I just finished watching the film Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life and WOW!, I'm already listening to his music while typing out this review. Although I had heard of him before, I'd not truly listened to his work or knew too much about him. That is about to change. Je t'aime!
Serge Gainsbourg, nee Lucien Ginsburg, was a Renaissance man: painter, actor, director, musician, songwriter and writer who began at quite an early age. Smoking, drinking, loving and admiring women were his "better" traits that really flared up when he was older. The film depicts Serge as a man who rose to the top of the music world with his catchy and passionate songs, all the while living the life of a free spirit who knew no bounds. He had many lovers/wives, including Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, and fathered several children, yet he continued to live his life without regrets until the very end. Throughout the film, Serge is "accompanied" by a figment of his imagination - his "mug", of which was the extremity of his Jewish facial features made into a human form. All throughout the film, Serge and his "mug" dallied in decadence; when Serge suffered from a coronary, his "mug" showed up at the hospital with packs of cigarettes. As the movie played, I found myself looking up his music and realizing that a lot of the French songs that I enjoyed were written/sung by him. I also learned that the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg was his daughter.
(photo taken from IMDB)
In any case, I highly recommend Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. If you enjoy French chanson/history, then you can't afford to miss this one. And, if you've already seen it, let me know and perhaps we can talk about it over croissants and cafe. Yes, I can be just that stereotypical. Oui, oui!
And now, I'd like to end this review with one of his songs - I hope you enjoy!