Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life


When Joann Sfar set out to turn his graphic novel on the life of famed singer Serge Gainsbourg into a movie, he had a few wild ideas, some of which made it into the film. The structure of the story is episodic, throwing us from one significant part of his life to the next; always by his side is a tall, imaginary figure inspired by anti-Semitic posters in 1930s France that becomes an annoyance as well as an adviser. It’s a colorful, entertaining and even sexy debut for Sfar who captures some of Gainsbourg’s inner turmoil… but moves on too briskly to allow for some kind of deeper connection.

2010-France. 134 min. Color. Widescreen. Screenplay, Direction and Graphic Novel by Joann Sfar. Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman. Cast: Eric Elmosnino (Serge Gainsbourg), Lucy Gordon (Jane Birkin), Laetitia Casta (Brigitte Bardot), Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis, Mylène Jampanoï… Claude Chabrol.

Trivia: Original title: Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque). Gordon committed suicide shortly after the shoot wrapped. Charlotte Gainsbourg considered playing her father, but ultimately decided that the project would be too emotionally difficult.



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