Quebec bestseller the american bride is the subject of a miniseries project to which director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette is attached.
Posted at 8:00 am
The television adaptation of the popular novel by Éric Dupont simmers at Item 7, the company of Pierre Even, producer of successful feature films Good Cop Bad Cop 2, Mary Chapdelaine Y CRAZY.
The adventure would also be the first foray onto the small screen for Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, whom we know as a filmmaker (The Goddess of Fireflies, Insha’Allah) and as author (I would like to be deleted, the leaky woman).
For now, no station or platform is associated with this great project. Significant, because it falls into a category that is on the verge of extinction on Quebec television: period series.
Epic fresco recounting the journey of a family from Bas-du-Fleuve, the american bride offers a grand journey through the 20th centuryme century. The story takes place in Rivière-du-Loup, New York, Berlin, Rome, Toronto, Montreal, and even Nagasaki, Japan. The book presents a whole gallery of protagonists, including Madeleine, the matriarch, and her two children, Michel, an opera singer who becomes a tenor in Italy, and Gabriel, a physical education teacher who goes into exile. in Germany.
Let’s say that we are far from the latest historical fictions that have made a hole in the air, such as the lands above Y Eden Museum.
Contacted by phone, Pierre Even seems nevertheless persuaded to find a network ready to participate in this ambitious undertaking.
“On the one hand, it is a novel that is still very much in people’s minds. And it’s a fascinating story with very strong characters that we want to follow. I think there are many elements that will attract viewers. »
The same story with Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.
I think we have the means [de réaliser la série]. But it takes courage. And it’s not something you can do halfway.
Anais Barbeau Lavalette
Released in 2012, the american bride It was a huge success in bookstores. In Quebec alone, his sales are close to 70,000 copies, confirms his publisher, Marchand de Feuilles. Translated and sold in the United States, the novel notably won the Booksellers’ Prize.
The initiator of the adaptation project, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, says that she immediately fell in love with this larger-than-life work. “I have the impression that Éric Dupont is our own Gabriel García Márquez. I like the originality of the story, which is very Quebecois and territorial, but also very explosive. We recognize ourselves in the characters, who are very emotional, very rooted. They can be our brothers, our sisters, our uncles, our aunts, our neighbors…”
The titanic task of turning this 700-page brick into a miniseries was entrusted to Guillaume Corbeil, co-writer of the series. Us (Illico Club) and Alerts (VAT).
I agreed before I really understood what I was getting myself into! I really liked the book. It was when I reread it that I realized the magnitude of the challenge.
“I like the completely carnivalesque side, the freedom of Éric Dupont, his ability to create truly baroque paintings. I had good memories of that. And I like this pleasure of exaggeration, of completely absurd detail… It’s a fantastic playground for me. »
Éric Dupont is “very open” to the changes that will have to be made in the story to successfully translate it to the small screen, says Guillaume Corbeil. The latter has also recently presented a first “game plan” of about ten pages that structures the six one-hour episodes that will make up the miniseries.
“I had to disassemble the machine to reassemble it in another way. I had to throw things away, replace them, transform them… staying true to the spirit of the novel. »
The lure of the small screen
After Philippe Falardeau (raspberry time) and Xavier Dolan (The night Laurier Gaudreault woke up, expected this fall), Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette joins the list of female directors who have gone from the big screen to the small. The Montreal artist has been contemplating this idea for some time.
The series take care of one of the elements that I like most about cinema: the characters. I also find that there is an increasingly ambitious TV, with paradoxical characters that have weaknesses, and that can be funny and moving.
Anais Barbeau Lavalette
The filmmaker knows the challenges to overcome to rebuild an era. She also rubbed shoulders with that. White dog, his most recent feature film, which will be released in theaters in November. It is the film adaptation of the homonymous novel by Romain Gary, whose action takes place in 1968.
“It allowed me to practice,” she says.
As with Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the desire to invent a television series is not new for Pierre Even. According to his words, the american bride would be “a good way” to tame this medium.
“It’s my friend Jean-Marc [Vallée], which disappeared, which led me to this. when she was talking about big lies, he said, “It’s seven 50-minute episodes, but I look at it as a 350-minute feature.” that’s how i see it the american bride. »
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