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Gainsbourg [DVD]

Eric Elmosnino , Lucy Gordon , Joann Sfar    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
Price: £8.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones
  • Directors: Joann Sfar
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Jan 2011
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003NE4V0K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,982 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

From visionary graphic artist and director Joann Sfar comes a completely original take on one of the world’s greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Serge Gainsbourg.

Gainsbourg is an enchanting glimpse at the life of a musical icon, his early years growing up as a Jewish boy in 1940s Nazi-occupied Paris, his wildly successful songwriting years and of course his now legendary romances with some of the era’s most famous women: Brigitte Bardot, Juliette Greco and Jane Birkin.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Behind the scenes, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: From visionary graphic artist and director Joann Sfar comes a completely original take on one of the world's greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Serge Gainsbourg.Gainsbourg is an enchanting glimpse at the life of a musical icon, his early years growing up as a Jewish boy in 1940s Nazi-occupied Paris, his wildly successful songwriting years and of course his now legendary romances with some of the era's most famous women: Brigitte Bardot, Juliette Greco and Jane Birkin. ...Gainsbourg (2010) ( Gainsbourg )

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaleidoscopic and colourful movie 24 Jan 2011
Fans of Serge Gainsbourg may be a little disappointed that "Gainsbourg:Vie Heroique", by Joann Sfar, offers a somewhat fragmented and kaleidoscopic picture of the great French singer and songwriter, instead of a more straight, documentary style biopic. Somewhat in the manner of the British movie, "Sex and Drugs and Rock n'Roll",(2009), where Andy Serkis recreated Ian Dury unforgettably in a series of episodes from the performer's life, Sfar presents a series of tableaux, each one of which illustrates a particular theme which the director considers significant in relation to Gainsbourg's career.

Eric Elmosnino gives a terrific performance in the name role. Other players too give outstanding performances, not only in terms of their vitality but also to an uncanny degree in looking so much like the characters Gainsbourg encountered during his life. In this regard the actors who played Bardot (Laetitia Casta), Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), and Jane Birkin (the late Lucy Gordon), were outstanding. Other characters, including Frehel, Georges Brassens, Boris Vian and Django Reinhard, also appear briefly and much trouble has been taken to find actors who greatly resemble the original figures.

The film throughout is a wonderfully colourful and witty tribute to Gainsbourg's life and times - it is visually very beautiful - but more importantly it has a tough political edge in relation to its treatment of anti-semitism, both in the France of Gainsbourg's time, and in personal terms of the singer's perception of himself. Again, fans of the singer may regret that less attention is paid to Gainsbourg's music, but maybe someone is already preparing the documentary that would complete the picture.

Altogether the film is an entertaining and vivid recreation of an era in French culture. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smokin' 25 July 2012
Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) is going to suffer in the Anglo-Saxon world from the acutely French nature of his appeal. His work over parts of five decades was wide-ranging and hard to categorise, but for most of us it is centered around "Je t'aime" delivered with lots of grunting and the reedy voice of Jane Birkin. My knowledge of French music starts to weaken with Georges Ulmer in Pigalle and is gone with Jacques Brel (assuming we can count him as French for this purpose) thereafter it is warbling songs by female singers for whom one's true interest was the photo on the record sleeve..... bonjour Francoise Hardy. Accordingly, I missed many of the musical themes the film brings in, though even I could detect a number of the sexual themes which seem to have obsessed him.

I suspect in good part the film is concerned with Gainsbourg's ability to have affairs with numerous attractive women. Here Eric Elmosnino plays him with a remarkable level of believability, and an uncanny physical likeness. Gainsbourg as intellectual (and maybe satyr) comes through from his precocious childhood (admirably played by Kacey Mottet Klein) into his less successful era as a painter and his constant belief in his own ugliness (his gueule - represented by an actor with a big-nose-big-ears headpiece). His descent into drink and his movement into other musical styles is not as fully sketched. Gainsbourg was a remarkable artist, a bit of a bastard but without the background of his other music the film left me to start exploring the man's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a film like almost no other. It tells the story of Serge Gainsbourg, one of France's most popular, and controversial, musicians.

