Aug 6, 2012

Nael Marandin: The Gay Tribe of Montmartre

In a series of seven novels beginning with Les allumettes suedoises (The Swedish Matches, 1969), translated as The Safety Matches), Robert Sabatier tells us of Olivier, an orphan boy in the 1930s, who forges a "kingdom" in the Paris neighborhood of Montmartre: "We become a village, we become a tribe, with participants from all over the world."

He encounters colorful characters, boys and girls, men and women, prostitutes and beggars -- the entire "human comedy," as in the novels of Zola. but his tribe consists of LouLou, Capdeverre, and Jack.

 No gay characters, but a classic boys' adventure novel homoromance with David.

In the 1996 tv miniseries, Olivier was played by 15-year old Nael Marandin, who went on to La ville dont le prince est un enfant (The City Where the Prince is a Child), released in the U.S. as The Fire that Burns (1997).  Two boarding school boys, Sevrais (Nael) and Souplier (Clement van der Bergh),  fall in love, to the consternation of the Abbot who is obsessed with Souplier.