1899 on Netflix: the new trap on the high seas from the creators of Dark

Aneurin Barnard, Emily Beecham and Andreas Pietschmann, the cursed trio of 1899. netflix

CRITICAL – Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese tell, in this series, the journey of migrants sailing towards the new world. a fantastic and intriguing crossing during which deaths and unexplained phenomena multiply.

In a single sci-fi saga, Dark, German screenwriters Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese have established themselves as the Christopher Nolans of the small screen. In their hands, the concepts of time travel, paradoxes and alternate realities entered into a masterful dimension. Quantum physics and philosophy remain at the heart of their new proposal for Netflix between historical epic and supernatural. 1899 depicts a crossing of the Atlantic at the dawn of the XXe century, which turns into a nightmare for wealthy passengers and third-class migrants en route to New York. Their ship crosses the Prometheusghost ship empty of any survivors.

These eight dense episodes do not have the diffuse strangeness of Dark. The paranormal tumbles with a crash. aesthetics steampunkthe use of anachronistic songs like the psychedelic White Rabbit of Jefferson Airplane suggest a spring to the Matrix. Austere and theatrical because of this camera on the high seas, 1899 hooks curiosity otherwise. Through her Alice in Wonderland, aka Maura.

The British doctor (Emily Beecham, winner at Cannes) no longer knows what is real or imaginary. In its wake, it drags Daniel (Aneurin Barnard), a mute passenger who emerges from the mist, and the German commander Eyk (Andreas Pietschmann). With Maura, the latter seeks to unravel the mystery of the fog around the Prometheus, which disturbs the instruments and put his vessel at a standstill. Time is running out: deaths and hallucinations multiply on board.

oppressive odyssey

Ambitious, 1899 sometimes lacks fluidity, buried under a perpetual avalanche of twists that erase the rough edges and secrets of each of the characters. There remains a sincere and twilight humanity. As comedian Aneurin Barnard argues, 1899 is a psychological thriller that reminds us that in the event of difficulties, we must reach out to others and seek strength in unity. » The cast of the series reflects the nationalities driven into exile by the prospect of a new start in America: Chinese refugees, Portuguese priest, Polish trimmer, Danish farmers. The sets were a tower of Babel, each actor speaking his own language. On the French-speaking side, Yann Gael, Jonas Bloquet and Mathilde Ollivier are reunited. Another big challenge, mastering the virtual reality technology of the mandalorian. Everything was reconstructed (starting with the liner) in the studio using a wall of screens onto which scenery and landscapes were projected.

Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese and the troupe of 1899 netflix

“Our references are to be sought rather towards Shining and Alien that Titanic. What happens when protagonists are trapped in a place with no escape? We design puzzles that keep viewers awake. Force them to focus and forget about other screens in the house», assures Jantje Friese. As in blade runner, a bedside film by Baran Bo Odar, memory and its blind spots are the red thread of this plot. How far can we trust our senses and our mind?

No figure or scientific evocation is gratuitous. “The date 1899 embodies the passing of the baton and the telescoping between the old world of the 19e century and the new of the XXe », point out Odar and Friese. Who assure it: the key concept is revealed in episode 7. Like the last part, it was not shown to the press.

The duo is more talkative about the starting point of this oppressive odyssey, often plunged into darkness. The chance discovery of an unusual photo of a man with clothes covered in blood leaning on the railing of a boat. “What had he done?” What was he running from? »asks the duo, marked by the migration crisis. “The united Europe that we loved is disintegrating, they conclude. It made us want to show heroes from across the continent forced to help each other. »

1899 on Netflix: the new trap on the high seas from the creators of Dark