Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

47 Years and 5 Lives Later

She was abandoned by her parents when she was 3. A relative took her to a brothel where she was raised by prostitutes. She suffered a 4-year stint of meningitis-induced blindness. After she recovered she was taken by another relative from the brothel to lead an equally bizarre life in the circus. In the circus, at age 13, she first sang in front of an audience. The singing would become her singular passion and her life's work. Through chronic illnesses, mob run ins, abandonment and a tragic affair with a married Moroccan boxer, she would become what was and maybe still is France's most notorious and celebrated singer.

She was Edith Piaf.

I had never heard of her. Of course, that could be because she died before my time. I had never heard her trademark song and the title of the recent Piaf bio film, La Vie En Rose. But after seeing the movie I downloaded some her music. She was fantastic. Not really my style of music, several generations and a language removed, but still, the quality of her voice was amazing.

The film itself is a seductive and stylish production. The actress playing Piaf gave a heartbreaking performance portraying the steely-spined but unraveling artist.

Thanks to ebay and a little insomnia I now own the DVD. I totally admire this woman for living 5 complete lives in her brief 47 years.

Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf

La Vie En Rose

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Blogger carl r said...

That sounds like a pretty wacked out life. All 5 of them. She was just 4 short of being a cat.

Well, I'd never heard of her either, until I read this post. Maybe I'll check this movie out, when I feel like being social again.

3:26 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Carl, you dont have to be social, just rent it like I did :) Oh, fair warning, it is not an uplifting piece.

7:30 PM

Blogger suzy said...

I can not believe you never heard of edith piaf! I even have a CD or two....

12:41 AM

Anonymous said...

Just added to the Netflix queue :)

12:12 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Better late than never, eh Suzy? :)

1:09 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Enjoy Jason!

1:09 PM

Anonymous Thom said...

A friend of mine and I saw this when it was in the theaters. I thought it was really well done, too, especially the title role. Piaf's music isn't really my cup of tea, either, but I do like some of her songs.


3:13 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Thom, I found some covers of Edith Piaf music, while I liked the music the vocals did not carry the same weight. She really had an amazing voice.

7:11 AM


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