Launched in May 2021, based on an idea from journalist Laurent Delahousse, the documentary series “Archives Secretes” returns for a fifth opus, with an audience ranging between 1.4 and 2 million viewers (according to France Télévisions). Perhaps because, based on the worn but still unifying principle of reusing archives, it renews the genre by introducing the concept of the unprecedented: the images are at best never seen, at worst rare. This constraint explains the difference in treatment of the four comedians featured in this episode.
So for Muriel Robin, whose beginnings we mainly discover in Monclar (Lot-et-Garonne) from 1978, in the Baladins troupe, directed by Roger Louret – who testifies here. Before following her, notably during her first television interview, while she defends her character in Sus aux zazous (1982), by the same Louret – “a woman as I would like to be, generous, fragile, authoritarian”, she confides. Another strong point: the sequence shot in Corsica during a rehearsal with Guy Bedos, at home, on his terrace, barefoot and in shorts, of the show they will perform together from 1991.
Art of transition: “Muriel Robin inspired Florence Foresti”, an autodidact of laughter who can be seen during her first steps, in Lyon, in 1995 (at the age of 22), then, briefly, in the trio Les Moles Models, before focusing on the woman made to perform alone, until the success of her Mother Fucker tour. A journey enhanced by the scenes filmed by Gérôme Vassilacos, behind-the-scenes cameraman and speaker – a gold mine for this type of program.
We find such early images in the section devoted to Dany Boon, the most moving, punctuated by the memories of one of his former teachers from the artistic high school, Yves Willocq, and of his friend since adolescence, Philippe Hollevout. The latter brings out for the occasion the films "buried thirty-four years" which show, among other things, Dany Boon made up as a sad clown from amateur rehearsals, and the first six years of hardship in Paris. The viewer thus follows his rise to the success of the sketch on K-Way, entitled Waika.
Ultimate connection: chronic spleen, a point common to Dany Boon and Jean Rochefort (1930-2017), whose sixty-eight-year career is treated here from three unequal angles: his “painful” school career, at the origin of his “existential need to make people laugh”; the importance of the conservatory band (including Françoise Fabian, Jean-Pierre Marielle and Jean-Paul Belmondo); and his end of career.
From this uneven overview, we will remember Dany Boon's thanks to the "genius" who put texts by Raymond Devos in his French book. Topical in this back-to-school month.