Coluche and the cinema, cow love

In the excellent Coluche fait son cinéma, Jérôme Wybon returns to Coluche’s complex relationship with the seventh art.

35 years after Coluche’s sudden death, TMC will rebroadcast one of its hit comedies this evening, Inspector Burr, a comedy by Claude Zidi in which he gives the answer to Gérard Depardieu, which attracted 3.7 million spectators in cinemas in 1980 and has since made the happiness of viewers. However, the actor’s relationship with the cinema has not always been simple during his career, as Jérôme Wybon told it in a great documentary broadcast in 2016, Coluche makes his cinema.

Her first love

“For me, cinema has always been my goal. I intend to be a cinoche director. “ This final sentence, which opens the documentary, Coluche uttered it in the mid-70s in his everlasting clown overalls that made him famous. At the time, the comedian was yet to prove much onscreen despite a supporting role in The Pistonné, Claude Berri’s film starring Guy Bedos, released in 1970. Captured by the café-théâtre (he was part with Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou of the great adventure of the Café de la Gare by Romain Bouteille) and by the one -man-show (he creates his hateful beauf character in 1974), Coluche will ultimately only make one film: his medieval parody, You will not have Alsace and Lorraine, will be a cruel flop in 1977. His career as a director is stillborn.

Bankable actor

Bruised by the failure of his film, Coluche does not shoot anything for three years. He returns to the screen with Inspector Burr by Claude Zidi, one of his favorite directors who offered him his first major role in 1976 in Wing or thigh near Louis de Funes. The latter, who had the eye, had said at the time about Coluche that he had the potential of a “Future very big number 1”. He had seen it right. The box ofInspector Burr (more than 3.5 million spectators) inaugurates a series of incredible successes: of the dozen films which follow, the vast majority exceed the bar of one million admissions. In the heap, no masterpiece. Coluche now sees the cinema as a way to easily earn a lot of money. In total, he will attract around 25 million spectators in theaters in less than twenty films as headliner.

My buddy’s wife, Coluche’s film of the dark years

The Caesar, then nothing

Quietly released on December 21, 1983, Tchao Pantin by Claude Berri became a huge success over time, consecrating the dramatic talent of Coluche that Claude Berri had detected at the time of the Pistoned. The favorite personality of the French in the 80s finally confirms the hopes placed in him, in particular by his friend Martin Lamotte who confides in the documentary his regret at having only too rarely found the Coluche of the stage in the cinema. César for best actor in 1984, he does not capitalize on this price that he takes jokingly. His latest films, frankly bad (Good King Dagobert, Vengeance of the Feathered Serpent…), Are pure cash machines that he does as a dilettante, monopolized by his humanitarian projects (Les Restos du Cœur opens at the end of 85) and his audiovisual delusions (on the radio or on Canal Plus).

Three things to know about… Tchao Pantin

Aborted projects

Before dying suddenly on a southern road, on June 19, 1986, Coluche planned to shoot a film with Pierre Etaix whom he venerated. Former assistant to Jacques Tati and cult director of Sighing or from Yo-yo, Etaix fondly remembers Coluche’s deference to him and his involvement in the project. This is part of the regrets we have about Coluche’s cinematographic career, who also saw him escape the role of Ugolin in Jean de Florette. For good reason: his essays, which can be seen in the documentary, were catastrophic. Lucid, Coluche got away with honors by telling Claude Berri that he did not feel the character. To everyone’s relief …

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