Slogan review

:. Director: Pierre Grimblat
:. Starring: Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin
:. Running Time: 1:30
:. Year: 1969
:. Country: France


Filled with beautiful images and not much content, Pierre Grimblat's Slogan looks like a glossy fashion magazine, and had it not have been for the presence of its stars, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, it would have been forgotten.

Unless you're a Francophile, an elitist New Yorker or a filmmaker named Quentin Tarantino, chances are you've never heard of the two protagonists of this movie. To give you an idea, the late Serge Gainsbourg was a singer/songwriter considered a musical genius and a French national treasure. His career spawned from the 60's to the 80's and his influence can still be felt not only in the French music scene but also among trendy Brit bands. As for Jane Birkin, she is a British model turned singer/actress, who spent decades as his girlfriend and muse — from their union actress/singer Charlotte Gainsbourg was born (see The Science of Sleep and listen to the album she recorded with electronic act Air).

While it's certainly not the best film featuring the couple, Slogan is mostly remembered as the film where they met and fell in love. The love story that unravels onscreen has an air of faux-documentary, Mr. Gainsbourg playing a director who leaves his wife for a young British starlet.

While the film is enveloped in a breezy air du temps and beautiful soundtrack scored by the French maestro, which make it enjoyable, it's hard to take Slogan for anything other than a long commercial showcasing two rising stars. With spare dialogues and long sequences juxtaposing music with clichéd scenes chronicling their love (running on the beach, driving in a convertible, gondola-riding in Venice, etc â), the film is empty and shallow, strangely looking like a fashion magazine or an erotic flick whose action sequences have been cut- don't worry, since it's a French film, it still offers a light dose of flesh!

The fact that Mr. Gainsbourg plays a director reputed for his — cheesy — commercials and that love transcended from the actors to the screen (and vice-versa) certainly brings an interesting and involuntary post-modern dimension to Slogan; however it's not enough to elevate this film beyond curio status.

  Fred Thom

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