Friday, 24 November 2017


Aired on  TF1 between 1976 and 1978, Minichronique (aka Les Minichroniques) is a 26 x 13-minute comedy/social satire series written by French comics editor and writer René Goscinny, the co-creator of Astérix, and directed by Jean-Marie Coldefy

It is available since October on French Region 2 DVD, in a restored version, thanks to L'Atelier d'images (as L'Intégrale des Minichroniques de Goscinny).

Produced by TF1 (then a public broadcaster), Minichronique/Les Minichroniques stars Jean-Claude Arnaud of the Comédie-Française as Georges Bouchard, the quintessential "average Frenchman". The episodes, independent from one another, show his everyday life in humorous and often surreal situations built around a theme: advertisement, business lunches, Murphy's Law, ridicule, anxiety, etc. Bouchard's wife Jocelyne is performed by Jocelyne Darche. Duvallon, his boss, is played by Yves Brainville and Nono Zammit plays Émile, Georges' best friend.

Familiar faces of the era, like Jacques Monod, Paul Mercey, humorist Pierre Desproges or Swiss actor/comedian Fernand Berset pop up in these little gems reminiscent of Les Dingodossiers by Marcel Gottlib and Goscinny, or even the sitcom Les Saintes chéries. Attentive viewers and movie buffs will spot the participation of the late Ronny Coutteure (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) or the presence of character actor Philippe du Janerand. TV journalist Jean-Claude Narcy and television announcer Jacqueline Huet have cameos.

Each episode is introduced by René Goscinny himself in the manner of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. He does the washing up, must wear a bib in a restaurant or darns his socks. Sadly, this true genius died in November 1977, only aged 51, before the start of the second season of Minichronique on TF1. Music composed by Gérard Calvi and arranged by Mickey Nicolas. The 4-Disc "Digibook" DVD set of L'Intégrale des Minichroniques de Goscinny contains the 26 episodes, plus an interesting 20-page booklet and an interview of Jean-Claude Arnaud. The two 13-episode seasons are on two discs each.

- Season 1 (December 1976-January 1977) 

La Fable publicitaire, Les Déjeuners d'affaires, La Méchanceté des choses, La Vie au cinéma, Le Ridicule, L'Angoisse, Les Ennemis, Les Gaffes, Crème et châtiment, Moments de gloire, Le Célibataire, Les Embarras, Les Rêves d'enfants.

- Season 2 (December 1977-January 1978)

Attachez vos ceintures, Bruits et chuchotements, La Croisière, Statistiques, Le Bricolage, Cherchez la femme, L'itinéraire, Le Bon Bol d'air, Les Petites Lâchetés, Les Touristes, Les Cauchemars, Les Mauvaises Soirées, Le Petit Cinéma.

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