Grab a pack of Gauloises and curl up with this bio-pic treat. Originally reviewed for DVD Snapshot.
Renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is a completely original take on one of France's greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (Cesar winner Eric Elmosnino). Starting with his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, Sfar follows him all the way to pop superstardom as he romances many of the era's most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco, Brigitte Bardot, and Jane Birkin. Employing a witty, surrealistic style and a soundtrack of the musician's greatest hits, Gainsbourg: a Heroic Life is a quintessential time capsule to '60's Paris.
Gather 'round, children, and I'll tell you of a time when smoking was chic... and few smoked better than Serge Gainsbourg. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life captures the musician and legendary lover with his ever-present cigarette and unusual worldview. Reformed smokers and drinkers should approach this with caution, but fans of music (and drector Joann Sfar's style) may jump right in.
Through a childhood during the Nazi occupation to stardom as a gravel-voiced pop poet, Gainsbourg is presented as a sophisticated Lothario even in youth. First a painter (Sfar's own illustrations are used here), he grows to be one of the world's most popular musicians, thanks to his jaunty, unusual, and frequently frankly sexual songs. (There's a sly reference to the double-entendre “Lollipop” song, while “Je t'aime... moi non plus” gets a wittily uncomfortable airing.)