DVD Release: Gainsbourg
A vivid interpretation of the life of one of the twentieth century’s most extraordinary artists – singer, songwriter and hellraiser Serge Gainsbourg.
Beginning with an enchanting glimpse at his early life, growing up in 1940s occupied Paris, we follow the metamorphosis of precocious Lucien Ginsburg into ‘Serge Gainsbourg’, through his successful songwriting years in the 1960s, until his death in 1991.
Tracing not only the major steps in his musical trajectory, from obscure pianist to cabaret artiste to major pop cultural phenomenon, Gainsbourg also explores lesser known dimensions of his colourful persona: his Russian/Jewish roots and his aspirations as a painter.
Gainsbourg encompasses the seminal moments of his career and glamorous notoriety, including the recording of ‘les Seccettes’: a thinly veiled paean to the joys of oral sex with 18-year-old France Gall; his infamous reggae rendition of ‘la marseilleise’; and, of course, the saga of his greatest love song – ‘Je t’aime moi non plus’.
Gainsbourg also takes us through his relationships with the great women of his life: Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta, Born In 68), and his wife and muse Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon, Spiderman 3).
Written and directed by acclaimed comic-book Artist Joann Sfar, adapted from his own graphic novel, the story is injected with a bold poetic dimension through the use of animation, used to vividly depict Serge’s alter-egos and tempter, including La Gueule (Doug Jones, Pan’s Labyrinth), a lanky, long-nosed, snake-fingered puppet figure, an artefact of his early experiences of anti-Semitism in wartime Paris.
Gainsbourg is a stunning combination of realist narrative and poetic animation, ‘Un conte’ or fairytale that becomes both a touching biopic and inspired musical.
Release date: 10th January 2011
Running time: 122 mins
Director: Joann Sfar
Starring: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis
Format: DVD & Blu-ray
• Behind the scenes
• Cinemoi exclusive interview with Joann Sfar and Eric Elmosnino
• Interview with director Joann Sfar
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