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Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Film/Video

Image courtesy of Music Box Films
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
Exclusive Columbus engagement! Joann Sfar, 2010
Oct 7, 2011–Oct 20, 2011
“In France he is a towering cultural hero whose American equivalent is impossible to conjure: a chain-smoking, alcohol-fueled singer-songwriter with the musical importance of Bob Dylan, the literary reach of Leonard Cohen, a chain of romantic conquests to rival Warren Beatty’s and the smutty, provocative persona of Howard Stern.”—The New York Times

“[An] imaginatively directed, entertaining biopic with a strong script, a superb soundtrack, a sexy supporting cast, and a terrific central performance from Eric Elmosnino.”—View London

Drawing 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 singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). 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 of Paris in the 1960s.

Born in 1928 to Russian-Jewish parents in Paris (and with the birth name Lucien Ginsburg), Gainsbourg was profoundly affected by the Nazi occupation during his childhood. Artistically, he began as a painter and a small-time jazz pianist before rising to fame as a pop superstar. Sfar follows him through those transformations and through his romances with many of the most beautiful women of the era, including Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta), Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon), and beatnik icon Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis). Winner of two awards (Best Actor, Best First Film) at the 2011 César Awards (the French Oscars), Gainsbourg also features the late French New Wave filmmaker Claude Chabrol in a cameo as Gainsbourg’s record producer. (122 mins., digital presentation)

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