Review: Charlotte Gainsbourg’s directorial debut ‘Jane By Charlotte’ is a beautiful ode to her mother.

Charlotte Gainsbourg looks at her mother Jane Birkin in a way she never did, overcoming a sense of reserve. Using a camera lens, they expose themselves to each other, begin to step back, leaving space for a mother-daughter relationship.


A love letter from a daughter to mother, actress Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s directorial debut, Jane By Charlotte, is one of the most intimate looks at the international icon, Jane Birkin. Through photographs, home movies, and quiet, casual sit-down interviews, we learn things about Jane right along with Charlotte. It is as if we are experiencing the same revelations. Seeing Jane and Charlotte perform, you’d never guess they were so soft-spoken in real life. There’s breezy energy about the film that is difficult to describe. As a mother, it touched me in a very personal way. At 41, I’m only just becoming comfortable with questions like Charlotte asks of Jane. As an American, I acknowledge the cultural differences with which we discuss intimacy. In the conversations between Jane and Charlotte, I am in awe of their relationship. Will I be more comfortable having such an open line of communication with my daughter? My daughter, also named Charlotte, is just about to turn five, but it is something I aspire to attain.

Jane and Charlotte find common ground in parenting styles and celebrity. They speak openly about Jane’s lifelong dependency on sleeping pills, inspiration for songs, and her various marriages. The loss of her daughter Kate was perhaps the most impactful event in her life. The grief she carries is palpable. Jane and Charlotte discuss maternal guilt. It’s one of the most poignant through lines in the film. Charlotte’s eye and adoration for her mother are written all over this doc. It’s a lovely ode to a beloved icon from a daughter who continues to idolize her. As a mother, Jane By Charlotte has a revelatory feeling of intimacy. Gainsbourgs documentary makes me jealous in the best way possible.


Opens Friday, March 18th at the Quad Cinema in New York and
March 25th at the Landmark Westwood in Los Angeles
Expands to additional cities in April + Available on Digital May 6th (Mother’s Day weekend)


About Jane Birkin
A native of London, Jane Birkin began her career as an actress appearing in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966), and Kaleidoscope (1966). In 1968, she began a years-long working and personal relationship with Serge Gainsbourg; The duo released their debut album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg in 1969, and Birkin also appeared in the film Je t’aime moi non plus (1976) under Gainsbourg’s direction. Birkin later starred in the Agatha Christie adaptations Death on the Nile (1978), and Evil Under the Sun (1982), and continued to work as both an actress and a singer, appearing in various independent films and recording numerous solo albums. In 1991, she appeared in the miniseries “Red Fox,” and in the American drama film, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries in 1998. Having lived primarily in France since the 1970s, Birkin is the mother of photographer Kate Barry, actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, and musician Lou Doillon.

About Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg grew up on film sets as both of her parents, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, were involved in the film industry. At the age of 13, she debuted in her first motion picture playing Catherine Deneuve’s daughter in the film Paroles et Musiques. In 1986, Charlotte won a César Award for Most Promising Actress for An Impudent Girl. That same year she appeared in the film Charlotte For Ever written and directed by Charlotte’s father Serge Gainsbourg. From 1988 until today, Charlotte expanded her career with various projects such as The Cement Garden, Jane Eyre, 21 Grams, Ma Femme Est Actrice, I’m Not There, The Science of Sleep, Golden Door, The Tree, Samba, Mon Chien Stupide, and Lars von Triers’ films Melancholia, Antichrist and Nymphomaniac. In 2009, she won the award for Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for Antichrist. While Charlotte has been working on film projects, she led another rich career in Music as a singer and a composer and released several albums: Charlotte for Ever (1986), 5:55 (2006), IRM (2009), Stage Whisper (2011), Rest (2017).


 

Just in time for Earth Day, a new ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ trailer has arrived!

resurgencepostersmall

Fox has released a new trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence and we have it for you below!

We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

The film stars Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Sela Ward and is directed by Roland Emmerich.

