Audrey Estrougo presents in midnight screening, her biopic on NTM. Despite two great performers, the flatness of the script prevents the whole from taking off.
While waiting to discover the series co-produced by Arte and Netflix on the same subject, here is Supreme by Audrey Estrougo (La Taularde…) on the first years of the French rap group, NTM, at the end of the eighties in a still Mitterandian France. Presented with great fanfare in a midnight screening, this biopic was programmed to wake up the Croisette with syncopated beats and thunderous flow from Kool Shen and especially Joey Starr, the only duo who came to see in situ a projection of himself in fiction. It is easy to imagine their young performers, Sandor Funtek and Théo Christine, looking at their pumps so as not to meet the gaze of their imposing model with their eyes riveted on the large black Lumière screen. They would both be wrong, refusing any mimicry, giving an unexpected grace to a film which unfortunately never manages to place itself at their level.
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Blame it on a scenario of an incredible flatness which is content to tell over the sequences, a journey without ever projecting itself into it (the exact opposite of the delightful Aline by Valérie Lemercier). Beyond her sincere love for the group, one wonders where the director is coming from. If it is not a question here of questioning the authenticity of what she tells (the thing corroded by the record company and supervised by Joey Starr himself, had to be reread a thousand times before validation), the essential is missing: a vibration. This vibration which makes it possible to feel the insane energy which made it possible to wake up a whole sleeping country and especially a ready youth ” to fuck the souk To counter the rise of the FN. But the political context is completely absent from the film, apart from an opening archive by François Mitterrand. A shame!
The French rap scene, taking over from that of alternative rock (Bérurier noir and others), quickly infiltrated all layers of society, before literally taking possession of pop culture. Supreme tells of this before, the time of the first live performances at the Globo, seedy concerts in the provinces in front of dumbfounded punks, until the final orbit with the group’s first Parisian Zenith. In the meantime, the scenario will have taken care to delimit the contours of the two-headed hydra, on the one hand, the serious Kool Shen guaranteeing the balance of the company, on the other, the fragile and unpredictable. Joey Starr vainly trying to prove to his father that he is worth something. Estrougo films it like a “TV movie” and illustrates more or less effectively a very first degree scenario. Difficult for the uninitiated, to really measure the talent of Kool Shen and Joey Starr and this boxing alchemy which made each lyrics a punchline for the present times. The pitfall of any biopic is this near impossibility of transcribing the mysteries of creation, the filmmakers inexorably stranded on the shores of a drama premixed by a Wikipedia file. In Supreme, it is on stage that the sparks arise, when Sandor Funtek and Théo Christine work with authority to become NTM. Something suddenly passes. Unfortunately, for them and for us, there is also behind the scenes and a movie to be made.
Suprêmes by Audrey Estourgo. With: Sandor Funtek, Théo Christine … Released on November 24th.
Cannes 2021: JoeyStarr and the entire NTM biopic team, Suprêmes, climb the steps
Cannes 2021: JoeyStarr and all the Suprêmes team during the red carpet
Cannes 2021: All the Suprêmes team gathered for the film’s photocall
Cannes 2021: JoeyStarr and Théo Christine, who plays him in NTM’s biopic, Suprêmes
Cannes 2021: Théo Christine, Audrey Estrugo, Sandor Funtek and JoeyStarr during the photocall of the biopic of NTM, Suprêmes
JoeyStarr has fun in Cannes, for Samuel Benchetrit and the NTM biopic