If you are a fan of Gainsbourg, then these films may well be for you. If, like me, you know very little about him, then they are not so interesting. Watching these, I felt I needed context for what had happened in Gainsbourg’s life. I wanted some greater structure, perhaps to have some of the footage from these films combined with a more traditional documentary style so I knew what was going on.
In Gainsbourg by Gainsbourg: An Intimate Self-Portrait, we see Serge commentating over a lot of different footage from his life. Whilst it was quite interesting to have an insight in Gainsbourg’s mind, at times, it became very repetitive and I think there was a lot that could have been cut down. However, nothing like Souvenirs of Serge, which was a lot of quite delightful home footage of Serge with his then partner Jane Birkin and their children. The footage was mostly alright, at times even fabulous, but the commentary was drawn out and painful.
Perhaps, if you loved Serge, you too would love this. Perhaps.