Supremes retraces the beginnings of the French group NTM, in 1988, until its first Zénith, in 1992. This is the moment when rap comes out of the ground and when France discovers a youth from the neighborhoods. For fans of the mythical group, this biopic is an opportunity to live or relive the rise of this collective before it became a duo, and the crazy energy released by its concerts. But no need to be a fan of hip-hop to appreciate this realistic and gripping dive into this era.
A long immersion work
The idea for the screenplay, co-written by Audrey Estrougo and Marcia Romano, with the collaboration of Kool Shen and JoeyStarr, the two members of the duo, germinated in the mind of the director after reading the autobiographical book of the latter, “Bad reputation”. The one who grew up in 93 wanted to pay homage to the hip-hop that NTM popularized, but also to evoke the social and political side of this story. It is his very personal vision that seduced the two rappers, who had so far refused many proposals. “The feminine point of view of her analysis, her sensitivity, that’s what I liked“, confides JoeyStarr. For nearly two years, the filmmaker explored the group’s archival images, reference books and met the protagonists of the story. “It was a long immersion work, and it took time to get my interlocutors to open up to me“, she relates.
The interpreters of the two leaders of the group, Audrey Estrougo looked for them for eight months, before setting her sights on the actors Theo Christine (Joey Starr) and Sandor Funtek (Kool Shen). They had no background in music or dancing. For a year, the duo was coached: for rap first – because they are the ones who sing in the film – then for dance, in particular by Nathanaël Beausivoir, an artist who has collaborated with NTM since adolescence, as well as the choreographer Gladys Gambie, for the scenography of the concerts and the body language. An investment witnessed JoeyStarr, consultant on the set, and who blew him away : “Audrey Estrougo decided to make them rap. They are the ones who rap all the titles. The guys were super generous. The rendering is incredible, even me, it pisses me off!”
Should we watch Suprêmes, the biopic on NTM?
This exceptional performance, viewers will be able to discover it tonight on Canal+. Because in the end, if the biases of the director Audrey Estrougo do not always hit the mark, the two young actors who play Kool Shen and JoeyStarr (Sandor Funtek and Théo Christine), energetic and sensitive, literally burst the screen.