Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good Charlotte

 I'll admit, I've long had a crush on Charlotte Gainsbourg. It may've started when I saw The Little Thief. (Isn't that the one where she hums Mozart and we first realize she's getting it on with the rake?)

(IMHO, the video above—a scene from the French film Happily Ever After—works much better with the acoustic version from Pablo Honey. You can see it for yourself here. The embedding has been disabled.)

At 40 she still holds to a preternatural lankiness in body and reediness in voice, none the worse for wear after squeezing out three kids. Though her beauty may be about half of Square-jawed Johnny's, Charlotte's less refined and slightly feral appearance works to much better effect. Her air-filled voice is like a whisperier, French-ified version of Nico (sort of). It's the kind of voice you'd love to hear coming from the next pillow. For me, it's just another layer of crush honey.

Not a lot happens in the scene above. Two people make a micro-connection while listening to the same band on headphones and share a few swollen looks. Despite her wedding-ringed finger, in her eyes we see her fall into the same collective Johnny Depp longing shared by another million less pedigreed girls. Girls who might cut themselves over the possibility of tonguing Mr. Depp's poorly-shaved visage. (What spikes my longing is the idea of a music store I wouldn't have to drive across town to get to.) The only vestiges of drama here come from the stalking camera angles up from the floor and from behind displays. All the while Thom Yorke croons. Fittingly, Creep is also a song about longing for the unattainable. I suppose a music store is a good locale for that: What lonelier big city feeling is there than seeing the empty bins of your favorite bands while everything plus remixes from, say, Miley Cyrus, is available in overabundance.

Charlotte from her new album Stage Whisper, her feral looks in full flower:

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