DVD review – Slogan (1969), Region 4, Shock

The main point of interest of this odd 1969 French film is that it is the first collaboration between legendary French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and English actor and singer Jane Birkin, who had previously appeared in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blowup. Gainsbourg and Birkin would later marry and record the scandalously sexually explicit hit “Je t’aime… moi non plus”.

Gainsbourg plays a highly successful advertising director who embarks on a tumultuous affair with a young girl, played by Birkin. The pair are completely carefree – not much thought is given to the pregnant wife and a crestfallen fiancée that they abandon – and they canter around Paris and Venice being all chic and gorgeous.

This is an incredibly silly film but not without charm. Gainsbourg, who also scored the film, and Birkin give terrible performances but they do have real chemistry. The spirit of the French New Wave is nodded at by the film’s slightly anarchic style and absurdist moments but it is mostly a colourful and breezy pop-art inspired romance. Calling Slogan a cult film may be a bit of a stretch but it is certainly a fun curiosity piece. 

Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 316, 2008

© Thomas Caldwell, 2008