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Gainsbourg [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Taking the best from LA VIE EN ROSE and AMÉLIE, 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 Jewish singer-songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents, Sfar follows him from his precocious childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, to his beginnings as small time jazz musician and finally pop superstar. Along the way he romances many of the era s most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). Employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that includes many of the musician s greatest hits, GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE is a quintessential time capsule to 60 s Paris.


"An entertaining, offbeat biopic." --Vogue

"Eric Elmosnino is brilliantly right." --Film Journal

"Made with such dreamlike style, comic assurance and gitane-saturated sexiness that you may leave the theater wanting to drink and smoke yourself into oblivion, raise hell and indulge in epic sex for days on end." --Playboy

Special Features

-  2-disc collector's set
- "Joann Sfar (Drawings)" - a documentary by Mathieu Amalric
-  Original storyboards and character sketches by Joann Sfar
- "The Making of Gainsbourg"
-  Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Sara Forestier
  • Directors: Joann Sfar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006W4KRUG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Comics Artist Joann Sfar has made a successful foray into Film Directing, with Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010) This film biography of French Musician and Artist Serge Gainsbourg draws on Sfar's abilities as a comic book artist through its extensive use of fantasy artwork, animation and puppetry. Sfar wrote the screenplay based on his graphic novel. Sfar is a self-confessed Gainsbourg fanatic, and it is easy to see why: they both share an affinity for drawing and painting, and both are French, but with Jewish heritage.

Gainsbourg grew up during the Nazi occupation of Paris, and that is where this film bio begins. Lucien Ginsburg is a most precocious young student at Art School, who also has a talent for music. His father makes his living as a bar room pianist. Lucien, played by Kacey Mottet Klein, has a very active imagination, and his imaginary friend takes on a life of his own, depicted as an egg like head that grows and grows until it explodes, leaving a tall ladies man who doesn't let his long nose or strange looks get in the way of his conquests. Sfar uses his own artistic talent to depict Gainsbourg's alter ego as a Sesame Street Muppet-like puppet--he looks a lot like Count von Count, the vampire who was obsessed with counting. This seems like an odd mix for a film about a decadent French Rock Star that is not for children, but it works because it really gives an insight into the interior world of Serge. It is his alter ego who gives the shy young man confidence and career advice, such as to go all out in playing guitar like the two fingered gypsy Django Reinhardt, and to ditch his art in favor of pop music.

Eric Elmosnino plays Gainsbourg as a young man onwards, and he was a real find for director Sfar.
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Format: DVD
"Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" (2010 release; France; 130 min.) was in US movie theatres last Summer. It brings a non-traditional retelling of the "heroic" life of Serge Gainsbourg, France's original but talented "bad boy" singer/songwriter/performer. Why non-traditional? For one because the movie jumps back-and-forth between various phases of Gainsbourg's life. For another because the director brings an imaginary animated character into the movie ("good" vs. "bad" Gainsbourg), Don't let that stop you from watching this movie. I just went with the flow, and really enjoyed this a lot. It was pure eye and ear candy to see how songs like "La Javanaise", "Requiem Pour Un C..", "Bonnie and Clyde" (duet with Brigitte Bardot) and of course "Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus" (duet with Jane Birkin) came about.

The acting is nothing short of amazing thoughout the movie. Éric Elmosnino as Serge Gainsbourg looks like a reincarnated Gainsbourg, and in fact he did all the singing in this movie himself (he rightfully won an French Oscar-equivalent for Best Actor for this role). But also worth mentioning are Lucy Gordon as Jane Birkin, and Lætitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot (sadly, Lucy Gordon committed suicide shortly after fliming of this movie wrapped).

I am a life-long fan of Serge Gainsbourg, having grown up in Belgium. Having see this movie last summer, it ignited a Gainsbourg "re-appreciation" period for me, as I relistened to several of his albums, and I even got to see Jane Birkin live in concert for the first time ever in December of last year. All that aside, if you are a fan of Gainsbourg, you cannot go wrong with this movie. But even if you're not super into Gainsbourg, I will venture that you can enjoy this movie for what it is: a celebration of a unique talent in France's performing history. "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Format: Blu-ray
Serge Gainsbourg was born Lucien Ginsburg (Kacey Mottet Klein) and grew up in Nazi occupied Paris. Lucien was smallish boy interested in art, especially graphic stories. He and his parents escape Jewish extradition but return after the war. Lucien, following his father's footsteps becomes a piano player in various nightclubs. His manager suggests the name change to Serge (more masculine) and a less identifying spelling of his surname.

Now brilliantly played by Eric Elmosnino, Serge has a compelling charm that manages to seduce the most unlikely women. With some historical accuracy, Gainsbourg has numerous affairs including one with rising starlet Brigitte Bardot (a spot on Laetitia Casta). He suffers through a couple marriages before eventually marrying British model and actress Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). That union produced French singer and actress Charlotte Gainsbourg.

The film features a couple characters created in Serge's mind including an alter ego known as La Gueule (Doug Jones), a giant, exaggerated version of himself with huge ears and proboscis. Gainsbourg is clearly an interesting character and a train-wreck in the making. He gets caught up in his fame and fondness for the ladies, all fueled by excessive alcohol. The film features non-stop smoking by just about everybody in the movie including a gaggle of pre-teen boys and girls. Be forewarned if this is a problem. Director Joann Sfar adapted the screenplay from his graphic novel and he is clearly a big fan. The film is sometimes erotic, sometimes irreverent but always interesting. Like other filmmakers, Sfar has a hard time stopping as the movie clocks in at 2 hrs. 16 minutes. Recommended.
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Gainsbourg [Blu-ray]
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