Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gainsbourg, Geldof and Gitanes

Finally got around to watching Joann Sfar's Gainsborg biopic, released last year. Never been a big fan of the French songwriter but this was very engaging. Sfarr is a well-known comic book artist but this was his first film and he brings a very visual, not to say surreal, take on what could otherwise have been a straightforward film dominated by the music.

The film is a homage to wine, women (Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin etc) and song, but most of all smoking. There is not a moment in its 130 minutes when Gainsbourg is without a Gitanes - even as a child. It tails off at the end as he descends into a perpetual drunken, self-destructive stupor, looking more and more like a cross-between Bob Geldof and Shane MacGowan, and simply fizzles out in the 80s (he died in 1991). Hadn't realised that Je t'aime... Moi non Plus was written for Bardot, although it was Birkin of course who ended up being the other half of the duet.

1 comment:

  1. Original Je T'aime was recorded as duet with BB and is in some ways superior to the 69 worldwide smash with JB. Rather than latter's cheesy bump and grind organ you get a splendiferous sting-driven thing.

    Oh and the bio pic is marvellous. can't think of a better life of the artist movie.....err.....oh, go on then, Paul Schrader's Mishima.