“The Devil, all the time”, keepers of the plague

The Devil All the Time opens with a road map spanning villages with singing names like Coal Creek (the cove of coal) or Knockemstiff (spread it out steep). Bleds of forest, between Ohio and West Virginia, where the comings and goings of the citizens seem magnetized to the gas station and to the church. Pick-up atmosphere, denim overalls and threadbare cap. In the footsteps of a veteran of the Pacific War, struck on his way home by love at first sight for a redhead waitress from diner, the film settles in a community where everyone is a cousin more or less distant from his neighbor. We witness the little merry-go-round of a mother who promised the Lord to marry her son to the village lame girl if he returned safe and sound from the war, to the bluegrass sermons of a preacher with azure eyes who offers his body to swarms of spiders to prove their total devotion to the congregation, and the hitchhiker hunt of a predatory swinging couple. This portrait of America hillbillies, seductive with wetness, surprises with the way he sabotages himself.

For an hour, the devil all the time looks like a fire, devouring the destinies he has just installed, offering his characters one after the other as a sacrifice. Whether they are manifestations of fate or chance, these brutal, dramatic and sometimes funny eruptions give Antonio Campos’ film a false air of Fargo, Noah Hawley’s series, similarly focused on small communities where wolves and lambs hunt each other. Always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Their eyes turned to a desperately empty sky in which they seek a sign, a presence that could save them.

Based on a novel by Donald Ray Pollock, whose thick drawling voice Midwesterner serves as an omniscient narrator, the devil all the time really focuses on the next generation. After this first volatile and turbulent movement, the film stabilizes around the figure of Arvin, a kid crippled by the madness of a veteran father with whom the greatest moment of complicity was the derailment he inflicted on the parents of schoolchildren who his son said sadly at recess. Clinging to the character of Tom Holland (the latest version of Marvel’s Spider-Man), who is relieved of the last shreds of innocence that remained to him, the film loses in urgency, in danger, and runs out of breath when hanging up the side choir of his story, with a story of a dirty cop who laboriously sutures the whole.

Without becoming frankly unpleasant, the film falls into line and presses with too much force on the buttons that it has pressed from the beginning. A reverend with a beautiful goofy ambiguity (crazy resurrection scene) is hunted by another flatly predator (Robert Pattinson back among the vampires), fleeting glances to the sky turn into manic prayers. And we are a little bored to hear ourselves repeat that by way of devil there are only men with catastrophic moral choices.

Marius Chapuis

The Devil, all the time d’Antonio Campos on Netflix.


Ewan McGregor plays double game in Fargo season 3

SERIES – As the third season of Fargo is in production with Ewan McGregor, the first two, available on Netflix, refer to an actual news item: the Sioux Falls massacre. But the real story is radically different from the series produced by the Coen brothers, however.

Still inspired by the eponymous film by the Coen brothers, made in 1996, the third season of Fargo stars Ewan McGregor, who plays the role of two brothers: Emmit et Ray Stussy. Their rivalry will quickly lead to a succession of events which will degenerate into murders, with the appearance of gangsters.

This season will be geographically located in the same places as the previous sections, with a little nod to season1. “We like the idea that there is a great book called ‘True Story of Crime in the Midwest,’ as seen in season two,” says producer. Warren Littlefield. And that each season corresponds to a chapter of the book. Each is also geographically linked to the other with identical themes ”. With the difference that the story of the massacre recounted in season 2 is far from corresponding to the truth, as we can discover later.

“The Minnesota accent is the most difficult I have had to master”

Ewan McGregor

Fargo will also have only 11 recurring characters, in order to allow, according to the producer, to go further in the exploration of each of them. Ewan McGregor, of Scottish origin, also encountered great difficulty in grasping the Minnesota accent, especially since he had to play two different characters. “It is the most difficult accent that I had to master, the actor recently testified on a daily basis. The New York Post. Once I played in Dutch, and I thought I would not meet anything harder, but I was wrong ”.

