Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Piaf - Her Story Her Songs|
Actors: Raquel Bitton, Edith Piaf
Directors: Bernard Salzmann, George Elder
Studio: Lions Gate Home Ent. Release Date: 03/25/2008 Run time: 94 minutes Rating: Nr
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A moving concert... Raquel Bitton's ode to the legendary Edi
dooby | 07/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Raquel Bitton is a French-American jazz singer who specializes in the French repertoire and has built a reputation as one of the foremost interpreters of the music of Edith Piaf. In 2000, she held a series of concerts across North America in tribute to France's most famous songbird. This DVD is a memento of one such concert, recorded in the Elgin theatre in Toronto, and interspersed with interviews with Piaf's contemporaries, collaborators, friends and relatives, filmed in various bistros and restaurants across France and ending with a memorial visit to Piaf's final resting place at Pere-Lachaise cemetery.
The concert itself includes some of Piaf's most famous songs as well as lesser known ones, preceeded with anecdotes from Piaf's life, from her childhood amidst grinding poverty, to the heights of her success, to her untimely death at age 47, loved and mourned by millions the world over.
Many of Piaf's best songs and especially her delivery of them have always had the unfailing ability to bring tears to the eye and Bitton succeeds in no lesser measure. It is not just her voice which bears a certain similarity to Piaf but her ability to project her very soul through the music that makes her interpretations such a success. It is a moving concert and a moving film as a whole.
The songs featured in the concert are:
1. La goualante du pauvre Jean
2. J'em fous pas mal (I shouldn't care) (Second verse in English)
3. T'es beau tu sais
4. La Noel de la rue
5. Mon Legionaire
6. Enfin le Printemps
8. Le vieux piano
9. Bravo pour le clown
11. La foule (Que nadie sepa mi sufrire) (First verse in Spanish)
12. Sous le ciel de Paris
13. Autumn leaves (English version)
14. Mon Dieu
15. Hymne a l'amour (A hymn to love) (First verse in English)
16. Elle a dit
17. Non, je ne regrette rien
18. La vie en rose (English version only)
19. Les Avions sont des Oiseaux (Closing credits) (New song by Francis Lai & Michel Rivegauche)
The film does not include footage of Piaf herself except for one intriguing interview taken from French newsreels after she was suspected of murdering her manager and friend Louis Leplee. Instead it concentrates on what matters most, Piaf's music. Piaf's songs have the rare ability to capture the flavour of an era long gone while somehow remaining absolutely timeless. The songs are just as able to reduce an audience to tears today as they were more than half a century ago.
The film is presented in its original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen (enhanced for widescreen TV). Picture quality is good with sharp images, well rendered colors and deep blacks. Audio is in 2.0 Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1. The sound is lovely and flatters both voice and orchestral accompaniment. Optional English and Spanish subtitles are provided, including translations of the song lyrics. Strangely the original French lyrics are not included. There are no extras."
Superb film, a must see for Piaf fans
C. Miranda | 07/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw "Piaf: her story, her songs" at the Castro Theater in San Francisco with more than a thousand people attending the film, and there were a few hundred more people outside the theater trying to get in to the sold out theater.
It was a superb film, I adored it. Its brilliance comes from the fact that this film about Piaf celebrates her the way her fans long to see her celebrated, through her songs.
Piaf's writers, composers, lovers and friends gathering at a bistro over food and wine and telling intimate stories about their personal relationship with Piaf was quite revealing.
Bitton's performance simply blew me away! I have never felt the emotional power of a singer like that before. Myself along with the entire audience was deeply moved.
It's all in the title "Piaf: her story, her songs", her story told through songs and how brilliantly interpreted!
Raquel Bitton's tribute to Piaf is magical. Her interpretation not imitation stands on its own with Bitton's magnificent renditions that leave you breathless. The emotional grip delivered by Bitton is the essence of the film itself. I could easily imagine that it was the same emotional effect that Piaf had on her audiences which earned her legendary status.
The audience at the Castro theater cried and laughed (and so did I). I am now the proud owner of the DVD which will be a classic forever.
The editorial reviewer mentions that Piaf's son is in the film. Piaf never had a son, he probably meant to say that the son of Marcel Cerdan who was the greatest love of Piaf's life is in the film where he talks about the relationship between his father and Edith Piaf."
The Best of the Best
Monique | 12/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
From those who knew Edith Piaf intimately: Their thoughts about "PIAF..Her story..Her songs" starring Raquel Bitton
From MARCEL CERDAN Jr.Paris France
(Son of the late middle weight boxing champion of the world MARCEL CERDAN)
"To see over and over again the film you made in tribute to Edith Piaf is a pleasure I cannot let go of. You have a real talent, not only as a singer but as a storyteller, again BRAVO RAQUEL !"
From Francis Lai, Legendary composer who wrote for Piaf and who wrote the theme song(Les avions sont des oiseaux) in collaboration with Michel Rivgauche for Raquel in "Piaf..Her story..Her songs."
"Raquel, the film is magnifique, I loved it, you did a fantastic job, you should be proud of yourself."
From Rosalie Dubois, famous French chanteuse and a dear friend of Piaf.
"Raquel,today when I think of you, and it's very often, I am very proud of you, I know that Piaf also is proud of you. A thousand Bravos and thank you for your extraordinary film,so right on, so tender!"
From Monique Chauvigny, wife of life long Piaf conductor Robert Chauvigny.
Thank you infinitely for your film"Piaf..Her story..Her songs." You have succeeded in capturing the essence and myth of Edith Piaf with Bravado. What a beautiful interpretation, it's not an easy thing. You have an intonation that reminds me of Edith (It's a compliment coming from me, because we were together so much, being the wife of her conductor. I traveled with her for years.
From Bernard Marchois, curator of the Piaf museum in Paris (Les amis d'Edith Piaf)
What a beautiful gift you gave Edith on her 40th anniversary of her death. The images, the sound, you and us are all PERFECT! It's for us a great honor to know that she is loved and honored in the USA.
From Doris Contet, wife of one of Piaf's favorite composer Henri Contet
I saw the film and it filled my heart with joy. What a magnificent interpretation of "T'es beau tu sais." I have goose pimples! Your film is very important to me and is particularly dear to my heart. Thank you again a thousand times for this gift, it's magnificent!
J Keistler | Lake Jackson, Texas USA | 03/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'll preface this review by stating that I was careless and ordered this without knowing what it was.
I made the mistake of ordering one of Ms. Bitton's CD's a few years ago. I couldn't stand it, and ended up giving it away. As a 40-year Piaf fan, I found her interpretation of Piaf the most unpleasant I'd come across. This is yet more Ms. Bitton, and I wouldn't have ordered it had I spent the time to read the contents.
My view is only my own, and others appear to like Ms. Bitton's work very much. After all, it is what makes us all different. If one likes Ms. Bitton's singing, one will like the DVD.
I would only recommend that, before purchasing this DVD, one should go to one of Ms. Bitton's CD interpretations of Piaf, and listen to the samples."