Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Must See/ Must Hear

By now you've all heard about An Education, but have you seen it? You must. The film is centered on a young, English Catholic schoolgirl in the 1950's, played by Carey Mulligan. Her character is reminiscent of Marianne Faithfull, pre-Rolling Stones- obsessed with Literature, and all things French (including Jacques Brel and Juliette Greco). She's my kinda gal, basically. Anyway, the film got me thinking about "La Greco"- the 1950's actress and troubadour of the French chanson. She was an inspiration to writers, philosophers, and artists, representing the beat-generation and bohemian lifestyle. Greco dressed entirely in black, wore white lipstick, and had long, dark hair- a stark contrast to the blond bombshells popularized by American cinema at the time. She had a love affair with Miles Davis; in fact, the two remained close until his death.
Above is an early photo of Greco, with Miles Davis, most likely around 1949. (Yes, it's her- cosmetic surgery was available, even back then.) The photo below is most likely from the 1950's.

It must have felt liberating for young people in post-war France to finally be able to listen to jazz music and talk freely about politics and philosophy. Those activities were punishable during the occupation.

This clip is of Juliette singing one of her most famous songs "D├ęshabillez-moi" which in English, would translate to "Undress Me." Enjoy!

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