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Director Daniel Ablin
Serge July & Antoine de Gaudemar
Image Eric Genillier
Sound Thierry Blandin, Philippe Benoist, Joël Flescher
Editing Sylvie Crépel
52 mins
HD Cam, 16/9e
Folamour – 2014
France 5

Protagonists :

  • Frédéric LAVIGNE, artistic director of the festival “SERIES MANIA”
  • Dan ATTIAS, director
  • Frédéric MARTEL, sociologist, author of “MAINSTREAM”
  • David JACOBS, , creator of “DALLAS”
  • Olivier SZULZYNGER, screenwriter, director of writing for ” PLUS BELLE LA VIE “
  • Agnieszka HOLLAND, director
  • Marjolaine BOUTET, series specialist, teacher at Femis

Culture, which was formerly exclusive to elites, is now a powerful, globalized, and massive industry. From best sellers to blockbusters, many creations are now part of the collective imagination. They have achieved cult status. The four-part documentary series “Cult” recounts the fate of four founding productions of this mass popular culture: Mario Bros. and video games, Johnny Hallyday’s first outdoor concert and the giant concerts, Andy Warhol’s Marilyn silkscreens and pop art, Dallas and television series.

In 1978, CBS broadcasts the first episode of “Dallas”. Millions of viewers in 97 countries watched 357 episodes of the series until it was discontinued in 1991. Set in the midst of an oil crisis and Reaganian liberalism, this unadorned saga featuring two great Texan families and rivals symbolizes the power of American capitalism around the world. Its style, innovations and merchandising made it a turning point in the history of television series.

These days, whether it’s the undertakers of “Six Feet Under”, the survivors of “Lost”, the cops of “The Wire” or the robots of “Real Humans”, TV shows have become the blockbusters of the small screen. They are a genre in their own right and have become the nerve centre of the audiovisual industry, attracting the best talent, the best audiences, and the biggest advertising resources. This phenomenon doesn’t only concern American series, no matter how dominant they may be. The whole world has started to produce series, in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. No sooner have they been broadcast on the small screen than they are already available online, where people can watch them anywhere, anytime of the day or night. The addiction affects all social classes and all ages. It is a worldwide wave that is shaking up traditional television, questioning even the way it is watched and threatening the supremacy of Hollywood cinema.