RoBERT as a young Geraldine Chaplin: Le voyage en douce

RoBERT (or to give her right name – Myriam Roulet) was cast to play a young Geraldine Chaplin in Michel Deville’s 1980 film Le voyage en douce.  They couldn’t have found a better person for the role, look:

Geraldine Chaplin 1RoBERT Le voyage en douce 1

Geraldine Chaplin plays a character called Lucie, who one evening turns up at the home of her school friend Hélène unexpectedly.  She’s in a bit of a state but it’s fair to say she’s a bit of a drama queen.  She say’s she’s left her husband François because he lets their dog stay in the bedroom when they’re making love.  It’s a reason, I suppose.

Anyway, Hélène is also a little odd – she leaves her husband and kids behind to go off on the road with Lucie for a few days.  They spend their time together reminiscing, telling stories – half remembered and half made up – sharing fantasies.  You don’t know what’s real and what’s not; neither do they sometimes.  They both come across as being slightly bored with their lives – some of the time Hélène writes books for children but the rest of the time she spends fantasising about sexual encounters that never came to pass.  In the end Lucie goes back to her husband but the film ends with Hélène reenacting Lucie’s arrival at her apartment, taking the role of Lucie herself.  Really she just needs to let herself in the apartment and spend some quality time with her husband who is waiting for her – that’s what I think anyway.

It’s watchable but I found Hélène’s character quite manipulative and a bit cold and scary.  I’m glad I don’t have a friend like her, but that’s probably just me…

Some pictures of a very young RoBERT from Le voyage en douce:

RoBERT Le voyage en douce 2RoBERT Le voyage en douce 3RoBERT Le voyage en douce 4RoBERT Le voyage en douce 5RoBERT Le voyage en douce 6RoBERT Le voyage en douce 7RoBERT Le voyage en douce 8RoBERT Le voyage en douce 9RoBERT Le voyage en douce 10RoBERT Le voyage en douce 11RoBERT Le voyage en douce 12RoBERT Le voyage en douce 13RoBERT Le voyage en douce 14RoBERT Le voyage en douce 15

RoBERT with Jean Francois Coen on Taratata

I first heard Jean-François Coen’s La Tour de Pise when I attended a screening of Michel Gondry’s music videos at the BFI a few years back.  I loved the video but I loved the song even more.  I had gone in the hope of seeing RoBERT’s video Les Jupes on the big screen, but disappointingly they didn’t include it in the screening nor was it included on the compilation video The Work of Director Michel Gondry.  Afterwards though I found out that the pretty backing vocals on Jean-François Coen’s La Tour de Pise were provided by none other than RoBERT – so that was a happy discovery.

Jean-François Coen performed the song live on an episode of the French TV show Taratata (this episode was in the main dedicated to Sylvie Vartan) and it has to be said he doesn’t look best pleased to be on the show.  If you’ve not seen it, the show was abysmal – aside from this one ray of sunlight when Jean-François appeared with his band and RoBERT on backing vocals. Afterwards Jean-François was interviewed alongside Sylvie and he didn’t seem to want to be interviewed either.  I don’t blame him, if I was him I would have been terrified that the host was going to dress up as Sylvie Vartan and perform a silly sketch again…

Anyway, here’s a few screen grabs from the show:

Coen La tour de pise Robert La tour de pise 1 Robert La tour de pise 2 Robert La tour de pise 3 Robert La tour de pise 4 Robert La tour de pise 5 Robert La tour de pise 6 Robert La tour de pise 7 Robert La tour de pise 8 Robert La tour de pise 9 Robert La tour de pise 10 Robert La tour de pise 11

Screen grabs taken from Taratata – Sylvie Vartan, 26/02/1994


Who Are You, Leonie Lousseau? Pt 4 – the new Christophe Bevilacqua biography

I bought Christian Eudeline’s new biography of Christophe (Daniel Bevilacqua) this week – I can’t wait to read it all in detail but in the meantime I’ve been flicking through it and have found there is an interview with Léonie Lousseau and some more information about her.

Christophe Book

You need to buy the book and read it for yourself really – I’ve read Christian Eudeline’s book about Michel Polnareff and that was really well done, so I am sure this is going to be great.

