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Film / Gainsbourg

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Also known as Gainsbourg (Vie Héroïque) ("heroic life" in French), Gainsbourg is a surreal 2010 biopic about Serge Gainsbourg, the French Singer-Songwriter. The man is portrayed by actor Éric Elmosnino.

It begins during his childhood in Nazi-occupied France (he was the child of Russian Jews and was eventually forced into hiding to escape The Holocaust) and follows him throughout his life.

The film is scant on specific details, so those unfamiliar with the man's work may be a little lost at times.


Tropes include:

  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Big Entrance: How Brigitte Bardot is introduced - her walking down a shadowy hall, the camera panning along her body and an instrumental of "Initials BB" playing all the while.
  • Contralto of Danger: Juliette Greco... whispering to your ear... "I like it. How do you dance 'La Javanaise'?" with a deep, husky voice.
  • Daddy's Girl: France Gall.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Brigitte Bardot, as she walks down the hall to Serge's apartment.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: Juliette Greco uses this on Serge.
  • Freudian Trio: Serge's three main affairs fit this.
    • Juliette Greco is mysterious, spiritual and distant - the Superego.
    • Brigitte Bardot is fun-loving and the most sex-driven of the three - the Id.
    • Jane Birkin is the one most emotionally attuned to Serge and is more down-to-earth than the other two - the Ego.
  • Greedy Jew: Along with other Nazi antisemitic stereotypes, the animated Jewish head at the beginning of the movie.
  • Advertisement:
  • Incoming Ham: "Se~rge!" (enter Brigitte Bardot accompanied by epic "Initials BB" instrumentation)
  • The Ingenue: France Gall as a part of her public image. She is also completely impervious to the sexual innuendoes of the song proposed by Gainsbourg.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Used during the Greco segment to contrast the sensual Juliette Greco vs. Gainsbourg's jealous wife. Bonus point for wearing respectively black and white.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Serge, once or twice, and discreetly.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Used by Laetitia Casta, playing Brigitte Bardot, as she dances to a song Gainsbourg plays.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Brigitte Bardot, of course.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Most trailers milk the fact that Brigitte Bardot is a character, even though her screen time probably doesn't reach ten minutes and her segment is relatively self-contained. They also ignore the fantasy elements of the film.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: La Gueule's presence is never acknowledged by anyone other than Serge, but it still does things like dancing with Greco, setting fire to Serge's atelier and negotiating with France Gall's father.
  • Roger Rabbit Effect: La Gueule is an animated character.