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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaleidoscopic and colourful movie
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...
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by Hywel James

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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. Rather than showing a story (as in the cinema version), all the linking passages have been taken out, leaving a bunch of disjointed scenes.

To add insult to injury, one of my favourite scenes from the cinema version has been ruined by the...
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by M. Grayer


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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaleidoscopic and colourful movie, 24 Jan 2011
By 
Hywel James "Hywel James" (Devon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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
By 
Charles Vasey (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Gainsbourg - A frank look at the man which explains much about him, but doesn't help you to like him, 4 Oct 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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 "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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.

The film captures all of this and more, funny, hilarious, excruciating, weird and sad - just like his songs you get spun around his world and get a glimpse into a Bohemian outsider who moved into becoming a pin to puncture french pretention.

Then within the film are the women, the ones who make his world complete, but the achilles heel of Serge was his psychological health which dipped and soared as he veered to self medication with alcohol to keep it all intact. So you are led into a magnificent world.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning bio pic, 26 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
If you only know Serge Gainsbourg from his steamy duet with Jean Birkin, then you're missing out. Gainsbourg, unlike many French singers, has what it takes to appeal to an international audience and his recording career was huge, so there's bound to be something for everyone - there's the ballads, the pop, the trippy, the soundtracks, the reggae, rap even.

This film is a good starting point for anyone interested in finding out more and exploring the work of the maverick musician. This film is excellent - it's a great watch and a beautiful piece of cinema. This is a bio pic on a par with "I'm Not There" for my money eschewing many of the conventions of Hollywood bio pics to tell the story with real style and wit.

If this film starts you off on a journey of discovering the music, you'll never regret watching it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film, appalling DVD, 30 Jan 2012
By 
M. Grayer - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful film - if you can get your hands on the full version.

The edit presented on this DVD is appalling. Rather than showing a story (as in the cinema version), all the linking passages have been taken out, leaving a bunch of disjointed scenes.

To add insult to injury, one of my favourite scenes from the cinema version has been ruined by the sound being out of sync with the picture (the music lesson with the Jewish orphans).

A great film, butchered by amateurish editing, which appears to have been done for absolutely no good reason.

Avoid.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UTTER RUBBISH, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
I FOUND THE PUPPET IRRITATING IN THE EXTREME.SERGE WOULD OF THOUGHT THE SAME. IF U WANT GAINSBOURG BY THE FRENCH 2 DVD SET D'AUTRES NOUVELLES DES ETOILES
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a smartarse, 26 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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. So, swings and roundabouts eh?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 16 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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. The film is very well shot and told from a very unique perspective, and the scene with Bridgette Bardot dancing around wearing only a sheet is worth the price alone!! Go buy it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Gainsbourg.., 24 Feb 2013
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Mr. G. J. Fisher (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gainsbourg [DVD] (DVD)
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.
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Gainsbourg [DVD]
Gainsbourg [DVD] by Joann Sfar (DVD - 2011)
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