Friday, 19 April 2019


Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg pulls a thread of mystery, revenge and murder when he gets intrigued by a very peculiar spider.

The hero of French pubcaster France 2's Collection Fred Vargas is back with the outstanding Quand sort la recluse.

Created by best-selling French crime writer Fred Vargas (nom de plume of Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau), Commissaire Adamsberg is the main character of nine novels and three novellas published between 1991 and 2017. This contemplative and melancolic detective is surrounded by a colourful team comprised of the erudite Commandant Adrien Danglard, computer expert Lieutenant Froissy, Lieutenant Voisenet (an amateur ichthyologist), Lieutenant Louis Veyrenc, Brigadier Estalère, Mordent, Mercadet, Noël and the colossal "polyvalent goddess" of the brigade: Lieutenant Violette Retancourt. Let's not forget La Boule, a  big cat who lives on the photocopier.

Pars vite et reviens tard (Have Mercy on Us All, 2001), the third Commissaire Adamsberg mystery, became a Régis Wargnier movie in 2006 with José Garcia as the commissaire. In 2008, director and producer Josée Dayan (Les rois maudits, Les misérables, Le comte de Monte Cristo) launched her Collection Fred Vargas for France 2 with Sous les vents de Neptune. Author, scriptwriter and director Emmanuel Carrère penned this 2 x 90-minute adaptation of the fourth Adamsberg book (Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, 2004) starring Jean-Hughes Anglade (Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg), Jacques Spiesser (Danglard), Hélène Fillières (Camille Forestier), Myriam Boyer (Clémentine), the great Jeanne MoreauCorinne Masiero (Retancourt), etc.

Sous les vents de Neptune was followed by L'homme aux cercles bleus (The Chalk Circle Man, Adamsberg #1) and L'homme à l'envers (Seeking Whom He May Devour, Adamsberg #2) in 2009 and Un lieu incertain (An Uncertain Place, Adamsberg #6) in 2010, three 90-minute films for television. Nine years later, Jean-Hughes Anglade returns as Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg in Quand sort la recluse, based on the ninth Adamsberg mystery (This Poison Will Remain, 2017). Helmed by Josée Dayan, who co-produces through her company Passionfilms, this 2 x 90-minute TV movie written by Emmanuel Carrère was filmed between August and October 2018 in Paris, Uzès, Nimes and in Camargue.

Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg shortens his holidays in Iceland and returns to Paris as Adrien Danglard needs his help on the murder of the wife of an arrogant lawyer. But soon the attention of the commissaire is diverted by the death of three old men bitten by recluse spiders in the south of France. At the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle, Adamsberg meets Irène Royer-Ramier, a woman who knows a lot about the recluse spider. He goes into an unofficial investigation, for the highest scepticism of Danglard. Raphaël Adamsberg (1), Jean-Baptiste's own brother, holds one of the keys to this very strange case. Retancourt tells her boss that Froissy is confonted with a rather scary problem and something smells fishy in the brigade.

The cast of Quand sort la recluse, mostly composed of  regular collaborators of Josée Dayan, is impressive. Since Un lieu incertain, Corinne Masiero became the star of Capitaine Marleau (2015) for France 3. Directed and produced by Dayan, it's France's most popular TV series. Jacques Spiesser is Commissaire Magellan (2009), another hit of France 3. Aymeric Demarigny, who plays Brigadier Estalère, is known today for the character of Brière in Capitaine Marleau. Froissy is played by Sylvie Testud, Veyrenc by Jérôme Kircher and Élisabeth Depardieu brings an appropriate subtlety to Irène. Pierre Arditi (Blood of the Vine) appears as Dr. Cauvert

Also with Thierry Hancisse (of the Comédie-Française) as Voisenet, Issaka Sawadogo (Mathias), Julia Duchaussoy (Estelle),  Bernard Verley (Vessac), Christian Vadim (Maître Carvin), Jacques Bonnaffé (Dr. Malempiat), etc. Co-produced by Passionfilms and Bel Ombre Films with France Télévisions and the participation of TV5 Monde. Distributed by Europacorp. Produced by Josée Dayan and Gaspard de Chavagnac. The superb music was composed by singer and actor Benjamin Biolay, recently seen in an episode of Capitaine Marleau. Drawings by Philippe Druillet. Cinematography by Stefan Ivanov. Editing by Yves Langlois. Quand sort la recluse is a quite faithful adaptation of the Fred Vargas book and an exceptional television fiction.

(1) Played by Jean-Hughes Anglade too.

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