Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Comic book artist Joann Sfar discusses directing his first feature film, “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.” He interprets the life of 1960s singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (né Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents), beginning with his childhood years in Nazi-occupied Paris, then depicts his early years as a painter and jazz musician, and his life as a wildly popular performer, notorious bon vivant, and lover of some of the world's most glamorous women. “Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life” opens August 31 at Film Forum.


Joann Sfar

Comments [8]


Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however I'd figured I'd ask.

Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring
a blog article or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
If you're interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

Mar. 07 2013 01:12 AM
Pascal George from Bedford NY

What you all missed is that Serge Gainsbourg was a fabulous musician and poet. He was also a revolutionary in combating social norms and stereotypes. His ways may have shocked some, but he did not abuse, kill, demean anyone. And his sense of humor went way beyond provocation. Legend has it that when a whole contingent of soldiers showed up to derail a performance (I believe in Strasbourg) where he was going to sing the reggae Marseillaise, he proceeded to sing the formal version while the contingent accompanied him, standing at attention. After two verses, they fell silent, while he went on for the whole 9 verses keeping them at attention....
As for his looks, he put it very well himself: la beaute des laids, dits laids, se revelent sans delai, delai..( the beauty of the ugly, called ugly, reveals itself without delay, delay)...

Sep. 05 2011 09:15 PM
clive betters

lenny is surprized, that a surly guy could get laid so easily. don't you know, fool, that the bad boy, always wins,,,,,,,,,,sheesh,,,,,,,,,did you just fall in front of a microphone,five minutes ago ?!

Sep. 01 2011 12:27 AM
Elaine from usa

No gender issue here...
The question is what is a hero? What is your definition of hero?
Regardless of gender, a true hero is someone who rises above their challenges and overcomes the obstacles placed in their path, raising one's humanity along the way.
It can be great (running into a burning building to save a life) or it can be "small" (what if your friend is stuck at an appointment and she asks you to pick up her children? Maybe you had other plans. Maybe you just don't feel like it. But you go anyway. Aren't you a hero? You overcame your own exhaustion, inertia, desires, etc. to do a kindness for a friend.)

Isn't that what heroism is all about, rising above the animalistic self?
That's the whole point of a hero. We all have faults. The question is, how are they overcome?

Being productive or famous or gaining notoriety, does not a hero make.

Aug. 31 2011 04:42 PM

Merci, Joann Sfar. I haven't laughed out loud so much, in years.

Aug. 31 2011 03:10 PM

elaine: get a life- people are complicated,don't wrap them in cellophane. many of our "heroes", have huge faults. it seems many of the popular women/girls of today,and not a few of yesteryear,could have the same hedonistic qualities,while still being productive,and heroic people. this is just petty gender bias against men. all of a sudden,every other famous man was a woman hater,i won't use the "m" word. this is all so ridiculous. let people be people,men and women alike.

Aug. 31 2011 01:30 PM
Nancy from Brooklyn

Thank you for this interview! Can't wait to see the film.

Aug. 31 2011 01:20 PM
Elaine from usa

Quel dommage... you came from a “boring” orthodox family underscores the faliure in understanding the drama of a spiritual life.

A hero is someone who, when faced with obstacles, rises up to the occasion, overcomes them and preserves and elevates their humanity. You know, like Martin Luther King or like Natan Sharansky.

I studied in France when he was quite popular. An adulterer, alcoholic, crude, sleezy way of life, just because it involves people who are famous and gains norietity, in my bocks, isn’t a hero.

Aug. 31 2011 01:19 PM

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