In “Au poste!”, Benoît Poelvoorde plays a police officer who is in custody of the main murder suspect, played by Grégoire Ludig. A feature film which marks the birth of the bond between the Belgian actor and the director Quentin Dupieux, who caught on from their improbable meeting.
At office ! : custody version Dupieux
After several Californian experiences among which Rubber, Wrong Cops and Reality, Quentin Dupieux delivered with At office ! his first feature film shot in France. A project that allows him to devote himself more to dialogues and to have “a wider range“, as he explains during the promotion.
Released in 2018, the film debuts as its title specifies in a police station, or at least in a setting that greatly resembles it. While the sun has already taken leave, Commissioner Buron (Benoît Poelvoorde) is still at his desk. If his working day is long, it’s because he’s investigating a murder. And leads the interrogation of Louis Fugain (Grégoire Ludig), the main suspect.
Despite stomach cramps from his need to eat something substantial, Fugain tries to remember the events leading up to his discovery of a man bathed in his blood. Disturbed by untimely cravings and other unexpected entries in the office, the interview will last until the end of a night when the alleged murderer will do everything to convince his interlocutor of his innocence.
Anaïs Demoustier, Marc Fraize, Orelsan, Philippe Duquesne and Jacky Lambert complete the plethora of funny actors in this comedy. If he opts for a shorter duration than those of his previous feature films, Quentin Dupieux nevertheless takes pleasure in extending conversations and prolonging the absurdity of situations.
Benoît Poelvoorde, Quentin Dupieux and a horse’s head
For the slaughter of hilarious lines recited with a delightful musicality, the director can therefore count on Grégoire Ludig, whose jaded performance is a thousand miles from that of Mandibles, and on Benoît Poelvoorde. With At office !, the latter plays a policeman for the first time in his career and gives it to their heart’s content.
Upon discovering the script, the actor is immediately won over. During the promotion, he states, quoted by Allocine :
I immediately liked the scenario that I read while being constantly bent over laughing. This is one of the funniest and best written scripts I have read.
After this reading comes the meeting with Quentin Dupieux, who immediately marks the beginning of their complicity. Benoît Poelvoorde remembers:
We went for a drink and I immediately understood that I was dealing with someone very special. We were supposed to meet for an hour to get to know each other, sniff each other’s ass, and finally we spent the whole evening together.
During this meeting, the future interpreter of Commissioner Buron is provided with a rather unconventional object. It comes accompanied by a horse’s head. Passing on the plateau of C to you in June 2018, he clarified about this accessory:
The story of this horse’s head is very simple. When I had an appointment with Quentin, I walked past a joke and joke store that was closing, which was on sale. And as I was taking the taxi, I was like ‘Oh, it might not be there anymore’. There was this horse’s head. And when I introduced myself to Quentin, I didn’t put it on straight away, of course. But then we went for a drink and I carried around with this head. Then I lost her.
An anecdote and explanations that would have quite their place in a film by Quentin Dupieux.