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Benoît Grimalt

Saison Video’s interest in series began in 2016 with the reception of the artist’s series Pragmatic Chaos by Virgile Fraisse, which was distributed in April 2017 on  Since then the following questions have been raised:  who are the other artists who have made series or who are planning to do so?  And who is referred to in their films?  Discovering Return to Genoa City, 2017, directed by Benoît Grimalt was a stroke of luck.  It was thus possible to openly broach Les Feux de l’Amour, [The Young and Restless], which is not considered to be an artist’s series, and above all to do so without being condescending or disdainful.  The director’s approach is a subtle one.  The image of the series is associated with grandmothers and the siesta moment.  So it was his own grandmother and his great-uncle whom he went to film in Nice in their living-room, which they have not left for years.  Pride of place in that living-room goes to the TV set, in front of which they have been sitting, at the appointed hour, from the very beginning of the series in 1989.  No family reunion has managed to stop that ritual.  Based on that habit, and that attachment, Benoît Grimalt shapes the family history.  He duly overlaps excerpts from the series with photographic archives filmed in VHS when he was first trying to be a director.  With Les Feux de l’Amour, [The Young and Restless] as its starting point, the film makes a touching tribute to his family, while at the same time casting a mischievous eye over its foibles.  In the same way, as a teenager, he would tickle his uncle on the point of dropping off to sleep with a feather duster.

Benoît Grimalt

Retour à Genoa City, 2017, 29 mn

 production Entre2prises

Mémé and his brother Tonton Thomas have been watching Les Feux de L’Amour [The Young and Restless] every day at the same time since 1989.  Twenty years after I left Nice, I go back and see them so that they can fill me in about the 3,827 episodes that I’ve missed.  BG

An interview with the artist is available here.

Extracts from the shooting log  

Nice, September 27th 2016

The shot of the boat was delayed above all because of the light and the heat, and the departure times of the boats which do not tally with times when the light is ideal.  I incidentally prefer filming in winter (you can see the control monitor better).  So think about writing a winter film. 

Shit, it’s starting to rain.  I take shelter in the “Café du Port”.  I hesitated over the “Café Tip Top”, but because I’m in the port, I chose the “Café du Port”.  I’m in a good place, I’ve got a view of the boats arriving.  It’s a pity there are cars driving all the time, otherwise you might be able to hear the water lapping. 


“I set up the tripod and the camera.  Once again, a weird guy comes and asks me what I’m shooting:  “A film about my grandmother…”.

- “Did she have property here?”

Weird guys ask strange questions.


There!  The boat is leaving the port, it is coming into the shot, I put on my blue sweater, in my turn I enter the field, and we have the shot.  Cut!

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