old salut!

Colin Randall wrote here on France, things Anglo-French and more......but has moved

March 01, 2007

Piaf: mômentous moineau

This site has now moved to Salut!

Even someone with my minority tastes in music can see that a failure to be moved by Edith Piaf should be treated as evidence of a heart of stone.

Picture: idealterna

La Môme, a sketchy but endearing film of her life, has been out for a couple of weeks in France and is doing great business.

A first attempt to see it, in the cinematic backwater of La Londes-les-Maures, ended in disappointment. If we were among no more than five customers watching Mel Gibson's Apocalypto a month earlier, we couldn't get anywhere a seat for La Môme despite arriving half an hour before it started.

So to neighbouring Hyères yesterday.

Bookings by phone or internet are not allowed and it's a pain to drive all the way there and back without being sure, so we took the sad senior citizen option and turned up in good time for the 4.45pm screening at the Olbia.

A man some way to my right snored gently, and I couldn't help noticing that a young woman, who arrived in a short skirt and sat nearby, left at the end wearing jeans.

But whatever drove him to his slumber, and her to seize an opportunity to change, I was hooked from the opening sequence showing Piaf as a grubby Parisian street urchin.

The plot darted this way and that through a life of glorious tragedy, her downfall predetermined by lifelong attachment to the bottle and eventually addiction to drugs.

I am sure it must barely have scraped at the surface, and the zig-zagging chronology was liable to induce dizziness.

For the purposes of the soundtrack, the voice was not always that of Piaf, but of Jil Aigrot.

In the end, however, I was convinced that the right artistic decisions had been taken and that Olivier Dahan had made a film of enormous merit with Marion Cotillard, utterly compelling in the title role, capturing Piaf's insecurity and awkwardness as well as the defiant spirit.

It probably won't get beyond the art house circuit in Britain or America. But what marvellous respite it offers from the French presidential elections, even if not everyone agrees with me and Gigi is destined to walk out in disgust at the early demise of her beloved Gérard Depardieu.

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This site has now moved to Salut!


At March 01, 2007 4:56 PM, Blogger Roger said...

So Colin, I guess this prompts the question, after your move to France, and the decision to stay when the Telgraph found you surplus to requirements; any regrets?

At March 01, 2007 5:10 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Oh dear, oh dear ... I have a heart of stone! I don't like Piaf, loathe Depardieu and you know I don't like Renaud!

One must ask - well, what does she like, this grumpy Swiss maid? Lots of things, but not these three!

At March 01, 2007 6:04 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

....but then again, too few to mention, Roger.
La vie en Var, c'est la vie en rose (or, maybe more aptly, rosé). Pour l'instant!
Sorry Louise, it's so rare for me to like anything that so much as threatens to be popular that I must have got carried away with the certainty of my view. As for Depardieu, doesn't seem the sort of man I usually warm to but I have almost always liked his work.

At March 01, 2007 7:13 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Damn it! You've put the links in alphabetical order and now I can't find anything.

At March 01, 2007 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three cheers for the Captain.
He's running a tight ship now; flags all in order.

New signal to run up. Richard's new blog.


At March 01, 2007 7:44 PM, Blogger Louise said...

I'm a bit hard on Depardieu - he was good in earlier films; the last few years he is obviously just in it for the money - Obelix?

Last night I watched 'Perfume' or 'Parfum' in French (well, well!) - good film although rather 'noir' in all senses of the word. Perhaps not the best film to watch at night!

At March 01, 2007 7:54 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Some funny squiggles appearing on the blog - blogspot obviously cannot digest accents.

Anonymous - you back? Richard's new blog has been up for some time...

At March 01, 2007 7:59 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Have you read the book, Louise, by Patrick Suskind? Much, much better than the movie.

At March 01, 2007 8:34 PM, Blogger Louise said...

No, I haven't read the book, but I admit to googling Perfume this morning and read that were quite a number of directors who said it was unfilmable...actually I was wondering if Jean-Baptiste Grenouille really existed! But I think I might read the book, as I'm sure that the film couldn't portray the rather black side of the book. A little like the 'Silence of Lambs' - the film was creepy, the book terrifying!

