There’s a new biopic on the life of Serge Gainsbourg soon to be released called Gainsbourg, vie héroïque. I’m not that bothered about biopics. They seem so constrained, lacking and rarely give any insight into the musician. They’re stock pieces of film making, lacking in imagination. But for some reason I’m quite excited about this one. After all, it is Serge Gainsbourg. If there was ever a man you could make an interesting film about then surely it’s him.
Serge Gainsbourg redefined the chanson for the 20th century. A dillente who always seemed to confound peoples expectations. A provocateur. His music is still the reserve of music geeks outside of France, his infamy amongst the rest remember for the 60s porno-lite, Je Taime. Other greatest infamy hits include telling Whitney Houston he would like to fuck her whilst they both appeared on a TV show. Also, the song Lemon Incest, sung with his daughter – caused a few ripples of outrage. In his later years he did seem to become just a drunk which people were all to willing to get on stage to see what he would say.
One can only hope that the film shows his charisma. What’s reported in sound bites can never do justice to such a creative person. He had talent, sex appeal and an energy that shows many modern wannabes, and there’s many of them, up for the boorish opportunists that they really are. However, maybe he was just an arse who happened to have an awful lot of talent and managed to date Bridget Bardot and Jane Birkin. I hope not.
Gainsbourg, vie héroïque is releases in the uk on 30 September 2010