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Je Taime Moi Non Plus [DVD]
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This French drama, written and directed by Serge Gainsbourg, explores a strange love triangle between Krass (Joe Dallesandro), Johnny (Jane Birkin) and Krass' homosexual lover (Hugues Quester). Gainsbourg also did the music. A young Gerard Depardieu puts in an appearance.
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Jane Birkin stars as Johnny, a tomboy truck-stop waitress, who falls in love/lust with homosexual garbage truck driver Krassky, played by Joe Dallesandro. Krassky leaves his boyfriend to pursue a relationship with Johnny, but things are more complex than they seem -- especially in the bedroom.
In Gainsbourg's hands, this very basic plot does become something very much worth seeing. The sex scenes are genuinely uncomfortable, but the two stunningly beautiful leads are perfect for this twisted love story. Not to overanalyse things, but did Gainsbourg mean for this to be a commentary on what women will go through to please a man? A love story open to interpretation.
Watch this film and make up your own mind; as a Gainsbourg fan you will definitely come away with a new appreciation for his body of work. 'Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus' is a film made to be watched with an open mind -- for non-Gainsbourg fans (and those who easily feel uncomfortable), it's probably best to give this a miss.
As for the thematics of its movie, I really loved what Judy Birkin said, that this story was like the Little Mermaid, in the sense that Johnny Jane is ready to transform herself to fall in love with Krasky, even though it is suffering to her. This was an opinion I agreed to after watching this movie, which seemed closer to a fable than a romance.
Right from the first scene, Serge shows that he has a lot of talent for visual arts. Indeed, every shot is cleverly composed and the cinematography, even though it has a lot of surrealism, reminds us of the great westerns, a genre that the director adored watching. Even the music reminds us of this genre as we hear both his songs 'La ballade de Johnny Jane' and 'Je t'aime moi non plus' turned into melancholic melodies. Why, speaking of 'La ballade de Johnny Jane', it is interesting to hear this song right after the movie, for I think it is also Gainsbourg`s message to Johnny Jane after what she's been through during the story.
As for the actors, I think they all gave incredible performances, especially Jane Birkin, who gets to show, after playing in uninspiring french comedies in the seventies, that she's an excellent actress who can do daring roles.
In the end, I think it is an excellent movie that should have had a better reception at its release. Especially when the french director François Truffaut had nothing but praises.
The thin storyline is about a gay man, Krassky, played by Joe Dallesandro, in a gay partnership, who meets a skinny, "no tits, no arse" woman (Jane Birkin), called Johnny because of her boyish looks. She falls in love with him. He responds, sort of, but can't face having "normal" sex with her. Instead, it's anal sex all the way. Johnny goes along with it because she's blinded by love. But Krassky's commitment to his gay partner is stronger than his consideration for Johnny; she's just a diversion for him, a curiosity to be explored and exploited.
I like Gainsbourg's works (well, most if it); I love Birkin; I even like some gay films, which a film-producer friend in Canada sends me. But this film left me feeling curiously bemused: why had Gainsbourg bothered? Had he wanted to spark controversy and debate? Or was he just exploiting the seamier side of life--the exploitation of women who will "do anything" for love?
So, I gave the DVD away to a Gainsbourg-fan French friend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Strangely enough, i couldn't get it to play on my DVD player which works fine. But it worked on my laptop which I connected to my tv using the HDMI cable!Published 18 months ago by Kuldeep Ghosh
Horrid ugley dog, ugly male lead, tasteless blackbird scene, violence.
Miss Birkin does look fetching sometimes. She should have bought some lubricant though. Read more
Is this set in America of France ?.
Well acted and Jane Birkin has the most wonderful expressive eyes . Read more
it was both terrible and also brilliant . I hated it and yet could not turn it off . Bizarre . Certainly worth watching once as it has a certain 70s cinema charm to it . Read morePublished on 11 July 2011 by cartoon