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Jane Birkin (1946 - )

Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
photocredit unidentified

Jane Birkin on the cover of the seven inch to "Je t'aime... Moi non plus" (1969)


Jane Birkin (b. December 14, 1946) is an actress and singer born in London who has spent most of her career in France.

She is the elder daughter of David Birkin (a commander in the Royal Navy and a World War II war hero involved in various aspects of espionage) and actress Judy Campbell (née Judy Gamble), who made her name as a star of Noel Coward musicals. Birkin also is a member of a prominent British industrial family that made its fortune manufacturing lace in Nottinghamshire. A great-aunt, Winifred (Freda) May Birkin, later Mrs William Dudley Ward, was a mistress of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, later HRH the Duke of Windsor). She is also related by blood or marriage to the actresses Penelope Dudley Ward and Rachel Ward as well as the film director Sir Carol Reed.

Charlotte Gainsbourg is Birkin's daughter from her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg (né Lucien Ginzburg), whom she met in 1968 and lived with until 1980. She also has a daughter, Kate Barry (born 1968), from her first marriage to John Barry (they separated in 1968 and later divorced), an English composer who wrote the musical score to the James Bond movies. Birkin has another daughter, Lou (born 1982), by film director Jacques Doillon.

During her relationship with Serge Gainsbourg, they released a song with the provocative title "Je t'aime... Moi non plus" ("I love you... Neither do I"), written by Gainsbourg and featuring both of them singing, which caused a minor scandal for its sexual explicitness at the time of its release in 1969. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Birkin [May 2005]

Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus (1969) - Gainsbourg and Birkin

The song was first recorded by Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg in October 1967 and should have been released at the end of 1967. On demand of Brigitte Bardot the song was not released until 1986.

The second version, sung by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, was released in February 1969 and became an international hit. Nowadays it is an Eurosleaze classic.

One of Gainsbourg's biographers has pointed out that Bardot sounds too lascivious and experienced on the song, whereas Jane Birkin's voice gives the impression of someone far younger and more virginal, which gives her version a more erotic appeal.

The arrangement was by Michel Colombier. --http://www.geocities.com/Paris/Musee/1489/gainsbourg/texts/jetaimemoinonplus.html [Dec 2004]

Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus (film)

Hot, Hard Cocks and Tight, Tight Unlubricated Assholes: Transgression, Sexual Ambiguity and “Perverse” Pleasures in Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime moi non plus by Jack Sargeant
If certain body parts and functions are coded as normal and acceptable, Sargeant examines a film that turns these presuppositions on their head. --http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/je_taime_moi_non_plus.html

Je t'aime, moi non plus (1976) - Serge Gainsbourg

I remember seeing this one for the first time on May 7, 1988. If they ever awarded a film for being the best in bad taste, here's your winner. Joe Dallesandro plays Krassky, a gay man who's had a spat with his lover (Hughes Quester). While at a bar, he meets up with a boyish (and I mean boyish) female bartender named Johnny (Jane Birkin). They have an affair while Krassky's male lover Padovan tries to make amends.

While the story is intriguing, the ugliness of the film is quite strong. Johnny's boss is a flatulating old man who occasionally brings in some unattractive women to do a striptease for the men. We see Padovan eating spaghetti with his hands and Johnny eating what looks like cucumbers dipped in milk. There's a scene where Padovan is answering nature's call in an open field. All the sex between Krassky and Johnny is anal, which forces Birkin to scream in agony in every one of those scenes. While I respect Jane Birkin's talents, I wonder if anyone would be turned on by her "lack of rack" or her very short haircut?

Bottom line: A movie only for a certain group. I haven't seen this one for a while, but I'll bet Showcase (a cable channel in Canada) will someday show this one, due to their reputation of showing a lot of gay product. --bluethunder35 for imdb.com, http://us.imdb.com/Title?0073196 [Dec 2004]

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