Most people know something or a lot about England & America in the '60s, but what about France?
Anyone here know anything about the films, the music, the fashions, the stars? Anything worth checking out?
I'll start with 'Un Homme Et Une Femme' which I like mostly, apart from the boring racing car sequences, added to butch things up.
So, I dedicate this thread to France durant les années 60.
[italic]Paris Blues[/italic] (early sixties) with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll.
[italic] À Bout de Souffle[/italic] and [italic]Bande à Part [/italic]by Godard
[italic]The Dreamers[/italic] (set in 1968) by Bertolucci
Oh, R6, I I was the only one who lusted after Les Demoiselles. A pity Gene Kelly's final dance didn't get a better reception. Poor Francoise was killed right after that on her way to the Nice Airport.
French new wave films (though that started in the late 50's)- Truffaut, Godard etc (Only seen "The 400 Blows" by Truffaut and "Breathless" and "Contempt" by Godard, but recommend all three) Umbrellas of Cherbough is also worth a look as it has Day-Glo colors and the dialogue is completely talk-sung. (Ie not a Musical in the expected sense)
Also Ye-Ye music is really fun and mod- France Gall (Laisse tomber les filles) and any other of Serge Gainsbourgs "Ingenues". Check out "Bonnie and Clyde", a duet by Gainsbourgs with Brigette Bardot.
Imagine how amazing (culturally) it would have been to live in post-war France ... New Wave cinema, existentialism, Ye Ye music, etc.
It ranks right up there with other 60s hotspots like Carnaby Street, Greenwich Village, and Laurel Canyon/Sunset Strip.
'60s London takes a visit to Paris, in 1967.
I love this clip of Twiggy roller-skating in Paris to a Rolling Stones soundtrack.
London, Paris, and Rome were THE cities to be in the 1960s. Postwar reconstruction of Western Europe was finally complete, the economies were booming, and there was a renewed sense of optimism and boundless energy emanating from the youth culture. In France, the nouvelle vague auteurs were turning filmmaking on its ear, the chic, glamorous faces of Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Michel Piccoli, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Dorléac, Catherine Deneuve, Anna Karina, Anouk Aimée, etc. were gracing the covers of magazines and appearing in not just French films, but British, American, and Italian films as well.
Probably the most baffling, frustrating, and ultimately, influential French film of the early 1960s was Alain Resnais' "L'année dernière à Marienbad." It redefined film and influenced many French and Italian filmmakers to think outside of the box. Today, however, it looks too much like a stylized perfume commercial to take seriously.
Ah, Les Demoiselles! So glad others share my fascination! So many tidbits:
Danielle Darrieux - still alive and kicking. Huge collaborator in WWII. Made movies in Berlin, but , like Piaf, got off because she was too big to touch. Married at that time to Rubirosa, the greatest playboy of all. The resistance tried to assassinate her but got him in the back instead, That supposedly mage him sterile so he could indulge later wives Doris Duke and Barbara Hutton without their worrying about pregnancy.
Grover Dale - Clandestine other half of Anthony Perkins. Anthony's widow Barry was the most famous casualty of 9/11. In original Broadway West Side Story.
Jacques Perrin - Great in Z. Big movie producer. Remember that picture of him grinning with that silly witch Pauline Kael?
Francoise - Start a thread. I maintain she was more glamorous than her sister. I believe they were estranged at the time. Does anybody know more details of her death?
Gene Kelly - Final Dance.
I crave this movie. Those critics who blasted it , like my favorite David Shipman, can rot in hell!!!!
I opened this thread specifically to post about Francoise Hardy. This video is the epitome of French chic.
In the US, Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking spread the knowledge of their cuisine here in the states. She is one of the great Francophiles.
Does anybody have the video of M. Delon from Shock Treatment when he shows it all?
I spent all of 1969 there. The men wore blue blazers, Lacoste shirts and carried little clutch purses then. Lots of Eau Sauvage cologne. Almost nightly rades (raffles) by the police of the gay cruisers in the Tuileries Gardens.
Lots of toilet sex and those smelly uncut French cocks! The downstairs mens room at the main American Express office (by the Opera) was the hottest cruising place in town. There were still pissoirs on the streets and lots of nighttime cruising if you could tolerate the stench of urine.
