Gainsbourg  {Gainsbourg (vie heroique)}
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Gainsbourg (vie heroique)
France, 2010, 122 Minute Running Time
Topics: Biopic, Musical
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: French English Sub-Titles

For the French, self-destructive singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg was a combination of Frank Sinatra, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Jim Morrison, all rolled into one larger-than-life persona (not for nothing does the French subtitle of this biopic translate as “heroic life”). Joann Sfar adapts his own graphic novel into an appropriately over-the-top treatment of the icon’s life, from his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris through to his death in 1992 at 62.

Gainsbourg—here played by Eric Elmosnino who not only bears an uncanny resemblance to the star, but has his mannerisms down pat to an eerie degree—cut a swath through French popular culture and Sfar visualizes Gainsbourg’s journey with a series of striking set pieces and motifs, not least of which is the recurring monstrous puppet—representing Gainsbourg’s self-doubting dark side—who pops up regularly. Lucy Gordon captures the initial innocence and long-suffering patience of Gainsbourg’s grand amour Jane Birkin, while the stunning Laetitia Casta embodies Brigitte Bardot, another of Gainsbourg’s many loves.

DIRECTOR: Joann Sfar
Producer: Marc du Pontavice, Didier Lupfer
Editor: Maryline Montheiux
Screenwriter: Joann Sfar
Cinematographer: Guillaume Schiffman
Music: Olivier Daviaud
Principal Cast: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis, Mylene Jampanoi, Sara Forestier, Kacey Mottet-Klein
Filmography: Debut Feature
Print Source: Music Box Films -

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