a true “artistic gang”, dixit Vincent Mouluquet.

Thierry Poiraud directed the first four episodes and Julien Despaux the following four. Their direction is very stylized with an image format close to cinemascope, composed frames, beautiful aerial shots on the forest, a daring direction — they do not hesitate to shot on television scenes without any line of dialogue like this strange prologue in episode 1 — and a lot of work on sound design and music. Then there are these many shots on nature, on animals — like these fascinating crows that punctuate the episodes like a Greek choir that make a unusual setting in the French Audiovisual Landscape.

Indeed, the result gives visual and sound atmospheres to Black Spot season 1 which stand out very clearly from the usual productions in France, to the point of having more the impression of watching an American series than a French series. Especially since the very western atmosphere chosen around the “sheriff”, Major Laurène, increases this impression. One thinks of Twin Peaks, X-Files, Wayward Pines, Jordskott

It is therefore not surprising to hear the director Julien Despaux explaining that the visual influences of Black Spot TV series do not come from France: “There are Nordic polars in the influences with the relation to nature. There are American western movies for the sheriff side. And then there is the strange, the fantasy that brings us back to Twin Peaks.

And Thierry Poiraud to specify that it is an American series in particular which brought them together in their desires of direction: “The TV series which we agreed together is Fargo. Not so much for the influence of the image but for the crazy mix of a pretty black polar with humor, almost fantasy. They did not forbid themselves anything“.

Thierry Poiraud and Julien Despaux either because they both received the Best Director Award at Festival des Créations Télévisuelles de Luchon 2017 for this first season of Black Spot.

Jean-Christophe Nurbel

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