Fascinating, fearless, fiercely committed actresses, Jane Birkin and her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg have been at the vanguard of international cinema for over five decades. Bursting onto the scene with a much-talked-about cameo in Michelangelo Antonioni’s seminal Blow-Up, the British-born Birkin went on to become an icon of cool through her association with legendary chanteur Serge Gainsbourg and one of France’s most in-demand actresses, conveying a soulful vulnerability in her collaborations with directors like Jacques Rivette, Agnès Varda, and Jacques Doillon. Like her mother, Charlotte Gainsbourg has built her career on adventurous roles for visionary auteurs, crafting a beguiling screen presence defined by an innate intelligence and a raw emotional intensity. Taken together, their body of work is an astonishing, often provocative, and always bold survey of the last half-century of European cinema.
Additionally, on display in the Film Society’s Furman Gallery throughout the retrospective will be “Actresses by Kate Barry,” an exhibition of photographs by the late Kate Barry—daughter of Jane, half-sister of Charlotte and formidable artist in her own right—presented in collaboration with the Institut Français.
Acknowledgments:Institut Français; Cultural Services of the French Embassy, New York; Kristy Matheson, Australian Centre for the Moving Image; Leslie Ricci; Olivier Gluzman
Retrospective organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan; exhibition organized by Florence Almozini and Rufus de Rham.
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SERGE GAINSBOURG: HE’S NOT THE MESSIAH. HE’S A VERY, NAUGHTY BOY!
posted on 21st September 2016
He seemed to be absolutely soaked in sordid sex. The impression that you got from the guy was that he gloried in fetishism, kinks, blatant sexual innuendo and the open discussion and display of the same with a series of frankly gorgeous women who hung off the arm of this dishevelled, scruffily stylish, obviously charismatic, super talented tramp of a man. This is a guy who even made sexual advances toward Whitney Huston…live on TV! He was a scandalous individual. Hated and loved, both at the same time. Talented? Oh, absolutely. He sang, he wrote and arranged songs, directed and acted in film. Was a screenwriter, poet and much more. A terrible man. A wonderful man.
English actress and singer Jane Birkin beautifully shifts between breathy French and British accents. She speaks of her time with former partner Serge Gainsbourg, one of France’s most brilliant artists, with great fondness. It was a romance that unfolded in the public eye after they worked together on the 1969 film Slogan. The couple would go on to record the controversial, erotic duet “Je t’aime… moi non plus.”
Jane’s career in music and film would continue to blossom, as she worked with French cinema greats including Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda, Alain Resnais, Jacques Rivette, and Birkin’s third partner, Jacques Doillon. Daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg follows in her mother’s footsteps as an actress driven to complicated roles — and both women are now the subject of a retrospective at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center. Jane and Charlotte Forever runs through February 7.