Alexandre Astier’s cinema adaptation of the series broke a pre-sales record for a French film, confirming a success that has lasted for 16 years.
With 60,000 tickets sold in 24 hours from the opening of the preview seats, Kaamelott – First part, film adaptation by Alexandre Astier of the series, broke a pre-sales record for a French film, confirming a success that has lasted for 16 years. Some 130,000 spectators have reserved their seats, eager to discover a long-awaited comedy.
The feature film, in theaters Wednesday, follows on from the series Kaamelott. Alexandre Astier told in six seasons (called “books”) the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in a first humorous tone in small sketches, before taking a more tragic turn in longer formats .
“Series Kaamelott is a hybrid work made of references to medieval texts, to popular Anglo-Saxon fantasy culture as well as to French comedy and boulevard theater “, explains medievalist historian William Blanc, author of King Arthur, a contemporary myth (Libertalia, 2016). “There isn’t one version of the Arthurian myth, there are as many as there are authors.”
“A myth is made to be taken up. It’s a big wall to which guys bring bricks”, abounds with AFP Alexandre Astier, who counts among his references the cult comedy Monty Python, sacred grail (1975) or Excalibur (1981) by British director John Boorman.
Watch the movie twice
“I used what people basically know about the subject,” the screenwriter explains of the medieval myth. “I address myself to everyone”. “Alexandre Astier is one of the first (in France) to attempt this marriage between something very general public and geek culture”, shared by fans “very knowledgeable” of the series, analyzes William Blanc.
Kaamelott replaced Coffee Camera on M6 in 2005. The first season had gathered an average of 3.9 million viewers each evening, an audience “well above the channel’s averages” at the time, the M6 group told AFP.
The success has not wavered since. The episodes are shown on W9, 6ter and Paris Première (pay channel of the M6 group). Up to one million viewers on January 17 watched the episodes on W9. In total, 40 million people watched the series in 2020-2021 on the group’s free channels.
This popularity also extends to Facebook, where groups have flourished. They bring together tens of thousands of members exchanging information, interpretations and entire lines of episodes of the series.
“Little by little, I started to watch Kaamelott by dint of seeing + memes + and video montages “, explains Samuel Allart, 30-year-old salesman in Chalon-sur-Saône, who will see the film” at least twice, to support it and see all the subtleties “.
“We have big!”
“I’ve been addicted since I discovered the series in 2005,” exclaims Angélique Ciais, 49-year-old receptionist in a supermarket in Nice. “Aftershocks that kill and which we use every day in our daily life, even at work”, made it “rock”.
“Language is one of the strong comic springs in Kaamelott with the gap between an old time and a recent and very slang speech “, explains to AFP Stéphane Encel, essayist, historian by training and author of a Little crapahut in the speech of Kaamelott (Le Passeur, 2021).
“Are you talking or am I extrapolating?”, “We have a lot!”, “Pecores” and others “It’s not false”: “The fact of squeezing a line in a conversation is a mark of recognition between fans “, notes the essayist.
“It’s an extraordinary chance, it means that the slightest subtlety sown in the film will be received and understood”, affirms Alexandre Astier. Fans are waiting for the films “impatiently and a little scared because they’re afraid they won’t like it.”
“I trust him completely,” said Naïs Burle, a 25-year-old student in Toulouse. “He knows what he’s doing, it’s his work, he loves it, it can only be good!” She will go see him as of Tuesday in preview with her relatives, to whom she recently introduced the series.