“UFO (s)”, science fiction in the retro

Marketed like a breath of lightness in the midst of a disaster, the series Aries (s) bet on the inactuality, and presents itself as a vintage object saturated with pop colors and inconsequential twists. Placardized after failing to launch his rocket, a space engineer (Melvil Poupaud) finds himself at the head of Geipan, a study group on unidentified objects that really existed within the National Center for Space Studies (Cnes ) at the end of the 1970s. He discovers to his chagrin that France firmly believes in the existence of paranormal phenomena. Written by two young graduates from the “Series” department of La Fémis, and produced by Antony Cordier (Happy Few), the series ventures on the ground of the fantastic seventies, tenderly naive seen today, when the world looked at the sky, believing to see flying saucers with each full moon. What was a visionary genre, tending towards the future, is now a genre of epoch, which the creators ofAries (s) seem to have dug from a slightly dusty shelf.

The fantasy of the characters, their passion for DIY objects evoke the imagination of Michel Gondry, less charm and obsessive reverie. Here, the energy has been put almost exclusively at the service of an irreproachable artistic direction (pie server collars, petulance of colors, perfect alignment of decor / costume / hairstyle) which unfortunately struggles to produce more than a fleeting pleasure of the eyes. References to national memories are piling up (Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Bardot, Baron Empain), completing the picture of a project above all cosmetic and citation.

The second degree, by which the series pays its tribute to our decillated time, does not allow the characters to fully exist nor the actors to believe in them more than that. Melvil Poupaud, in the rather thankless role of the rationalist who sighs in front of so many ramblings, does what he can.


Laura Tuillier

Aries (s) series ofAntony Cordier with Melvil Poupaud, Michel Vuillermoz… Twelve 30-minute episodes. Available on Canal + and MyCanal.

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