Filming has started in Calgary, the Canadian province of Alberta and this new season will be broadcast in the United States on the FX channel in April.

Season 3 takes place in 2010, and is therefore 4 years after the first, which took place in 2006. While the second season dates back to events that took place 27 years earlier, in 1979. With a central character : police officer Lou Solverson, played by Keith Carradine in season 1 then Patrick Wilson in season 2.

To make the connection between seasons 1 and 2, Solverson had referred, in season 1, to an event from the past so horrific that he then decided to leave the police.

This news item, explained in season 2, is the massacre that was perpetrated in the small town of Sioux Falls, in 1979. Except that in reality, the tragedy occurred in 1973 (see below). And did not involve a bloody settling of scores between rival gangs Ok Corral style, as it does in season 2, putting the Gerhardts clan at grips with the Kansas City mafia, which wants to get their hands on the Gerhardts’ business.

Five teenagers approached by fake police officers

On the evening of Saturday, November 17, 1973, 5 teenagers aged 14 to 18 met around a campfire in the woods of the Federal Reserve of Gitchie Manitou (State of Iowa), for smoke joints and play guitar. Not far away were the three brothers, Allen, James and David Fryer who poached the deer. Hearing the songs of the group of teenagers, they decided to steal their marijuana by posing as Narcotics officers. Four young people were shot dead with hunting rifles. The last victim, Sandra Cheskey, was dragged to a barn and raped. She was only 13 years old. One of the attackers, Allen Fryer, continuing to pretend to be a police officer, brought her home. A few days later, the police arrested the criminals who were sentenced to life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole.


Fargo S02E09 : Massacre à Sioux Falls

Fargo season 2 is coming to an end soon … Last night, FX broadcast “The Castle”, episode 9, finally telling the famous massacre of Sioux Falls. Warning for spoilers.

Review of “The Castle”, episode 9 of season 2 of Fargo … Watch out for spoilers.

The Sioux Falls massacre, long awaited since this mention of Lou Solverson in season 1, has finally taken place. An almost unreal event as he had confided, and as the narrator with the English accent reminds us, strangely resembling the voice of Martin Freeman (spoiler: it’s him). A story told like a scary tale.

A massacre that bears its name well: a dozen police officers killed and a Gerhardt family and their men put six feet underground. A bloodbath simply orchestrated by the stupidity of a police captain and the betrayal of Hanzee. As the narrator explains to us, the latter’s turnaround is inexplicable, and the consequences are terrible. As terrible as that narrow-minded, hay-eating Captain Cheney’s plan to ambush Mike Milligan with the help of Ed and Peggy Blumquists. Obviously, he gets rid of Lou, the only character to feel the disaster has arrived.

Lou was, like many others, an amazing character in this season 2 of Fargo, who always knew how to keep his cool and his calm, even in the most extreme situations. But Cheney’s stupidity was, quite logically, too much for him. It arrives far too late at the scene of the massacre, time to face Bear and be close to death … Until the arrival of a flying saucer, which allows Lou to stick a bullet in the head of his enemy .

“It’s just a flying saucer, Ed!” like the point Peggy who runs away from that crime scene, for one of the best lines of the season. An astonishing arrival which could pass like an inappropriate Deus ex machina. And yet, this little plot has been particularly well constructed from the start, with some elements integrated into the episodes, like this silhouette observed by Betsy, or the mysterious symbols in Hank’s room. This saucer, if it remains surprising, fits logically into all this absurd “Coenienne” story constructed by Noah Hawley.

Mike Milligan, absent for a large part of the episode, will still have had the opportunity to show him at the end of the massacre before quickly disappearing to the sound of the sirens of approaching police. A scene full of humor after several minutes of nameless violence. With the escape of the latter, that of Ed, Peggy and Hanzee, the serious injury of Hank and Betsy who collapses in his kitchen under the horrified eyes of Molly, the final episode of season 2 of Fargo promises us another great hour of television. Is there still a lot to tell, and more deaths to be expected?

In France, the Fargo series is available on Netflix.