June 13, 2021

three “yellow vests” at war against artificial intelligence


Contemptors of systemic stupidity, painters of contemporary techno-mental misery, apostles of a vigorous anarcho-surrealism, Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, going to war against artificial intelligence, bring together three specimens from a housing estate in Hauts-de -France having trouble with said reality. They got to know each other recently, on a roundabout where they shared the yellow coat, the can of beer and their common loneliness. It creates links.

Read the interview with Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern: “Alas, there are no Grolandais in Cupertino”

Marie (Blanche Gardin) – divorced, alcoholic, depressed – is the victim of sextape blackmail by a student in business school, followed to the confines of a drunken night. Christine (Corinne Masiero), VTC driver, loudmouth and ex-addict to the series, is enraged to see the note that her clients give her to stagnate miserably and put a strain on her new career. Bertrand (Denis Podalydès), a hard-pressed locksmith with a red wig, is naive prey to the mirages of the Net, like his daughter, a victim of digital harassment on Facebook.

Musketeers on a mission

The conjunction of these three destinies gives the opportunity to list with humor the evils of a new world, our own, reclusive, atomized, infantilized, where man would have no other choice but to surrender to the machine and to the system which programs it.

The three musketeers will go to war, nothing less, against the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon). Each takes on a mission likely to solve their particular problem. While Marie takes the plane to San Francisco, demanding a “Hauts-de-France sextape” at the threshold of a hangar better kept than the Pentagon, Christine will hold account to whom it may concern the reason for her stagnation, and Bertrand, supposed to go to Ireland, flies to Reunion to declare himself to “Miranda”, whose voice has held him under his spell for months.

Read the report: In Berlin, “Clear history”, the new comedy of the duo Delépine-Kervern in the age of social networks

Hours of waiting for the answering machine, extortion of personal data, intrusion into privacy, permanent surveillance, exponential legal scams, ubiquitous proliferation of passwords, generalized rating of products and men … We know, since the invention of comedy , from Chaplin to Tati via Capra, the visceral sympathy that can get the fight incessantly lost, even when it is symbolically won, of the wretched against the powerful.

The entire work of the two-headed creature Delépine-Kervern is centered around this axis, with a marked weakness for the Dadaist gesture. Walking incessantly on the edge of satire, with the risks that it implies: making fun of the poor wretches here easily, exaggerating there the evils of a system whose benefits will be ignored. But, under the carnival transfiguration and expressive madness, a deep, vital humanism constantly emerges, which carries us away.

Clear history, film by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern (Fr., 2020, 106 min). With Blanche Gardin, Denis Podalydès, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners. Available on MyCanal until July 30.