Three decades after his death, French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg remains a complex and vivid figure within music and culture. Join FIAF for two special events celebrating the artist’s life and legacy.
Theatrical Concert | La Comédie-Française chante Gainsbourg
Online: Thursday, June 10–Wednesday, June 30
In French with English subtitles
This film, a theatrical concert adapted from Stéphane Varupenne and Sébastien Pouderoux’s show Les Serge (Gainsbourg Point Barre), pays tribute to the genius of the provocative artist. Actors from the renowned troupe embark on a search for the elusive man behind the music, and explore the lasting influence of the beloved, though sometimes polarizing composer and musician.
FIAF Member Ticket: Free [discount code sent via email]
Non-Member Ticket: $15
Talk | With Jane Birkin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Rebecca Marder
Recorded LIVE on Thursday, June 10 at 6:30pm ET
In English, 45 minutes
Join us for a conversation three celebrated artists who deeply know Gainsbourg as an artist and a man: the incomparable Jane Birkin, Gainsbourg’s former partner; accomplished actor/musician Charlotte Gainsbourg, Birkin and Gainsbourg’s daughter; and Comédie-Française’s Rebecca Marder, a performer in La Comédie-Française chante Gainsbourg.
In a conversation with Michael Cooper, Deputy Culture Editor at The New York Times, the three special guests will look back at Serge Gainsbourg’s genius creations and discuss his artistic heritage.
Tickets: Free!Watch the Talk
Jane Birkin is an English actress, singer, songwriter, and model.
Along with a prolific career in British and French cinema, Birkin is also known for her decade-long musical and romantic partnership with Serge Gainsbourg.
A native of London, Birkin began her career as an actress, appearing in minor roles in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup (1966), and Kaleidoscope (1966). In 1968, she met Serge Gainsbourg while co-starring with him in Slogan, which marked the beginning of a years-long working and personal relationship. The duo released their debut album Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg (1969), and Birkin also appeared in the controversial film Je t’aime moi non plus (1976) under Gainsbourg’s direction. Birkin would attain further acting credits in Agatha Christie’s films Death on the Nile (1978), and Evil Under the Sun (1982). After separating from Gainsbourg in 1980, Birkin continued to work as both an actress and a singer, appearing in various independent films and recording numerous solo albums.
Charlotte Gainsbourg is a French musician, singer and actress, and the daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin.
Charlotte Gainsbourg boasts an illustrious acting career. Since the age of 14 she has worked with numerous renowned French and international directors such as Claude Miller, Agnès Varda, Lars VonTrier and Michel Gondry. Charlotte Gainsbourg has won several prestigious awards, including two César Awards and one Palme d’Or for Best Actress at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for the film Antichrist.
Charlotte Gainsbourg is also an accomplished musician and renowned singer. She has released five albums in French and in English. In 2018, she was crowned Female artist of the year at the French Victoires de la Musique.
She relocated to New York City five years ago.
Learn more at charlottegainsbourg.com
A French theater and film actress, Rebecca Marder, performed in La Comédie française’s show Les Serges and the show’s film adaptation La Comédie-Française chante Gainsbourg.
Rebecca Marder started her career at the age of five, performing alongside Louis Garrel and Mélanie Laurent, in Rodolphe Marconi’s feature film Ceci est mon corps. While still in high school, she played Emma in Alain Tasma’s eponymous film, for which she won a prize at the La Rochelle Film Festival.
At the age of 19, the head of French National theater Comédie Française, Eric Ruf, snatched her out of her theater conservatory Theatre National de Strasbourg, where she had just begun studying. She made her theater debut playing Lucietta in Carlo Goldoni’s The Boors and was soon after entrusted with many roles in the classical and contemporary repertoires (Molière, Racine, Feydeau, Lagarce) – amongst which that of Serge Gainsbourg in Les Serge.
She has worked with a great number of theater directors amongst which are Ivo Von Hove, Clément Hervieu Léger, Julie Deliquet… While a theater actress, Rebecca Marder continues to shoot films. The more recent ones are Fiertés, a series directed by Philippe Faucon for ARTE, Un homme pressé (Hervé Mimran), La Daronne (Jean-Paul Salomé, with Isabelle Huppert), Deux Moi (Cedric Klapish, with Anna Girardot), and Arnaud Desplechin’s soon to be released Tromperies (with Léa Seydoux and Denis Podalydès).
She holds the lead roles in the much-awaited movies: Simone, Voyage du siècle, a biopic by La Mome‘s director Olivier Dahan about the life of French figure Simone Veil; as well as Sandrine Kiberlain’s first feature film, Une jeune fille qui va bien. She is currently shooting two more title roles with directors Michel Leclerc, and Noemie Lvovsky, both musicals. In summer 2021, she will shoot a French thriller directed by Sylvain Desclous, alongside Benjamin Lavernhe.
Michael Cooper is a deputy culture editor at The New York Times. He was previously a reporter covering classical music and dance, politics, urban affairs, New York, crime and general mayhem. He will moderate the talk.
Stéphane Varupenne is a French actor, singer, and musician.
Since becoming sociétaire in the Comédie-Français in 2015, Stéphane Varupenne has starred in Racine’s Britannicus, Jean-Yves Ruf’s staging of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, Jacques Lassalle’s The School for Wives and Catherine Hiegel’s The Miser by Moliere. His musical talent has been showcased by the company in more modern productions including Chansons déconseillées by Philippe Meyer, Cabaret Boris Vian by Serge Bagdassarian, Comme une pierre qui… by Marie Rémond and Sébastien Pouderoux, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera by Laurent Pelly, and Le Cerf et le Chien by Véronique Vella. Outside of the Comédie-Française, Stéphane Varupenne has played in a number of orchestras and presented Stravinsky’s Firebird in September 2017 with the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France at the Paris Philharmonic.
Sébastien Pouderoux is a French actor.
Sébastien Pouderoux made his acting debut as pensionnaire with the Comédie-Française in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida directed by Jean-Yves Ruf. Being a fan of new artistic interpretation, he eventually co-directed and starred as Bob Dylan in Greil Marcus’ Comme une pierre qui…, based on the 1965 anthem Like a Rolling Stone, and soon after played Herbert Thallman in Ivo Van Hove’s adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s film The Damned. Outside of the Comédie-Française, he has participated in Thomas Ostermeier’s theatrical adaptation of Chekhov’s Seagull (La Mouette), as well as Guillaume Gallienne’s television adaptation of Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov which later became the feature film Maryline. Sébastien Pouderoux’s filmography also includes Bertrand Tavernier’s The French Minister (Quai d’Orsay) and C’est la Vie (Le Sens de la fête) by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.
Creative Team: La Comédie-Française chante Gainsbourg
Adapted from Les Serge (Gainsbourg Point Barre), created by Stéphane Varupenne and Sébastien Pouderoux
Directed by Julien Condemine
Stéphane Varupenne: vocals, guitar, trombone
Benjamin Lavernhe: vocals, drums, bass
Sébastien Pouderoux: vocals, guitar, bass, clarinet, keyboard
Noam Morgensztern: vocals, piano, keyboard
Rebecca Marder: vocals, keyboard
Yoann Gasiorowski: vocals, drums, percussion, piano
Musical arrangements: Guillaume Bachelé, Martin Leterme, Vincent Leterme and les Serge
A co-production of Comédie-Française and La Belle Télé, with special thanks to France Télévisions.