Entertainment

For OSS 117, Nicolas Bedos transforms the communist town hall of Gennevilliers into an African palace


The third part of the adventures of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath will be released on April 14 at the cinema. In the second trailer supposed to take place in Africa, the insiders recognized the Hauts-de-Seine building inaugurated in 1978 and transformed, for the good care of our spy Franchouillard, into a palace.

On social networks, Patrice Leclerc, communist mayor of Gennevilliers north-east of Paris proudly posted the second trailer for OSS 117: Red alert in Black Africa by Nicolas Bedos with Jean Dujardin. “Aftere 3.17 p.m. for Paris by Clint Eastwood and Untouchables by Olivier Nakache and Eric Tolédano, this is the third time that Gennevilliers has served as the backdrop for a blockbuster», Welcomes the mayor. The inhabitants are very proud to attract such artists and multiply the jokes. In these difficult times, it relaxes.

In this extract from the third installment of the adventures of the spy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, which will be released on April 14 at the cinema, insiders immediately recognized the white aerial staircase typical of the 1970s design of the Town Hall. To give the illusion that we are in an African palace, the chief decorator of Nicolas Bedos covered it with a red carpet. He also brought down the exotic green plants from the municipal greenhouse which are usually in the wedding hall. Finally, he pushed the 1900 car, symbol of the city’s industrial past, out of the field, which is usually at the foot of the stairs. In this first scene, Jean Dujardin, briefcase in hand, climbs the flight of steps followed by a bellhop carrying his three suitcases. “What are you doing here?”, Jean Dujardin asks him, turning around. “I carry your suitcases, it’s my job”, the bellhop explains calmly. “What are these prejudices?”, Dujardin sighs.

For the town hall of Gennevilliers, to welcome a production as important as that ofOSS117 was quite an adventure that started in October 2019. “A lady specializing in setting spotting came to see us, she remembered the 70’s design that had marked her so much when she came to a wedding”, says Cécile Flament, director of communication for the town hall. Inaugurated in 1978, the town hall nestled in an eighteen-storey tower was designed by a collective of architects, town planners, graphic designers and plastic artists united within the collective of the Egg. Forty years later, their frescoes, works and cut false ceilings which dress the hall of the municipal council, the wedding hall and the halls of honor have remained in their original state. Come with his production designer in November 2019, Nicolas Bedos was thrilled. Its sound and light managers made sure that they could shoot night scenes during the day by obscuring the large bay windows, that the electric power was sufficient and the deal was done. A contract was signed by the production to be able to use the most emblematic places of the town hall for three weeks in December 2019. One week to set the scene, another to shoot and finally a last to take everything apart. “We organized ourselves to organize weddings and the city council elsewhere and the filming brought us a little less than 15,000 euros”, Cécile Flament details.

On screen, insiders will recognize the lounges transformed into a music hall, a luxury hotel reception and a palace bar. “The decorators have done an extraordinary job”, underlines Cécile Flament. Nicolas Bedos and Jean Dujardin may return to Gennevilliers soon. Discussions are underway for a preview of their film to take place at the legendary Jean Vigo cinema. “I hope this can be done under the current circumstances, says Patrice Leclerc. We were to have the preview of Strong, the film by Katia Lewkowicz with Melha Bedia who, like her brother Ramzy, grew up in Gennevilliers, but had to be canceled due to the Covid. ”

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