On CANAL+, Matthieu Longatte unveiled 8 new episodes of Narvalo. Behind the scenes, favorite episode, casting, future projects: the multitasking artist confided in this 2nd season offering an ever funnier, truer and fresher look at the suburbs.
The 2 seasons of Narvalo are available on myCANAL.
In Narvalo: Nouvelles Galères, Matthieu Longatte tells us about eight new “legends” from the suburbs. Inspired by real galleys, each episode features a new group of friends telling each other the latest crazy thing.
AlloCiné: Did you already have in mind to make a sequel to Narvalo when the first season was released?
Matthew Longatte: Not really, it wasn’t an established project at all, but I knew I had plenty of other stories that I would enjoy telling. Now that she’s here, it’s hard to make up my mind. I know there are good actors and good actresses, but it’s the public who will decide and I can’t wait to know what they think.
What more did you want to bring to this new season?
Already, I was really looking forward to being able to achieve this season with the experience of having already done one. Because clearly, I started my apprenticeship on day 1 of the shooting of season 1: we could have made a documentary on this shooting, it was so absurd that I found myself a director.
There, I felt like I had a little more distance from what I was doing. For example, I was able to see that it was important to spend more time with the characters, to settle more with them: the episodes are therefore a little longer.
As I never want to get bored when writing, I instinctively looked for new storytelling methods, different ways of telling stories between friends with more nourished, less static patterns, flashbacks…
When and how did you write the 8 new galleys of Narvalo?
I started writing the episodes in March 2021. But in reality I spend my life writing down things that have happened to me or those close to me, saying to myself “Ah but, that could make an episode so much!”
We started filming in the summer, mainly in Paris-Est, and in Marseille for the Expat episode. Besides, it’s my favorite episode… even if we are clearly in a virilistic introspection, I really like what it says about masculinity, the thirties, the Paris-Marseille rivalry…
Are all the stories true?
Everything is more or less fictionalized and diverted, but all are true and/or start from something real. There’s a lot of me in it, but they’re also anecdotes that have been told to me.
How did you come up with this new cast?
My first casting criteria is to take people you want to be friends with, and I’m really proud of that: you want to be friends with the characters in each episode. As for season 1, I found people I met during my career, especially in independent cinema in the 2010s.
Sandor Funtek, it was planned for a long time. He liked season 1 so I saved him a spot for season 2: he’s one of the most technical actors I’ve worked with. For Doum’s, I wanted it from season 1, but he couldn’t even if he had made sounds. There, it happened and I’m very happy about it. I believe in him a lot, he has a real charisma as an actor.
Otherwise, I trust my actor friends who make me meet their friends, etc. I like to listen to advice, such as that of casting directors. They introduced me to nuggets that I didn’t know, like Meledeen Yacoubi for example: a real revelation.
Each episode ends with a quote. Why ?
I’ve always loved reading, it’s something very important and I think that a quote alone can make you want to read. At the end of Bonjour Tristesse there was always a quote, so it became a form of signature: I like this idea of being able to say so many things with a minimum of words.
Then it gives an extra soul, a literary dimension to what we have just seen. For Narvalo, that concludes an episode in such a way that we can say to ourselves that we have just witnessed a form of poetry. It underlines that art is in our way of life, and that the people we have seen on screen are a bit of artists of life.
What are your inspirations for Narvalo?
As I come from guerrilla cinema with the film Donoma, I like the cinema of reality, starting from the principle that if you have a camera and an actor, you have a film, In this respect, the work of John Cassavetes is one of my main sources of inspiration. But to tell the truth, I find it difficult to watch series or films other than with the eye of a spectator.
Will we find Narvalo for a season 3?
It’s all a question of timing and it should be done quickly, but I really want to. I would very much like to conclude the series with a 3rd season before moving on to other projects, such as a feature film, or perhaps another series. What is certain is that I like to write, everything depends on my interlocutor and if this one lets me work as freely as possible.