Wednesday, 8 September 2010


The man himself.
This very stylish good-looking film directed and written by comic strip designer Joann Sfar, Gainsbourg (2010) is a beautifully eccentric and imaginative film about the eccentric and imaginative French singer songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Sfar admitted that his movie is not a totally accurate portrayal, describing it as a Russian fable. Its about the life of the chain smoking, heavy drinking artist, growing up in 1940’s German occupied Paris, through his successful international singing and song writing years in the sixties to his death in 1991 at the age of 62, the man that helped make Gitanes cool.

Highlighting his very Jewish background, Gainsbourg always seemed to think of himself as a child with two images continuing to haunt him, a grotesque Humpty Dumpty figure and a beak-nosed caricature that becomes his aggressive alter ego. A man that finds his reflection so unflattering that he refused to have mirrors in his home and yet has love affairs with some of the worlds most desirable women including Brigitte Bardot for whom he wrote the ‘scandalous’ Je T’aime. Marrying Jane Birkin, 19 years his junior, who giving him a daughter, Charlotte, with whom he sung a duet, Lemon Incest, when she was 13 years old, very strange! (Check out the video on You Tube) His astonishing range of musical styles, which included the infamous reggae version of Marseillaise, was fairly unique in the music business and like Bob Dylan, was also a poet.

Eric Elmosnino as Gainsbourg
Laetitia Casta is fantastic as Brigitte Bardot, complete with thigh-high boots and dog on leach, down boy! Eric Elmosnino, like Casta, bears an uncanny resemblance to the character he plays. British actress Lucy Gordon plays Birkin who sadly hung herself in her Paris flat before the film was released. From the creative opening credits 38 year-old Sfar’s debut film is an immensely enjoyable experience, similar in feel to recent British biopics like Sex & Drugs & Rock n Roll (2010), Nowhere Boy (2009) and Control (2007)

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