I was lent the DVD of the film Betty Blue a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to watching it. Starring Jean-Hughes Anglade and Beatrice Dalle, the Director’s Cut at just about 3 hours in length requires a feat of endurance, but was absolutely worth every minute.
I just thought about the film right now and what a strange if unrelated coincidence, as I was looking through my song collection and came upon Je t’aime… moi non plus which I first heard in high school in the early 80’s, but haven’t listened to in ages. It reminded me of a scene from the film with Betty and Zorg fleeing to the city while getting a lift in a pick-up truck, after she sets fire to the beach shack they were living in.
Je t’aime… moi non plus has quite a colourful history. Written by Serge Gainsbourg, it was originally written for and sung with Bridgitte Bardot way back in 1967. It was not released after Bardot’s husband Gunter Sachs got wind of it. In 1968 Gainsbourg recorded another version with English actress Jane Birkin which was released in 1969. It was promptly banned from radio in several European cities and in the USA for being too risqué, and not surprisingly denounced by the Vatican as well.
Incidentally the version originally sung with Bardot was eventually released in 1986, but quite frankly is relatively timid compared to the Birkin duet, which as you can guess rocks my boat.
The song has been extensively covered by a diverse array of artists including Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, who was inspired by it to create the disco classic Love To Love You Baby.
Je t’aime, je t’aime
Oh oui je t’aime !
Moi non plus
Oh mon amour
Comme la vague irrésolue
Je vais, je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Je vais et je viens
Entre tes reins
Et je me retiens