The new Quentin Dupieux is a funny and volatile little compilation of sketches that recalls the good times of French parody TV.
Tobacco Force, super felt French people using the negative energy of tobacco to fight foam aliens, go to a seminar for a weekend to strengthen their group cohesion, and… well, as with almost all of Quentin Dupieux’s films, this point starting point is just one point: an origin from which everything will break up into new little stories that reproduce the starting postulate. Namely a band of (very good) actors stuck in an enclosed place – a sunny holiday home to have a nice shoot, it’s even better – and faced with a drift from reality and, often, big gore surprises. In the end, this broken and unfinished structure is refreshing in a world of cinema often weighed down by a storytelling reassuring going inevitably from point A to point B ; Dupieux also makes the incompleteness of his stories a system, and almost a quality, within a very short duration (1h20) which suits him perfectly.
Inevitably, with such lightness, Smoking makes you cough ends up being very volatile, very inconsequential, and the attempt to reverse hetero-beauf humor does not really work (it remains valves, and mechanisms of writing, of fellow : nothing too incorrect there), but the combined talents of Tabac Force and a band of guests in great shape really works on a comedic level: Jean-Pascal Zadi, Vincent Lacoste, Gilles Lellouche, Anaïs Demoustier and Oulaya Amamra are at the top level. Even if everyone often only seems to be passing through to throw a good line, they do it extremely well. The bonus? Alain Chabat who doubles as Chief Didier, a disgusting foam puppet, boss of the Tabac Force giving them orders via a retro TV monitor and whom everyone considers a sex symbol (good-natured humor shoot again)… In fact, this kind of find shows that the film ambition of Smoking makes you cough finds its origin in the parody TV of the 80s and 90s, with obviously Goal Draw and the Télé des Inconnus at the pantheon. Parody that relies on parodies, Smoking makes you cough would be better placed in the genre of nostalgic comedy – the one that regrets the good old days when we could apparently fool around without too many consequences. A small fantasy rather than an idea of cinema, therefore.
Presented in midnight session at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, Smoking makes you cough does not yet have a release date.