But in the meantime, courtesy of Christophe Portrait du dernier dandy (with a bit of extra research from me) here are a few snippets about Léonie for you:

  • Léonie was in a short film called Goutte-d’Or Story, directed by Jacques Poitrenaud in 1968 – it was 16 minutes long and features Léonie (credited as Martine Léonie) and Francis Coz. From what I can find out (I can’t find the film, sadly), it’s about a girl and a boy who are in love but don’t want to admit it, and then the girl threatens to leave.  I believe Jean-Claude Vannier provided the soundtrack and it might even be a musical but if anyone knows anything more about it, I’d love to know/see it
  • That same year Jacques Poitrenaud’s son Sebastien Poitrenaud had co-written all of the tracks on the Léonie Lousseau EP Candie – Léonie thought the songs made her seem a bit like an irritating little girl
  • Sebastien Poitrenaud, Jean-Claude Vannier and Boris Viard (one of Léonie’s friends), who all collaborated on the Candie EP, also worked together on the Les Fleurs de Pavot LP
  • After the Candie EP wasn’t quite the success hoped for, Léonie worked as a graphic designer (I think this is correct but the French word is maquettiste) at Filipacchi and then eventually asked Sebastien Poitrenaud if she could pick her own songs to record.  She found En Alabama amongst his tapes and thought it was made for her
  • She designed some record sleeves for Gilbert Montagné (The Morning Comes) and Dynastie Crisis (Litanie pour la fin d’un jour)

Dynastie Crisis Gilbert Montagne

  • Léonie wrote some lyrics for Christophe’s Good bye, je reviendrai when she saw him in the record label offices playing his guitar and struggling with the lyrics
  • Afterwards they wrote Christophe’s track Main dans la main together and then Léonie’s track Lennon
  • The musicians peforming on the En Alabama 7″ were Dominique Perrier and Didier Batard
  • Dominique Perrier said that everyone was in love with Léonie
  • Léonie wasn’t involved during the recording of the music and just came in to record her vocals – she found it frustrating and with all the people involved in the process, with a variety of interests in the project, she found it too complicated and thought the recording studio environment was too masculine/macho
  • The b-side of So Long, John (1975) called L’Autre Petit Prince was inspired by Christophe as was an unreleased track called Les Lumières de la ville
  • According to Christian Eudeline, Léonie has made brief appearances in a few films (regular readers of Hero Culte will have read about some others on here), including Le Mouton enragé (dir Michel Deville, 1974) which I have already written about here on Hero CulteL’Italien des roses (dir Charles Matton, 1972), which I can’t find a copy of, and La Philosophie dans le boudoir (dir Jacques Scandelari, 1971), which you can find on You Tube if you want to see it

Now, moving away from the bullet points, I should say I have watched La Philosophie dans le boudoir in its entirety and I’m not 100% sure if I have identified Léonie correctly so you will need to look out for her yourself.  Warning, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea as it is based on the Marquis de Sade’s play, there’s a lot of nudity and titillation.  It’s incredibly stylised with some attractive make-up, wardrobe and artistic direction but the nub and the gist of the whole thing is that a naive young man with a monobrow is in love with a stony-faced woman who has a very receding hairline.  Despite this, the monobrow man pursues her to a mansion to win her away from the older, hairy man she intends to marry.  It involves lots of orgy scenes, a hedgehog running across the body of a wasted party-goer, a woman pleasuring herself with an octopus and various other seafood (some of them still just about alive) and a man smothering himself in cream and caviar, and all this despite the fact that not one person in the room is paying him any attention whatsoever. For shame!

I thought I’d spotted Léonie a couple of times but it’s hard to say as there are so many people involved and the camera doesn’t stay still for very long.  So instead of having some photos of Léonie for you, I have just picked the prettiest lady I could find with a little beauty spot, like Léonie’s:

Leonie Beyond Love and Evil 2Leonie Beyond Love and Evil 1

She’s pretty like Léonie, but it’s not her.  Okay?

Who Are You, Leonie Lousseau? Pt 3

Yet another Léonie Lousseau discovery… This one makes me very happy, actually.  Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Jane Birkin and that I love Jean-Louis Trintignant, so what could be better than to discover that the lovely Léonie, despite not being best pleased about the Jane Birkin vocals comparisons, appeared with Jane and Jean-Louis in Michel Deville’s 1974 film Le Mouton enragé (aka The French Way or Love At The Top).

Leonie Mouton Enrage105

I believe that this is Léonie playing the character of a maid called Denise.  I’m not 100% sure but it certainly looks like her with those delicate features.  Jean-Louis admires the scenery from start to finish.  Lucky Léonie! I don’t know what it is about Jean-Louis, he kind of looks like an ordinary guy but there’s something absolutely alluring about him and his toothy grin – and whenever he’s around women’s clothes seem to fall off.  Léonie (if it is her) got out of the scene before he made her clothes fall off though.

With yet another name variation, Léonie is credited as Léonie Collet.

Leonie Mouton Enrage100Leonie Mouton Enrage101Leonie Mouton Enrage102Leonie Mouton Enrage103Leonie Mouton Enrage104Leonie Mouton Enrage Credits

I got my DVD from Germany (where it’s called Das Wilde Schaf), you can watch it in French, German or English audio with any number of subtitles available.  It also features Romy Schneider, Florinda Bolkan and Jean-Pierre Cassel – an excellent cast.

More on Léonie soon…