Pop Redemption: Death metal and the 'turning-thirty crisis'

Portuguese immigration, hypochondria, city life, the joy of childhood... The nine films featured in Walk this Way’s French Comedies collection contain themes that are as diverse as their situations are comical. A mixture of a film about friendship, a road-movie, a rustic comedy and a musical torn between thrash metal and flowery pop, with a big nod to the Beatles, Pop Redemption, the first feature film by Martin Le Gall, by no means deviates from this rule.

Written by Mark Eacersall, Alexandre Astier and Le Gall, the story revolves around four childhood friends: Alex, JP, Pascal and Erik are the Dead MaKabés (The Dead Bodies), who perform a few concerts at festivals in Europe's back of beyond every summer. This year, Hellfest (one of Europe's most important heavy-metal festivals, and the first in France) calls them up at the last minute, following a cancellation. However, their lifelong dream is at risk of becoming a nightmare: three of the four friends, in the middle of a 'turning thirty' crisis, prefer to spend time with their wives and children than with this fading rock band. What's more, following the accidental death of a night-club manager, the four friends will have to keep a low profile... and pass themselves off as members of a psychedelic pop band, the genre of music they detest, in an unlikely strawberry festival in the South-West of France... Could they be on their way to redemption through pop?

In casting the movie, the director has brought together the original singer Julien Doré, winner of the televised singing competition The New Star (see his winning performance here), Grégory Gadebois (winner of the César Award for Most Promising Actor in 2012 for Angel and Tony), comedian Jonathan Cohen, Yacine Belhousse (TV series BrefLes Invincibles), Audrey Fleurot (Untouchables), Alexandre Astier (the writer-actor-director of the must-see French television series Kaamelott) and Delia Espinat-Dief.

The music, a key factor in Pop Redemption, is written by Franck Lebon and by the duo Steeve Petit and Karim Attoumane, of Zuul FX, one of the leading bands in the French heavy-metal scene. This duo also helped the actors to get into the character of a hellish 'metalhead'. Part of the filming took place on location at Hellfest, in front of 17,000 audience members, immediately after a performance by Guns N' Roses.

Following the French theatrical release in the summer of 2013, and screenings at the Aubagne International Film Festival in 2013 and the Alpe d'Huez International Comedy Film Festival the same year, Pop Redemption will rock no fewer than 12 countries from 1 September: Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland and Hungary.

Trailer for UK:

Trailer for Ireland:

22 September 2015, by Cineuropa