The swimming pool on the Left Bank (Piscine Deligny) on the Seine was hot too. In the 50s, American girls spending their junior year abroad, went there to lose their virginity to older Frenchmen, but then it became almost totally gay.
In 1969, didn't Jacques Dutronc have some coy "gay" pop song with a lyric that went: "Si vous etes comme ca, telephonez-moi"? Translation: if you're gay, call me.
My god, R29. I spent 1973 in Paris and your post brought back so many memories.
Oh, those sissy little man purses! How I laughed at those things.
Remember the daytime cruising around the Orangerie? You didn't dare sit in one of those metal chairs because the "chair bitch" would come up and demand a franc (or whatever it cost to sit in a chair). It was free to sit on a bench, though. Everyone would stand around and pose (typical French). I did meet some nice people there, though. One of them, in fact, is still a friend.
The few gay bars in Paris at the time were EXPENSIVE!!! And they didn't open till 11pm or even later. Also, they tended to be in basements or tucked away on side streets. It was all so secretive and hush-hush.
Great post, R29. I felt transported, fleetingly, to the gay Paris of 1969.
I had a 1969 British guide book to Paris. It was the time when they were opening up all those French Drug Stores, the sort that sold everything and had cafes, the Parisiennes were very anti and worried about them.
Then, forty years later they were just as horrified when the Drug Stores started to be replaced by designer clothing boutiques and wanted to preserve the Drug Stores.
[quote]In 1969, didn't Jacques Dutronc have some coy "gay" pop song with a lyric that went: "Si vous etes comme ca, telephonez-moi"? Translation: if you're gay, call me.
J'aime les filles?
Hardly a gay song with that title. But, I guess, if you're gay enough you can find the gay in anything.
These posts are reminding me of the smell of the Paris Metro. I had a sudden whiff.
: Merci for reminding me of the 50 centimes charge (was it that much?) to sit in one of those metal chairs around the Orangerie. Sunday afternoons were heavy-duty, non-stop cruising around the Orangerie and down below in the Gardens. I still have a friend in Montreal whom I met in June 1969 on a Sunday afternoon in the Tuileries.
There was also an expected tip from the woman who showed you to you seat in cinemas in Paris. All movies were then proceeded by "Cinema et Publicite"--coming attractions and ads for products. The woman who showed you to your seat would then hawk ice cream and candies from a contraption with straps over her shoulders (like a cigarette girl wore in nightclubs in the 1940s). I always loved how these ladies would say "Esquimaux" for Eskimo ice cream pies. I saw "Funny Girl" at the Champs Elysees Paramount and still remember the subtitle for "Hello, Gorgeous": "Salut, Beaute." In reviewing "Funny Girl", one critic referred to Streisand as "La Callas du music-hall."
: Merci a toi aussi for reminding me of Les drugstores de Paris! I hung out in the one on the Boulevard St. Germain. Seem to recall "un hamburger St. Germain" on the menu, which was terrible, and Parisian versions ice cream sundaes.
Anything more to add to France in the '60s?
The swimming pools of Paris are fascinating.
My partner used to smoke blue Gitanes, until he died of lung cancer.
UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, from 1964, is one of the all-time great movie musicals.
[quote]During his presidential campaign last year, Nicolas Sarkozy launched into a series of vituperative speeches in which he promised to "liquidate" the legacy of 1968, which he blamed for everything from poor school results to high crime figures and the decline of old-fashioned patriotism.
[quote]And yet M. Sarkozy, a twice-divorced, consumerist, value-muddling, politican par excellence, is himself a child of 1968. At least, he is a child of the social changes which 1968 symbolised rather than generated.
Yeah -- no woggy immigrant president without the Days of May
Too bad it's a Muslim shit hole now.
I knew Paris well in the 70s and early 80s, those sex clubs like the B H, but yes, they were all tucked away in basements.
French chic is defined by Alain Delon & Maurice Ronet in Plein Soleil, Francoise Hardy, Deneuve & Dorleac - dig the sexy tight trousers on Chakiris & Grover Dale, and Jacques Perrin as the blond sailor!