Also, to help us all defend our planet, for a limited time, the original Independence Day (1996) movie will be available for only $0.99, with all of Fox’s net proceeds being donated to Earth Day Network! Get your $0.99 download of ID4 here: http://bitly.com/1qWSDvc. Fans can also participate in a global #IndependenceDayLive Earth Day Watch Party, starting at 4pm PT by following #IndependenceDayLive and @IndependenceDay.

Two newly restored gems from AGNÈS VARDA and starring JANE BIRKIN now available on Amazon and on iTunes and Blu-Ray March 8th.

Cinelicious Pics Logo

CINELICIOUS PICS & CINE-TAMARIS PRESENT:

JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V.

and

KUNG-FU MASTER! 
Jane B_Poster

JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V.

“I’ll look at you, but not at the camera. It could be a trap,” whispers Jane Birkin shyly into Agnès Varda‘s ear at the start of JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. The director of CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 and VAGABOND once again paints a portrait of a woman, this time in a marvelously Expressionistic way. “It’s like an imaginary bio-pic,” says Varda. Jane, of course, is the famed singer (“Je t’aime … Moi non plus”), actress (BLOW UP), fashion icon (the Hermes Birkin bag) and longtime muse to Serge Gainsbourg. As Varda implies, JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V. abandons the traditional bio-pic format, favoring instead a freewheeling mix of gorgeous and unexpected fantasy sequences.

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg in Jane B. par Agnès V. © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg in Jane B. par Agnès V.
© Cinelicious Pics

Newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative, overseen by director Varda herself. The film has a quirky appeal. With a blend of personal narrative juxtaposed with fine art and Greek history, Birkin speaks of her life, fears, future plans. Varda leads her through a wondering maze of musing. It’s an unusual and unique peak into the mind of  both women.

Kung-Fu Master

KUNG-FU MASTER!

A lovely, bittersweet companion piece to JANE B. PAR AGNÈS V., KUNG-FU MASTER! has nothing to do with martial arts – the film’s title comes from an arcade video game played obsessively in the film by a teenaged boy, Julien (played by Varda’s real-life son with husband Jaques Demy). Jane Birkin delivers one of her finest performances as a lonely 40-year old woman who finds herself falling in love with the 14-year old Julien – but is it romance, or a desperate attempt to turn back time in the face of middle age? A real family affair, Birkin’s daughters, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, her child with well-known filmmaker Jacques Doillon, also appear in the film.

Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Kung-Fu Master! © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Kung-Fu Master!
© Cinelicious Pics

Long unavailable in the US, the film has been newly-restored from the original 35mm camera negative. The film is a perfect time capsule from 80’s French cinema. Addressing the AIDS crisis through nonchalance and jokes, capturing the effortless sensuality of Birkin, and highlighting the differences in the use of sexuality on screen in Europe Vs America. The performances are, as expected, top notch. The use of Birkin’s children is brilliant. The natural banter, even when the scenario might seem unnatural given the relation, is captivating. As a first time viewer of these pieces, I was glad to have watched KUNG-FU MASTER! first. The two should most definitely been seen back to back. Both titles are currently streaming on Amazon and will be available on Blu-Ray and iTunes March 8  (additional VOD platforms to be announced)

Jane Birkin and Mathieu Demy in Kung-Fu Master! © Cinelicious Pics

Jane Birkin and Mathieu Demy in Kung-Fu Master!
© Cinelicious Pics

 

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

 Video interview with Agnès Varda by Miranda July
 
Essay by Sandy Fitterman-Lewis

If I Chose the Academy Award Winners and Nominees – 2015 edition

I’ve now seen most of the films that had a release in 2014. This makes me more qualified to vote for the Oscars than 97.548% of the Academy’s membership. With the Oscar ceremony occurring tonight, I’ve picked, as I have the previous two years, who I think the nominees and winners should be in the bulk of the major categories. Once again, the foreign film category will be left off because I simply haven’t had access to enough foreign films to make a comment on them. Those that have made it to my neck of the woods, I will say, have been very good for the most part. Read More →