sexuality without taboos at the Series Mania Festival

Identity. tender meat, this is the story of Sasha (Angèle Metzger, with her face in the middle), a teenager with a special fate: she is neither quite a girl nor a boy. The suffering that lives in her will force her to go and meet herself. Jerico TV

The series explores our intimacy and tells us. On the occasion of the festival dedicated to those in Lille, focus on three very contemporary gold nuggets, where we approach sex with great freedom. Followed by an insight by essayist Iris Brey.

From the chaste loves of the series Dawson to the female masturbation scenes of Sex education , sexuality has gradually penetrated the series until it has become the central theme of certain programs. But who were the first to dare? The uprising began in 1998 when Carrie Bradshaw and her gang set in Sex and the City to confide in their love, intimate, but also (and above all) sexual life. Before them, the heroines of the mainstream series did not address the issue of female pleasure and even less of their fantasies. Then we had to wait a short decade and the arrival of talented and naughty screenwriters, like Lena Dunham (Girls), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (flea bag) or more recently Michaela Coel (I can destroy you), to see stories displayed on the screen that differed from heteronormative models. In the full launch of its new edition, the Series Mania festival in Lille proves that the trend has not run out of steam. Released, consensual or sudden relationships … the theme of sexuality is mentioned in new French or foreign series that already promise to break through.

black butterflies, sexuality as a final judgment

Perversity. In the heart of black butterflies, the dark and passionate story of a couple serial killer (played by Axel Granberger and Alyzée Costes) in 1970s France. Nicolas Roucou

Adrien (Nicolas Duvauchelle), tormented author of a first bestselling novel, struggles to create the second. While waiting to find inspiration, he writes about the life of a stranger and thus meets an old man, Albert Desiderio (Niels Arestrup), who hires him to tell him his biggest love story: Solange. But Albert’s story turns out to be confessions from a couple serial killer united in life and death in 1970s France. Their macabre practice at the time? During the holidays, the young woman attracted seducers under her husband’s complicit eye, and the duo left their prey alive or not, depending on his behavior. Between fascination and repulsion, Adrien realizes that these memories have everything to create a good novel, but also understands that Albert did not choose him at random, and that he also has a role to play in this story … of a cast of choice , this thriller sprinkled with flashbacks that play with the images of giallo Italian from the 1970s reveals itself as breathless as it is aesthetic.

black butterflies, by Olivier Abbou, in French competition, soon at Arte.

In the video, the series Funteaser

tender meat, intersex sexuality

Sasha Dalca is new to high school. Two weeks ago, Sasha was a boy. She is born intersex and rejects her body and will at all costs hide her secret in her new life. But soon 18, Sasha is considering having surgery. Surrounded by a little sister that she is very close to and overwhelmed parents who try to reason with her so as not to rush things (very fair Daphné Bürki and Grégoire Colin), Sasha (Angèle Metzger) has a few weeks to find out , who she is. Between the problems of average teenagers and the problems experienced by the central character, tender meat proves that France knows how to be daring in its fictions.

tender meat, by Yaël Langmann and Jérémy Mainguy, in French competition, on francetv slash.

spreadsheets, sexuality managed on excel spreadsheets

Freedom. IN spreadsheets, Katherine Parkinson plays Lauren, a lawyer with a liberated sex life. Northern Pictures Pty Ltd and Screen Australia 2021

Newly divorced, Lauren, mother of two little girls and much in demand lawyer, will try – a priori – the impossible: to combine sexual freedom, career, family and mental balance. Since she has neither the time nor the patience to live a romantic relationship, she begins to look for casual relationships. Together with her sidekick Alex (Rowan Witt), she therefore develops “Spreadsheet”, a database of sexual and personal opportunities to ensure a good handling of the subject in the middle of her chaotic life. But as Lauren embarks on what she believes is a sexual revolution, she finds she has to deal with even more complications. Free, fun and wildly endearing, Lauren (excellent Katherine Parkinson) stands out as the new modern and uninhibited heroine.

spreadsheets, by Darren Ashton and Sian Davies, in comedy competition, on Paramount +.
Series Mania Festival, from 18 to 25 March in Lille. seriesmania.com

Series Mania, the best of international series

“Chains must take risks”

The analysis of Iris Brey, journalist and author of the essay and documentary Sex and the series.

“I perceived a turning point in the 2010s because, for the first time in American series, we showed sexualities (especially female ones) that did not necessarily go well. Sex then became a place of experimentation, of construction. It was also at this point that female showrunners and screenwriters took over and started telling things we had not seen before. Series like Girls, Fleabag, I Love Dick and Transparent showed that sexuality was constructed, developed, and that it was permeated by cultural and social references, but also by personal and family backgrounds … With these programs, we saw that the topic of sexuality was complex and that was what did it interesting and enjoyable. France is still very late on this side. Even contemporary, our series have results that are still largely based on traditional patterns. The channels will have to take a little more risk and accept stories that do not all tell the same sentimental, family, romantic and sexual model. I would like to see sex scenes that question the idea of ​​consent but also observe different bodies, different positions and scenes that are not focused around the male orgasm.

Listen: the editorial podcast

My viewing advice? And just like that … restart of Sex and the City, which reveals daring lesbian sex scenes, but also Normal people , a great series on the construction of desire and how consent can be eroticized. Fun, the new series by Fanny Herrero (creator of Ten percent) presented at Series Mania is likely to become a landmark because it shows several very contemporary sex scenes in what it tells about relationships and female pleasure. A first in France.

Iris Brey holds a conference with Ovidie, author and director of the animated documentary series Available! on March 24 at Series Mania. The test Sex and the series was published by Éditions Libellus.

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