Limited Edition Box Set of Christophe Photos by Lucie Bevilacqua

Today I received a lovely box set of photographs of the French singer Christophe (Daniel Bevilacqua).  What is so special about these photographs is that they were taken by Christophe’s very talented daughter, Lucie Bevilacqua, and purchased directly from her via her website.

For just 100 euros plus postage (very reasonable) you get 20 of Lucie’s photographs (10cm x 15cm) of Christophe packaged beautifully in a black box; all of this is done by Lucie herself.  The prints are not signed but in keeping with the personal touch Lucie enclosed a signed card wishing me a happy new year!

If you haven’t already succumbed, I’d recommend getting one of these sets of photographs before they run out.  For those who don’t speak French, don’t worry, I emailed Lucie in French and she replied in English thereafter.

Here are a few snaps to show you what you can expect (excuse the glare on the prints, they come enclosed in plastic photographic pockets for protection):

Christophe 1 Christophe 2 Christophe 3

Michel Houellebecq needs a lighter

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (aka L’enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq) was released on DVD in the UK last week.  I got my copy on Christmas Eve and watched it immediately.  I’ve seen it twice now and thoroughly recommend it – it’s very enjoyable and laugh out loud funny at moments.

MH Kidnapping 1

The film is made in observational cinema style, as if it’s a documentary – it’s supposed to be based on the rumour that Houellebecq was actually abducted at some point when he failed to turn up for a literary promotional event.  If he was, I can well imagine that it went much the same way as the film did.

Initially we see Houellebecq going about his usual business – discussing the renovation and decoration work he is planning for his apartment; getting a bag of vegetables from a neighbour; writing poetry; moaning about esplanades; complaining that the media stresses him out; criticising his friend’s piano playing; signing an autograph for a fan.  Stuff like that.


Then he is abducted by three guys who follow him to his apartment.  They eventually take him away to a house in the countryside where they keep him holed up until the mysterious “intermediary” pays the ransom and he can be released.

At first Houellebecq wants to know who has ordered his kidnapping; who is going to pay the ransom; when he can go.  Then he all he wants is something to take his mind off the boredom of waiting.  The things he wants most of all are cigarettes, alcohol and reading material.  He complains quite a lot to the kidnappers, which is a fairly good strategy for getting what you want.  They usually give in to his requests eventually but the one thing he never gets is free access to a cigarette lighter:

MH Kidnapping 18

MH Kidnapping 19Note the scary doll in the corner of the bedroom Michel has to sleep in 

MH Kidnapping 21MH Kidnapping 34MH Kidnapping 39MH Kidnapping 40MH Kidnapping 41MH Kidnapping 42MH Kidnapping 43MH Kidnapping 44MH Kidnapping 51MH Kidnapping 52MH Kidnapping 60MH Kidnapping 61MH Kidnapping 62MH Kidnapping 63MH Kidnapping 64MH Kidnapping 74MH Kidnapping 85MH Kidnapping 89MH Kidnapping 90MH Kidnapping 91

It really tickled me that when Michel was arguing with his kidnappers about literature, his threat of violence involved using an ashtray!

MH Kidnapping 79

And when he offers to write a poem for Ginette (the mother of one of the kidnappers and owner of the house they are staying in), Michel can’t resist referring to the lack of lighter in his life:

MH Kidnapping 83MH Kidnapping 84Just give the man his lighter back!

And when he’s not smoking, he is talking about smoking:

MH Kidnapping 86MH Kidnapping 87MH Kidnapping 88MH Kidnapping 94MH Kidnapping 95MH Kidnapping 96

Sometimes Michel looks for other activities to keep himself entertained.  He wouldn’t have been any more entertained at a holiday camp, here’s what he got to do:

Fighting – both watching and being trained

MH Kidnapping 35 MH Kidnapping 36 MH Kidnapping 71 MH Kidnapping 72 MH Kidnapping 73Michel gets Luc in a triangle choke


MH Kidnapping 57MH Kidnapping 68MH Kidnapping 81Ginette gets a local prostitute, Fatima, to visit Michel (twice) by saying he’s “charming” and “not bad” looking

