Serie. Subutex on TV, it’s good dope! Matthieu Sibony, who supervised the show’s music tells us more about the universe he created. Interview.
Text and interview by Caroline Veunac
Reading time 3 min.
Adapted from Virginie Despentes’ best-seller, Vernon Subutex is the story of a record dealer who closed his shop, who is homeless, squats from a flat to another and recalls his former friends, resigned or sellout, of the memory of their past freedom. It’s a chronicle of a counter-culture absorbed by ultra-liberalism and directed by Cathy Verney (see our video interview) in 9 episodes of 30 minutes that correspond to the two first volumes of this balzacian and pop saga.
punk rock treasures
of the 90’s
and current electro tracks
Vernon Subutex has Romain Duris’ face. As if the character of Tomazi in Le Péril Jeune had been surviving into the streets of the east of Paris. But Duris is not only carrying ghosts: playing Subutex with an astonishing conviction, he also delivers one of his most incredible performances.
As in the novel, music is an important part of the show and structures it. It is both a shelter for Vernon, trying to extract himself from a world that became inhospitable for a guy like him, and a connection with the others. A headset to cross the street alone, an earpiece lent under a bus shelter to move a stranger, a few vinyls in order to have people dance during a party… Beautifully selected and dosed out by musical supervisor Matthieu Sibony, combining punck rock treasures of the 90’s and current electro tracks, pop songs and folk classics, Vernon Subutex’s soundtrack combines punk rock treasures of the 90’s (amazing Abdul and Cleopatra by Jonathan Richman) with more recent electro like Poni Hoax, as well as pop titles like Cambodia by Kim Wilde with folk classics like the great Something on your mind by Karen Dalton. This sountrack explains, as Sibony says, why Vernon Subutex is neither an icon nor a dinosaur. Freely inspired from the book, this joyous playlist summarizes the success of the show as a whole: playing on a form of nostalgia without ever being locked into.