Belmondo too, I particularly like L'Homme De Rio, with Dorleac, or Le Sirene de Mississippi with Deneuve, though I don't usually go for Truffaut films. Louis Malle or Jacques Demy or Demy's wife Agnes Varda (le Boheur, Cleo from 5 to 7) are perfect, particularly Anouk Aimee as Lola, or Moreau in a blond wig like a French Bette Davis as the gambling addict in Bay of Angels, 1963.
Bardot in Viva Maria (with Moreau), or in Two Weeks in September in 1967, fashion shoots in London and Paris with the divine Laurent Terzieff.
Francoise Sagan? The gal who was always crashing sports car and then climbing from the wreckage laughing...
Jean Seberg is the perfect American girl in Paris in IN THE FRENCH STYLE in 1963, an American take on those French films, often starring Seberg!
And there's always Seberg's BONJOUR TRISTESSE from the Sagan book in 1958, one of crazy Otto's best.
Arletty and Danielle Darrieux.
Darrieux replaced Hepburn in Coco on Broadway. She had a surprisingly strong singing voice. During her rehearsals, Lerner turned to Previn and said, "Why Andre,you wrote a musical!"
Mon Dieu!! .. So much! Alain Delon in his glory. .. Jacques Brel. ..Edith Piaf! "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" Deneuve in her prime. .. Francoise Hardy. ..The films of Jean-Luc Goddard. .. Patachou in Pigalle. .. Marc Chagall's fabulous fresco on the ceiling of the Paris Opera, revealed for the first time on the night Callas made her French debut as "Norma". .. Les jours de Mai! The student uprising of '68, that ultimately dethroned Charles DeGaulle. ... Lena Horne at the Lido. Sold out for months. .. "Breathless" with Jean Seberg and the super hot, Jean-Paul Belmondo!! Yum!!! .. Le Cinemateque, where classic films played in perpetuity. .. Hanging out in St. Germain at the Café de Flore, where you could see Jean Paul Sartre, Simone DeBeauvoir and Jean Genet in heated conversation. Le Fiacre. The most popular gay bar in town, where James Baldwin and his lover Bernard Hassle would hang out. And on and on and on. .. Ad yes, --- I was there.
Jacques Demy's 'Les Demoiselles De Rochefort' is sheer bliss and captures the French 60s perfectly.
Francoise Hardy songs and videos
Delon, Belmondo, Jean Sorel, Maurice Ronet, Trintignant.
Anouk Aimee, Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Dorleac and Romy Schneider's french films.
Lelouch's Un Homme et une Femme, particularly that montage set to the "Samba Saravah" number when Anouk and her then husband Pierre Barouh are the definition of sixties glamour.
I was in Paris during the summer of 1955. Needed dusting.
[quote]Lelouch's Un Homme et une Femme, particularly that montage set to the "Samba Saravah" number
The car racing segments are very draggy...otherwise it's v. enjoyable.
They did a Part 2 in the '80s, that started well, but REALLY dragged.
I remember in back in school we were told that French would be the international language. English turned out to be the international language. Russian language courses were sometimes offered. Now, I see the school I attended doesn't even offer Russian anymore.
Where are you from, R53?
R29, that song is "J'aime les filles". Then Dutronc proceeds to list all the girl types he likes. That is, every type.
And the chorus: "Si vous êtes comme ça, téléphonez-moi".
Sounds more like a Casanova-type.
There may be a gay reading there, but that's not what he's singing.
Much later, Dutronc acted in the film Embrassez qui vous voudrez, where he dated a French version of Jaye Davidson from The Crying Game.
The odd prudishness seen in "revolutionary" movements.
I like the French -- but sometimes French men are a bit too self regarding.
Never understood that.
I was partial to Sacha Distel and would buy Jour de France and drool.
It was the period of the great 'chansonniers'...Bécaud, Aznavour, Barbara, Brel, along with Léo Ferré and his sublime 'C'est extra', the sexiest song ever written (much better than Je t'aime).
The beginning of the terribly chic presidency of Georges Pompidou, his wife Claude as elegant and moderne as Audrey Hepburn.
Discovering croissants, petits pains au chocolat, tarte tatin, 'assiette de crudités', croque- monsieur (!), salade niçoise, and of course café au lait on my first trip.
Let's not forget la Côte d'Azur, Nice, St-Tropez, the scent of 'Bain de Soleil' and sweat.
Jean-Claude Killy and his medal sweep in Grenoble.