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Gainsbourg [Vie Heroique] Review


Good
Bristling with invention, this fast and full-on biopic of French superstar Serge Gainsbourg is rather too stylish, mashing fantasy with real events to the point that we're never sure where the truth lies. But it's eye-catching filmmaking.


Lucien Ginsburg (Mottet-Klein) was born to Jewish parents (Vasilescu and Droukarova) and, after surviving the Nazi occupation, studied art and music.

It's his skill at songwriting that propels him to stardom. Now known as Serge Gainsbourg (Elmosnino), he goes through two marriages, two children and a passionate late-1960s affair with Brigitte Bardot (Casta) before falling in love with the young British actress Jane Birkin (Gordon) and then the model Bambou (Jampanoi). His increasingly manic behaviour, fuelled by alcohol, sabotages his relationships even as it adds fire to his work.


Springing from his own comic-strip about Gainsbourg, filmmaker Sfar infuses the film with Jonze/Gondry-style visual trickery. This lushly crowded movie is a riot of clever camera angles, animation, effects work and puppetry, all bringing Gainsbourg's imagination to life. Sfar creates a pointy spectre called La Gueule (Jones) who follows Gainsbourg through life, spurring him to artistic and personal excess like a demonic muse in contrast to the more angelic Bardot, Birkin and Bambou.

Continue reading: Gainsbourg [Vie Heroique] Review

Kaena: The Prophecy Review


Weak
This feature-length CGI-animated 3-D film, a first for France, is startling in its design of a vine and root enveloped world whose spaces and shapes are the stuff of ghoulish visions and eerie nightmares. The visual sensibility behind it is truly impressive, but a mucked up narrative makes for a universe of confusion.

Rebellious Kaena (voiced by Kirsten Dunst), a dynamic teen with a body that's as attention-getting as her acrobatic skill, defies the Grand Priest when she discovers that his promises to save Axis, her village, by obtaining life-sustaining sap, are based on lies and deceptions. Imploring the gods is simply not working. The shortage of the vital fluid is caused by The Queen (Anjelica Huston), a telepathic menace whose voice is a weapon of destruction. She's been hoarding the supply to use as a sacrifice to her gods in order to get them on her evil side.

Continue reading: Kaena: The Prophecy Review

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Gainsbourg [Vie Heroique] Movie Review

Gainsbourg [Vie Heroique] Movie Review

Bristling with invention, this fast and full-on biopic of French superstar Serge Gainsbourg is rather...

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