The film deals with various episodes in his life, from growing up as a Jew in Nazi occupied France, through his noted affairs, his fist steps in the world of music, the creation of `J'Taime', his relationship with his parents, wives and children, and the controversy surrounding his recording fo the French national anthem.

So far so run of the mill biographical picture. But there is something that sets this film apart, and that is the slightly surreal air. Gainsbourg is haunted by various animated characters, notably Professor Flipus, a sublimation of his own sub-conscience and baser desires. These animations have a charm all of their own, and serve to really push the story and explore Gainsbourg's motivations.

I have to confess that after watching the film, I had a better understanding of the man, but I didn't warm to him much and had a feeling of slight distaste for him. His music, while not always to my taste, is very good and it is easy to see why he became such an icon in France.

This is a very charming film that presents the life of this essentially unlikeable man in a way that keeps the viewer engaged. It is quirky, funny in places, moving in others. It is quite unique. Four stars.

The film is in French with English subtitles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A prique 5 Dec 2013
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Whilst those who inhabit a vanilla world, a place Serge would have thrown up over, want a straight bio pic, the Director has taken the elan of Serge to recreate him within this masterpiece, because this is a piece of electric celluloid, faithful to the man.

Haunted by his ugliness and Jewishness, handed to him at a time when France willingly surrendered its populace to feed the National Socialist war machine, Serge rises on a current of surrealistic fervor. Haunted by his dead brother, similar to Elvis, he broadcast his internal dialogue to him, much to the surprise of those who evolved around him.

Viewing himself as a painter he sought an expression of his carnal desires rising to the surface at a young age. His air of adult noir enabled him to mix beyond his categorised racial stereotype to transcend. Serge was all about transcendence. Operating as a guiding spirit from an early he began to translate his thoughts into the world and then awaited the reaction.

As such he scandalised the nation a number of times; Je t'aime, a reggae version of the Marsellaise, Lemon Incest as he took a wry stance upon the world viewed from an existential crisis. Serge documented the philosophical fears of the ordinary man within his takes upon the world turning around outside is brain.

Then there were the love affairs, the ugly man, was somehow steeped in charisma that the worlds beauties would fall at his feet, primarily because they connected to his spirit, the rebellious, sensuality which freed women as much as men from the bondage or prurient Catholicism which seeps within the middlebrow view of cultural supremacy. Serge had his revenge as he took it all apart piece by piece with his observations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars UTTER RUBBISH
Published 9 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a smartarse
Admittedly I was a bit squiffy when I watched this but even so 'old Serge' came across as a bit up himself in all honesty.

All in very good quality high def though. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Norbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
What a gem of a movie, even if you aren't familiar with his work, Serge was an extremely interesting and troubled character and his life story is the original rock and rock tale. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rob Dundon
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Gainsbourg..
If you like Gainsbourg, it is a buy! Actor playing him is a spitting image and extremely good. Pity there is not more of his music in the film, but what there is is excellent.
Published 18 months ago by Mr. G. J. Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film
After reading some not-so-good reviews on this film, I still thought I'd like to see it. I thought it was great, good acting and an interesting way of telling the story of a true... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Monsieur Gainsbourg!
Great to see this French title available on Amazon U.K. with English subtitles as it is not available in the United States. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by Chris DeVaas
2.0 out of 5 stars changes not expected
I had previously bought a copy of Gainsbourg. I bought this copy to give to a cohort who shares my interest in in cinema. Read more
Published on 21 Feb 2012 by David Wilder
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film, appalling DVD
A wonderful film - if you can get your hands on the full version.

The edit presented on this DVD is appalling. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by M. Grayer
3.0 out of 5 stars Deep, yet Shallow
I've watched my fair share of French films in recent years, but the oddest one yet has to be `Gainsbourg' the biographical story of Serge Gainsbourg, artist and musician. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2011 by Sam Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Gainsbourg film
Innovative account of Serge Gainsbourg's life and work, including his relationship with the woman who inspired THAT song ('Je t'aime...). Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2011 by Samadhini
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