Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin
Director: Pierre Grimblat
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television
Serge (Serge Gainsbourg) is a hip and successful film director who leaves his pregnant wife to attend the annual advertising awards festival in Venice, and enters into a passionate affair with a young British woman (Jane B... more »
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Thank heaven for little girls
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 02/19/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Slogan" is that type of film that French cinema seems to do better than anyone else, A mix-and-match of almost unlikeable characters who are redeemed by their love for each other. It is the type of love that is unfathomable and sometimes cruel, but made romantic by the artistry of the director's camera and the illogical logic of a screenplay (Betty Blue, anyone?)
In this case, the two misfits are Serge Faberge (Serge Gainsbourg, a popular French musician and actor who also wrote the score) and Evelyne (Dame Jane Birkin, Blow Up). Serge is a forty year old advertisement director with a pregnant wife named Francoise (Andrea Parisy) and a bad case of ennui. His life is satisfyingly dull, with his skills as a director much in demand and his commercials constantly winning awards. At one such awards festival, in Venice, Serge meets the eighteen year old Evelyne, and in a case of lust at first sight the two are soon engaged in a torrid affair. You can probably figure out the rest of the story.
The back-story of "Slogan" gives it as much of its status as the film itself. A scandal erupted when the real-life Serge and Jane (the woman for whom designer Hermes' created the Birkin Bag for) started an off-screen romance that lasted for an eleven-year marriage and saw the release of the duet Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus (""I love you... me neither") which was a Number One hit even though it was banned for Birkin's simulating an orgasm as part of the song. Disco queen Donna Summers later covered the song and also imitated it for her own Love to Love You Baby.
As a movie, "Slogan" is a pleasant piece of nostalgia. It embodies that "Swinging 60s" -style later mocked by the Austin Powers films. Serge is the embodiment of Gallic charm and indifference, with heavy-lidded eyes and an ever-present cigarette always dangling from his lips. He casually discusses with Evelyne's step-father the best way to beat her in order to keep the girl in line, and is as quick to answer Evelyne's demands with a smack in the mouth as with a kiss. Evelyne, on the other hand, is a child in mind as well as body, unsophisticated and willing to let Serge take control, with a child's need for affection and devotion. She has none of Serge's cynicism.
Her first starring role in a film (she had previously been eye candy in other Swinging 60s films like The Knack... and How to Get It), Jane Birkin is not the most talented actress, but looks devastating in the small dresses and 60s fashion that she constantly bounces around in. She would later earn the OBE in 2001, officially making her Dame Jane Birkin, for her long music and film career as well as her humanitarian causes, but in "Slogan" she is still a novice.
Probably my favorite bits of "Slogan" were Serge's commercials, which are over-the-top stabs at the consumerist culture that ruled at the time. There are some real gems here, like an adventurer doing battle with knife-wielding natives and comparing their knife cuts to the smoothness of his shaving cream, or a naked women getting whipped by kilt-wearing Scotsman and asking if your complexion ever needs to get "whipped into shape.
Cult Epics release of "Slogan" is a nice presentation, especially in this two-disk special edition. The print is not the most pristine, and Cult Epics is not known for their restoration, but it is nice to have this rare film available in any condition. The first disk has only the main feature, and the second disk being loaded with extra features including interviews with Birkin and Gainsbourg being very much in love, as well as behind-the-scenes glimpses at the advertising world so effectively spoofed by "Slogan."