Tribute to Jane Birkin

© Nico Bustos

The British actress and singer will be paid tribute at the 69th Festival del film Locarno. 

A transgressive voice, persona and epitome of panache in the 1960s, Jane Birkin will be under the spotlight at the 69th edition of the Festival del film Locarno on the Piazza where, nine years ago, (2007) another tribute was paid to Michelangelo Antonioni, one of the masters with whom she worked. 

Jane Birkin initially appeared on stage in musicals, prefiguring her dual career as both actress and singer. In one year alone, her debut in The Knack… and How to Get It directed by Richard Lester (1965) and Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up made her an iconic figure of beauty and transgression. In parallel to her work as an actress, in which her talents were called upon by auteurs such as Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda and Alain Resnais, Jane Birkin also embarked on a successful career as a singer, developing an intense collaboration with her partner Serge Gainsbourg who wrote and sang with her that unforgettable duet which became a worldwide hit, Je t’aime… moi non plus (1969). The song subsequently became a film of the same title, directed by Gainsbourg.

Carlo Chatrian, the Festival's Artistic Director comments: “I am delighted to honor the extraordinary career of an actress such as Jane Birkin, whose trajectory in modern cinema is unequalled. Able to burn up the screen with her mere presence, to conjugate the meaning of seduction in original ways, to be fashionable whilst transcending fashion, the actress has brought alive characters who remain stamped on the mind, perhaps because of that singular sense of innocence lost she has always emanated”.

Locarno's tribute to Jane Birkin begins with her playing the role of Elise Lafontaine in Timo von Gunten's La femme et le TGV (Switzerland, 2016), a short film in competition in the Pardi di domani: Concorso nazionale. The tribute will also include screenings of Boxes by Jane Birkin and La fille prodigue by Jacques Doillon.

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