Review of literary awards, their favorites and their scandals in the box office of culture

Welcome to the Box Office, the show’s weekly meeting point Soft Power. Every week, we look at cultural trends and the biggest hits of the moment. In partnership with the GfK research institute for books and video games and CBO Box Office for cinema.

Medici Prize for Christine Angot, Fémina Prize for Clara Dupont-Monod, scandal for Camille Laurens

The competing booksellers and publishers are awaiting the award this Wednesday of the Prix Goncourt and to a lesser extent the Prix Renaudot. The Medicis prize has already been awarded on Tuesday: Christine Angot was awarded for “Le voyage dans l’Est” (Flammarion). And the Femina award went to Clara Dupont-Monod for “To adapt” (Stock).

At this point, few award-winning writers – it’s still too early to see the effect of price on sales – or finalists are yet in our partner GFK’s 25 “Fiction” bestsellers. Nominated for Goncourt, Anne Berrest is in 17th place; nominated for the Renaudot, Amélie Nothomb is in the 23rd but she was number 1 in sales at the beginning of the fall.

We are therefore waiting for the prices.

Nothing will be simple this Wednesday for the juries of Goncourt and Renaudot after an author Camille Laurens, member of the Goncourt jury, who not only voted for her little lover François Noudelmann. But in addition, she murdered one of her main rivals, Anne Berest in her chronicle of the World of Books. How are such obvious conflicts of interest possible in France? Camille Laurens doubtless thought that this would go unnoticed, but the press spread the word: the members of the Goncourt jury, often modest writers and “friends”, Didier Decoin or Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt for example, who had closed their eyes finally been forced to crack down. The lover François Noudelmann was ejected from the selection and the days of the chronicle of Camille Laurens in The world of books are also counted. The resignation of Camille Laurens from the Goncourt jury would perhaps also be a significant gesture! At least if the writer, taken hand in the bag, had honor and ethics after what must be called the “Camille Laurens scandal”!

In a very good survey by the OBS this weekend, Didier Jacob also compares the cronyism-clan-dismissal of the Goncourt elevators to the English Booker Prize or the American Pulitzer Prize. The solution for the Goncourt would be a rotating jury that would change every year, strict rules against cheating and bonds of subordination. Each member of the jury should also declare any friendly relations with the finalists to avoid conflicts of interest and be banned from voting for books by their own publisher. These are minimum rules that should have been in place for several decades!

You will tell me, it all starts with an initial error: the Goncourts were themselves very bad writers, socialites, villains, misogynists and homophobes with that. More than a century later, we are still there.

Eric Zemmour still at the top of the best-selling essays and documents

In Non Fiction, fortunately, no misogyny, no homophobia, no wickedness as with the Goncourt brothers: Eric Zemmour remains at the top of the best sales of the week according to GFK with France has not said its last word (self-published by Rubempré but distributed by the Bolloré group). He caps at the pole The Traitor and the Void by Davet and Lhomme (at Fayard). In both cases, very to the right or very anarchist to the left, these books are mediocre and have disappointed us.

“Venom”: Let There Be Success

Great success for the new Sony Picture, Venom: Let The Be Carnage with nearly 700,000 admissions in the first week in France, according to our partner CBO Box Office. As for the eagerly awaited The French Dispatch, by Wes Anderson for Disney, it got off to a good start on Wednesday with 43,000 admissions in France. In the credits, the most famous actors follow one another: Bill Murray, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Mathieu Almaric. The cast is Franco-American, like the film, directed by Wes Anderson. And yet, it doesn’t work. Is it the eccentricity of the characters, the drunken side of the film, the mixture of genres, narratives, colors, formats – in short, the film is missed, terribly boring and disappointing. We are waiting to know the opinion of the French public with the box office next week.

“Germinal”: literature continues to fascinate the audiovisual sector

TV series (now), French series this week, with the great success of Germinal, inspired (of course) by Zola’s novel, which came first in audiences with its first two episodes broadcast Wednesday on France 2: almost 20% audience share and 4.4 million viewers. Nice score therefore for the story of a strike taking place in a coal mine in northern France despite (or because of) anachronisms and wokisms, like a black tavern keeper, criticized by some and loved by others. And above all, misery of misery, the accent “chti” which has disappeared! It must have been too frank! In any case, a success which proves that after the adaptations on the big screen of Balzac’s works Eugenie Grandet and Lost Illusions, adaptations of literary classics do attract audiences to the screens.

Also note the release of the second season of This Way Up, available since last Monday on MyCanal. This short format (6 × 23 minutes) is still worn by Irish stand-up star Aisling Bea. Season 2 pleasing since we are coming out of the depression in which the main character was plunged, but we will not say more … It’s on Canal and MyCanal!

Video games: FIFA 2022 still at the top of sales and Battlefield 2042 release postponed

On the video game side, FIFA 2022 still dominates sales, on PS4 and Switch with its hypermotion technology that makes actions hyper-realistic.

We also note the postponement of the release of the game BATTLEFIELD 2042 announced by Electronic Arts to November 19, 2021. Suspense therefore…

Music

It is Adèle who is at the top of the list this Sunday with Easy on me, his new title, released on October 15, which announces a fourth album for the end of the year.

The video, produced by filmmaker Xavier Dolan, has also been viewed 128 million times on YouTube.

Ed Sheeran’s new album, which we have already listened to, is also among the best listeners on Spotify World without forgetting a cover of Elton John remixed by Dua Lupa and the Australian electro group Pnau. Coldplay, Lil Nas X and The Weekend with Swedish House Mafia are also in the Spotify World Top 50.

And then, and then, we are obviously waiting for the new ABBA album, Trip which will be released on Friday at Capitol Music Group. It’s an event, because the group broke up forty years ago. The two legendary Swedish couples have also divorced. “We took a break in the spring of 1982 … and today, we decided to start again,” explained the ABBA in a press release. Forty years later … you have to prepare well for retirement.

Their return will not go unnoticed in any case: an album therefore, already several singles and three months of new age concerts (and especially new technologies) are planned in London in spring 2022: and guess what, the ABBAs will be present in digital avatars !

Equipped with 150 sensors, the members of ABBA agreed to shave their beards and rehearsed in helmets and in a dry suit, for their 3D modeling, can we read in the many articles published this weekend in the New York Times , the Financial Times or the JDD.

Benny Andersson, 74, and Björn Ulvaeus, 76, the two ex-bearded members of the band, have therefore returned to the studio: you will tell me, it is in the old pots that we make the best soups.

On the same subject of re-forming a group, George Harrison, had said that the Beatles would not reform until “John Lennon was dead”. It may be wiser; for you to judge, with for example Don’t shut me down, one of Abba’s new singles, in the album coming out this Friday: Trip.

This box office is from the show “Europe, GAFAM and France with Clément Beaune, Secretary of State to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in charge of European Affairs“of October 31, 2021.

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Review of literary awards, their favorites and their scandals in the box office of culture

Hank Gilbert