At March 01, 2007 8:45 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Good analogy. Yeah, the book has a very dark side that just doesn't come across on the screen.

At March 01, 2007 9:25 PM, Blogger Gigi said...

"Perfume" is one of my favourite books...I haven't seen the film though. I imagine it must be in the same genre as "Vidocq", if you've seen that (with the wonderful Gérard Depardieu) - dark and atmospheric...By the way, I think "Asterix and Cleopatra" is a hilarious film, Louise!! Full of puns - just the way I like 'em.

But I'm not a great cinema goer, so I think I'll wait until "La Môme" comes out on DVD :-)

At March 01, 2007 9:30 PM, Blogger Gigi said...

OH!! COLIN!! I've just read what you said about the lovely cuddly sexy-in-a-rugged-manly-ugly-way Gérard. You mean they kill him off at the beginning?

Tush. Must be a crappy film then. I might not bother...

At March 01, 2007 9:34 PM, Blogger Gigi said...

Oh and thanks for the link to my poetry, too.

(Damn. I'm going to have to write some more now...)

At March 02, 2007 8:27 AM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

As Voltaire would have said had he got round to it......well, you know the rest. I did defend your right to say it, you said it and now it's gone. In case innocent bystanders were caught up - ie no longer see their comments posted - apologies, but it was simplest to delete the whole post-Gigi sequence.

At March 02, 2007 10:15 AM, Blogger Louise said...

I read the comments this morning at the crack of dawn.

Is this the first time you have blue-pencilled?

I think the way you went about it was good - it was said, those that happened to read it did so, and now it's gone.

At March 02, 2007 10:15 AM, Blogger Gigi said...

um...did I miss something????????

At March 02, 2007 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Colin Randall.I'm pleased with your respect.

At March 02, 2007 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Madame au Club.

Are not your comments just a little too Eiger?

At March 02, 2007 11:42 AM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

No, Louise - I deleted a whole thread very early on before I'd worked out that I could ditch individual items. One comment that I felt ought to be cut was theoretically libellous and another, maybe two went too far in supporting me by criticising my former employers at a time when I hadn't received a centime of my pay-off and was up against the Queen's lawyers (not that she was aware, of course). The only ones I've cut since have been spam (except the German comment the other day which I assumed was junk but didn't/couldn't read) and my own if I spot typos after posting.

At March 02, 2007 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the "anastasia" dating advert?
Is it spam?

At March 02, 2007 12:12 PM, Blogger Louise said...

No, then - I didn't see the comments you deleted. The last I saw this morning were comments posted at about 1 a.m.

At March 02, 2007 12:33 PM, Blogger Louise said...

I assume you are addressing me, anonymous, with your most skillful 'Eiger' - I didn't understand the 'Madame au Club', but that doesn't matter.

And, no, I don't think I am being 'Eiger' - having posted on the problems of editing remarks on my own blog the other day, it was interesting to see the Colin Randall has had to put it into use, and it would appear for an extremely good reason.

I don't know what your problem is with blogs and/or the people who comment on them - what I fail to understand is that as it seems to upset you, why on earth do you continue to be so unpleasant and hang around bitching?

At March 02, 2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Madame "bienvenue au club".

Is the blog a club? Sounds exclusive.

Comments on blog editing are not comments afterall, when they in reality, name dropping.

I shouldn't engage anyone who uses the "B" word, but if a "C" word helps, your postings are 90% crass.
Bringing down the tone of a blog is not in the best interest of any reader.
You would do well to get out from underneath your "stone",exercise your own mind and show us who you really are.

At March 02, 2007 1:16 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Fortunately for both of us, I am not looking for a job so I will go on using the 'B' word.

At March 02, 2007 1:22 PM, Blogger Roger said...

He-he-he, that made me chuckle. Someone called 'anonymous' telling others to "get out from underneath your stone [...] and show us who you really are."

I'm not sure that's the reaction they wanted but one should never take someone who laments the tone of a blog seriously. It's Colin's blog, we are just 'hangers-on' and should not be taken seriously.

At March 02, 2007 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"B" as in better, baptism, barometer, bienvenue, beatify and as always.

Best wishes.

At March 02, 2007 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Roger. I can see your wit.
I'm laughing with your laughter.

