From the production of a newspaper to its sale on newsstands, an overview of different facets of the press, through 5 documentaries from yesterday and today. “Le Kiosque” by Alexandra Pianelli comes out this Wednesday on the big screen.
Alexandra Pianelli’s Kiosk (2021)
While many documentaries and reports have focused on explaining the making of a newspaper, the films rarely show their places of sale: newsstands. This is what Alexandra Pianelli’s Le Kiosque is doing, whose content and form make the film both informative and endearing.
The filmmaker, who worked in Decorative Arts, made the ingenious choice to adopt the tone of the filmed diary to tell a newspaper story. “An immersion film, where we could see through my eyes. Showing behind the scenes, the strings (of the trade, of making a film) is something that I tend to do often“, explains the filmmaker.
The Kiosque has the particularity of having been filmed over a long period. In total 10 years of work, from its conception to the realization and its assembly. Alexandra Pianelli has decided to focus on a few recurring characters, a way for her to make a statement to all these people she meets in her daily newspaper stand. In addition to this logbook, Le Kiosque includes fun and educational tablets to decipher some little-known facets of the profession.
The trailer for Le Kiosque, currently in theaters:
People of the World by Yves Jeuland (2014)
In 2014, the documentary director Yves Jeuland invited us to dive into the atmosphere of an editorial staff of a journalism institution in France, Le Monde. Les Gens du Monde, as its name suggests, takes the party to follow a small group of journalists, in action, from the editorial conference, to the field, through moments of more informal exchanges.
The documentary shows us situations (sometimes ironically funny) which journalists can find themselves confronted with: preparing for the death of a personality by writing or updating his “necro” (in this case Michel Rocard, after the announcement of a stroke), find the right tone on a sensitive investigation (about DSK) …
Lively, informative, varied, Les Gens du Monde is an excellent vision of an editorial staff at a given moment, having to face up to the vagaries of the news. The opportunity also to question the changes in the sector, with the increasingly ubiquitous role of social networks and the need to be as responsive as possible.
The Gens du Monde trailer (available on VOD / DVD)
Front page of the New York Times by Andrew Rossi (2011)
A Front page of the New York Times takes us to the heart of an institution of journalism and invites us to rub shoulders with several pens of the newspaper, with varied profiles, in terms of their age, their experience and their vision of the profession.
The documentary does not avoid the subject of changes in the sector and especially the economic difficulties, and thus more generally the crisis that the press is going through all over the world. The documentary also leaves a lot of room for the Wikileaks subject that the journalists were confronted with during the filming.
The New York Times Featured Trailer (available on VOD / DVD)
Numbers Zero by Raymond Depardon (1977)
In 1977, when one could still smoke without scruple in the offices, the documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon makes us live “a particularly difficult moment in the life of a newspaper, that of its birth”, as the film Numéros indicates. Zero in the preamble.
We see Claude Perdriel, then director of the “Nouvel Observateur”, at the launch of the now-defunct daily “Le matin de Paris”, developing the test numbers. We see the requirement of writing, the pressure to leave enough space for advertising, etc.
40 years later, (re) discovering this document is precious, to see the boiling point of this (very masculine) writing, in particular formed by François-Henri de Virieu, editor-in-chief.
For the anecdote, it took 3 years before Claude Perdriel accepted that this documentary be broadcast. We should also mention that Raymond Depardon also directed the film Reporters (1981), this time following photographers and paparazzi in action, with among other things a tasty sequence between a young Richard Gere and French photographers.
The New Guard Dogs by Gilles Balbastre and Yannick Kergoat (2012)
A committed and very critical documentary on the media system, aimed at showing the collusion that can link journalists and politicians. A film in line with the documentaries of Pierre Carles (Not seen not taken, Finally taken, End of Concession …), and the writings of Serge Halimi and Paul Nizan.
If we can regret that the floor is not given to the people targeted in the documentary, The New Watch Dogs has the merit of addressing a sensitive and controversial subject, based on numerous archives, sometimes rare.
The New Watch Dogs trailer (available on VOD / DVD):