Gainsbourg's smoky voice selling perfume in France

A good article:

PARIS (Reuters) - The work of Serge Gainsbourg, the
large-nosed, Gitanes-smoking French icon whose jazzy, bohemian
songs exemplified a sexually liberated France of the 1960s and
1970s, is enjoying a resurgence in the most unlikely of places --
perfume ads.

Two upscale brands, Christian Dior and Guerlain, both controlled
by luxury giant LVMH, have chosen Gainsbourg's rasping voice for
television ad campaigns currently running on French TV for the
perfumes Miss Dior and Shalimar.

The artist who half-spoke, half-sang his songs and died in 1991
is beloved in France. Despite what he himself called his ugly face,
Gainsbourg had a long string of lovers, including Brigitte
Bardot
, and brought a sexually charged energy to his music
that is now being seized on by advertisers.

In the ad for Shalimar, a brand that first debuted in the 1920s,
naked model Natalia Vodianova writhes on an unmade bed as the
catchy piano riff of Gainsbourg's "The Initials BB" plays.

Gainsbourg's most suggestive and once-censored song, "Je
t'aime...Moi Non Plus," (I love you ... me neither') which he
recorded with then-lover Jane Birkin is the soundtrack
to a Miss Dior perfume ad shot by director Sofia Coppola and
starring Oscar winner Natalie Portman.

As Birkin's breathy voice catches in an apparent sexual climax,
Portman lounges in a lavish, sun-filled Paris apartment,
occasionally sniffing pink roses or gazing longingly at her
tuxedo-clad lover.

Gainsbourg's status as an icon of "chanson" -- that decidedly
French genre of lyric-based poems sung by such greats as Edith Piaf
and Jacques Brel -- makes him an attractive target for advertisers,
argues David Looseley, emeritus professor of contemporary French
culture at the University of Leeds.

"These people, once they're dead, they're immediately acquired
for their nostalgic element which gives the product not just the
image of contemporary sexiness but an extra allure of the past,"
Looseley said.

The consumer products, he said, are then colored with a
"slightly sepia edge," a retro quality that "slightly distances the
sexuality... makes it a bit more palatable."

Gainsbourg's popularity has never really faded -- his grave in
Paris's Montparnasse cemetery still attracts fans who leave
flowers, cigarettes and Metro stubs for their idol -- but a recent
upsurge in interest has kept his name in front of fans.

"Gainsbourg, The Man Who Loved Women," a documentary released
last year, chronicled 30 years of the provocateur's relationships
with a host of personal and professional muses from Birkin and
Bardot to Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Hardy and Vanessa
Paradis.

A film about the singer's life, "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life"
reaped France's prestigious Cesar awards earlier this year for lead
actor Eric Elmosnino and director Joann Sfar.

Meanwhile, the actress-singer daughter of Gainsbourg and Birkin,
Charlotte Gainsbourg, has kept alive the name of her father, with
whom she first sang as a teen on his recording, Lemon
Incest
.

And like her father, the younger Gainsbourg is now linked to the
heady world of fragrance -- as the face of Balenciaga perfume.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

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Gainsbourg's smoky voice selling perfume in France

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Gainsbourg – His Women

A good article:

Thursday, June 23, 2011 Gainsbourg – His Women Gainsbourg - Vie Heroique It’s an unconventional biographic adaptation of an artist who becomes famously known for his erotic songs in a time when modern French World of the Sixties was conquering everyone with its freedom of self expression. Serge Gainsbourg grow up in a wealthy environment. He didn’t like the piano when he was young. He then painted. He becomes involved in the music again, writing songs and then, finally, he sang them.

Femmes were always part of his inspiration. They included names like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. But no matter the women he had it never changed who he was. Intriguing (unimportant though!) subject about this story is the ugliness of this man opposed to the number of women he seduced and they were really seduced by him and they were really attractive and beautiful.

So Women in this film are relevant, their presence is necessary to the film's essence. They are exquisite, they are erotic, they are strong and vulnerable. A representation of women. The Women of Gainsbourg (In Fiction) Since his childhood conquests... Girlfriends... First Wife... Muse...(this woman's voice is something). ...until the Bombshell comes. Laetitia Casta makes one of the most turned on entrances ever. Her entire sequence in the film is precious. Certainly it wasn’t easy for her to play The Bomb, Brigitte Bardot but turned out to be one hell of a portrait. Especially when she says “Do we have croissants?” Obviously in French but I don’t how to write it. That was really Bardot of her! There is no one quite like her...but still. Lucie Gordon played Jane Birkin. She carried a dramatic and absorving performance; extremely professional and concentrated, always trying to portrait Jane’s authenticity. It’s sad she’s gone. Last but not least, his third wife...Aren't they countless? Posted by Rachelle

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Gainsbourg – His Women

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