Hang on by your fingernails, while on this blog.

At March 02, 2007 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A" as in anonymous comments not allowed.
May we have a brief change in this censorship, in order to communicate.

At March 02, 2007 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"B" here again.

If not looking for a job, what about looking into courses: business (blog) administration, better English skills.
That one takes a long stretch,A to Z.

At March 02, 2007 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the Eiger has collapsed.

At March 02, 2007 3:24 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

This has nothing to do with Edith Piaf (not a favourite of mine either, Louise) but it is musical and it's a very cool website (which you'll have to cut and paste from here):


It takes you to a jukebox with different years listed. Click on a year you want to hear and ehen the music starts, you can move the curser in the playback down and see all the songs associated with that year. You can let it play through the entire list of that year or highlighting a particular song will play it.

At March 02, 2007 3:27 PM, Blogger Louise said...

I think the anonymice should be hanging on by their fingernails - if the Eiger were to collapse, they wouldn't just be under a stone, but thankfully buried under a mountain.

Sorry - not interested in courses, either - especially Blog Administration (wot?).

A shame there aren't courses in how to become a human being as it must be a very sad life for you remaining anonymous. However, it is comforting to see that the courses in being 'B'ORING seem to have been most successful.

This 'B'LOGGER isn't going to waste time replying any further to this rubbish.

At March 02, 2007 3:47 PM, Blogger Gigi said...

Thanks for the link to the tropical glen site, Bill...I always seem to be in a nostalgic mood these days (must be menopause/mid-life or something) and this is taking me right back to my teens :-)

And to be honest, I think we should show some compassion towards poor anonymous, who is obviously disturbed. Perhaps he has Multiple Personality Disorder and doesn't realise what his alter egos are doing. I'm sure there must be a nice, ordinary normal 'person' somewhere in that crowd. Somewhere. Because there is a God...

At March 02, 2007 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your billeted underneath your stone, Louise of Verbier.
Your fate on this blog.

At March 02, 2007 3:57 PM, Blogger Louise said...

OOOhhhhh -help everbody! I am so Frightened and Distressed.

At March 02, 2007 4:11 PM, Blogger Gigi said...

Don't you fret, Louise. I'll chuck a couple of haikus at him...that'll scare him off :-)

At March 02, 2007 4:51 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It is disturbing, though. There's a hint of a threat there. And this person is clearly unbalanced. So how does a blog adminstrator deal with this?

At March 02, 2007 5:00 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Bill, one should just take lots of no notice.

I like Edith Piaf and the film sounds good, but I think I'll wait for the DVD too. I nearly went to the cinema the other day, but went to a restaurant instead...

At March 02, 2007 5:02 PM, Blogger Roger said...

Just a point (that Anon may have been alluding too earlier) - Mr Orleans Brit-bashing link takes us to his old BLOG (richarddorleans.blogspot.com) not his shiny new richardorleans.blogspot.com (note the missing D).

This comment constitutes neither a direct nor an implied endorsement of the views or opinions expressed by the aforementioned Mr Orleans. It’s just a very good read (unless, of course, you happen to be a Franco-phobic Sun-reading Anglo-Saxon, in which case you may wish to swallow your cornflakes before proceeding to avoid choking.)

At March 02, 2007 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roger, thanks for clarifying Richard's new link.
What you have just said, is exactly what I meant.

Not nice to scare Bill off with Haikus poems. Just invite him to bring his own.

On the subject of paranoia, one cannot almost say nothing about an individual. So many here have given links to their own blogs, that in turn offer far too much personal idenity. Personal safety is an issue for sure.
But voila! I get routed for being anonymous.

With one exception.
I don't for a minute believe CB lives where he says he does.
But he did say his wife was frightened by a blogger's posts.

At March 02, 2007 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Colin (and Hippo) link?

At March 02, 2007 5:52 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

I can only reiterate what I said here three weeks ago in what was intended to be my last comment to this blog.

In the light of what has been happening here, especially during the last day or two, I think it's high time that anonymous contributions to this blog were blocked.

The reasons should be self-evident to any responsible person, assuming they have a grain of consideration for the peace of mind, not to say safety, of their fellow bloggers.

Colin Berry, Antibes, France


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