Friday, June 15, 2007

Deceased Artiste Jean-Claude Brialy: Scenes from "Anna" (1967)

Brialy was an incredibly busy actor who could be represented by any number of his excellent performances. He worked with Uncle Jean (Godard) from the very first films, was a cornerstone of the French New Wave himself, and kept working right up until the end. He started out as a boyish leading man, and became a chubbier character person by the 1980s and '90s, but was always a familiar presence in French exports.

One of the things I've been most proud to give a "U.S. TV debut" to on the show is the lamentably undistributed perfect Sixties musical Anna. A 1967 TV movie that premiered at Christmastime in France, the film is just indelible, a perfect mixture of the mod and the wistful (for the former, think the films of William Klein; the latter, Umbrellas of Cherbourg). Brialy plays the dumb playboy who never recognizes that the girl of his dreams works right in his office (those damned specs of hers!). The songs are by the one and only Serge Gainsbourg, and they are totally unforgettable.

Here is one of Brialy's two solo numbers. He was not a good singer, but he growls out this terrific paean of despair pretty well. "Boomerang":

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Here, he listens to Gainsbourg impart a philosophical lesson in the form of a pop song. "Un Poison Violent, C'est L'Amour":

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And an utterly gorgeous duet between Brialy and Anna, the very haunting "Ne Dis Rien." This stuff is too good to remain hidden:

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1 comment:

kat said...

These are wonderful! It's great that you put them up especially appreciate the english subtitles. Merci.