Studying vintage cars

MH Kidnapping 70


MH Kidnapping 82

Learning to whistle

MH Kidnapping 56

Dog handling

MH Kidnapping 67

Bodybuilding displays

MH Kidnapping 58MH Kidnapping 59Michel is most amused when Luc pronounces bodybuilding incorrectly as “bodabuilding”

By the end of the visit, Michel is even considering taking up one of these new activities himself:

MH Kidnapping 97MH Kidnapping 98MH Kidnapping 99

As much as Houellebecq is a fairly demanding kidnap victim, his kidnappers are also a bit moany:

MH Kidnapping 22 MH Kidnapping 53

Their complaints include:

Michel’s dropping crumbies on the floor (eating his sandwich whilst handcuffed)

MH Kidnapping 23

Michel’s got his shoes on the bed (which he is chained to)

MH Kidnapping 24

Michel’s smoking in bed (he’s chained to the bed)

MH Kidnapping 25

Michel’s drinking too much (his defence is “With a meal, two glasses of wine isn’t excessive”)

MH Kidnapping 32

Michel’s smoking at the dinner table whilst eating (no excuse, he’s just being clumsy)

MH Kidnapping 46

If the above is not enough to convince you that this film is well worth a viewing or two, well, then you might as well watch Lord of the Rings with its “capes and swords and pretty boys”.

Houellebecq rocks and the rest of the cast are great too – all of them are very realistic, to the extent that you can almost believe it’s really happening.

MH Kidnapping 5MH Kidnapping 77MH Kidnapping 101

Go and see The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq now or buy it on DVD so you can watch it many times.  The film is directed by Guillaume Nicloux and has been released by Studio Canal with English subtitles.

One final thing, check out Ginette’s impressive collection of wolf plates:

MH Kidnapping 16

My Favourite Stuff: Serge Gainsbourg film still from Paris Does Not Exist

Paris n'existe pas002

Send your captions on the back of a postcard!

This film print from my collection was a little on the pricey side but it was worth it as it’s a very large still and Serge looks so sweet in it.  It’s taken from Robert Benayoun’s 1969 film Paris n’existe pas, which I have seen and should really write about at some point.  But when do I ever find the time these days?  I’ll try…

The photo is Serge with Danièle Gaubert.  In Continental Film Review (December 1968 issue) I also found this about the film:

Paris n'existe pas001


Francoise Hardy on Film: Nutty Naughty Chateau

Francoise Hardy Chateau 1

Some more Françoise Hardy film information to share – this post is about Roger Vadim’s 1963 film Château en Suède aka Nutty, Naughty Chateau.  I’m dying to see this and, fingers crossed, I think I may be getting a copy soon.  But in the meantime here’s some information and stills from the film taken from Continental Film Review (issues August 1963 and October 1963):

Francoise Hardy Chateau002

Francoise Hardy Chateau003Francoise Hardy Chateau001

Francoise Hardy on Film: Une balle au coeur

I haven’t posted anything about Françoise Hardy for a little while but today I’ve been looking through back issues of Continental Film Review and I’ve found a few bits and pieces about her that I thought I should share.

Francoise Hardy Balle 1

Francoise Hardy Balle 2

I’ve not yet managed to obtain a copy of Une balle au coeur so it was interesting to find this report about the film and some shots of Françoise and Sami Frey working on it.  This is from the August 1965 issue of Continental Film Review:

Francoise Hardy Une balle001Francoise Hardy Une balle002

It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway – if you have this film, please get in touch as I’d love to see it.  Thanks!

Who Are You, Leonie Lousseau? Pt 5

Charles Matton001 Charles Matton002

In my last post about  Léonie Lousseau I mentioned that she had made an appearance in Charles Matton’s 1972 film L’Italien des roses – a film which I haven’t been to get my hands on yet.  But today whilst reading my back issues of Continental Film Review  (April 1972 issue) I came across this article about the film.  No mention of Léonie of course (I suspect she had a very small supporting role) but at least it gives you an idea what the film is like.  If I find anything else I’ll post it, obviously.  And if anyone has the film, please get in touch as I’d love a copy.

Another article from Continental Film Review (October 1972 issue):

Italian Roses003Italian Roses001Italian Roses002