Archive for Serge Gainsbourg

The Sunday Intertitle: Paris Doesn’t Exist

Posted in Comics, FILM, Painting with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2014 by dcairns

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A frame from PARIS N’EXISTE PAS (1969), Robert Benayoun’s uber-cool art flick about bohemian modern art types, one of whom starts experiencing weird instances of objects moving around the room by themselves — I was reminded of David Bowie’s Berlin period hallucinations of furniture gone walkies, and also Maupassant’s short story What Is It? in which the narrator is plagued by the discovery that ALL furniture enjoys an active life the moment our backs are turned, just like the toys in TOY STORY.

The movie — which somewhat resembles Clouzot’s kinetic art melodrama LA PRISONNIERE from the same period, only without the s&m roleplay and with Serge Gainsbourg, puffing away at a cigarette holder in an invigorating embodiment of the concept of “louche” — could have been merely trendy, with its flash-cuts of cartoon panels to create a kind of cinematic Roy Lichtenstein feel, but I think it has more on the ball than that. Also, it’s fun spotting the cartoons of Hugo Pratt, Charles Schultz et al. I doubt copyright was paid.

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It’s a good film to be watching in my ultramodern flat in Paris, loaned to me by Francoise Ickowitz, grand-daughter of Bernard Natan. Francoise has, I think inherited some of her aunt’s taste — producer Monique Natan, Bernard’s niece, was responsible for producing Alain Jessua’s comic-book murder yarn JEU DE MASSACRE (1967) and Jean Rollin’s LE FRISSON DES VAMPIRES (1971), films of bold colour and pop sensibility.

When we interviewed Francoise for NATAN at her apartment — a sensational pop art shagging palace in a penthouse towering over Paris with Bond villain aplomb — we had to carefully frame out all the amazing decor, which was utterly fabulous in a CLOCKWORK ORANGE/Warhol kind of way, but sort of inappropriate as a backdrop for a sombre discussion of her grandfather’s life and death. But it would be worth inventing a whole new film to shoot there just for the interior design and art.

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Cutthroat Highlands

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , on September 13, 2012 by dcairns

In this week’s edition of Forgotten Gialli, the genre heads north to the Scottish highlands (and what looks to be the same Italian castle location used to evoke Celtic mystery in MACISTE IN HELL. Jane Birkin, above, is tres chic, and Serge Gainsbourg is on hand to further confuse the Gaelic with the Gallic.

The film is giddy tosh SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT’S EYE, and you are invited.

Les Auteurs Sans Chemise

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , on March 20, 2009 by dcairns

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Serge Gainsbourg does his bit for equality.

Still haven’t watched any of Serge’s cinematic works, but I have one or two lined up. He might qualify for The Forgotten… I mean, everybody knows who he is, but only lately have I heard of anybody who takes him seriously as a filmmaker. The idea that in addition to his musical genius and impressive debauchery he was also an ace filmmaker is an appealing one.

And I certainly like the idea of movies with Gainsbourg scores. I think I’d like most of the films I don’t like a whole lot better if they had Gainsbourg soundtracks. Might not work for WATCHMEN, but what the hell, try it! Something’s gotta work!