“Françoise Hardy, so many beautiful things”, on France 3: the itinerary of an elegant icon of French song


All those whom Françoise Hardy has accompanied over time will experience happiness in rediscovering the tender verses of this gentle elegance. This film is a delicate gift, although a little belated, concocted in 2004 by Olivier Bellamy and Jean-Pierre Devillers on the argument of So many beautiful things24e singer album.

Between Paris and the Corsican family home, the author-performer recounts here with simplicity and lucidity, her successes, her disappointments, her loves. She looks back on her forty-year career – we are in the early 2000s when this documentary portrait was released, co-produced by Vic de Mayo, Eva Production and France 3.

A discreet, solid, atypical career, even if the initial breeding ground was that of the “yé-yé” generationwhich she will be, in 1961, at the age of 17, with her first song All the boys and girlsa rising star, just like Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Vartan, Sheila… The Vogue record company, which signed her first contract, was looking for a female counterpart to The Youth Idol (the tube that imposed Johnny Hallyday in 1962).

Childhood wounds

She eludes nothing. Childhood and its wounds (the carelessness of a father who led a double life, Françoise bears the name of his mother, Madeleine, whom he had not married); shame – “one of the first feelings I experienced and which has never left me” –; friendship and professional connections (Georges Brassens, Michel Berger, Serge Gainsbourg, Véronique Sanson, Iggy Pop…); the couple relationship, love, its hazards and its teachings – “I learned that love is a presence which does not judge, which neither asks nor expects anything. (…) It is something that must make the other grow” The virtues, finally, of chosen solitude or even the fascination for the great interpreters of the classic (Martha Argerich, Hélène Grimaud).

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Sure witnesses, Jacques Dutronc, lifelong companion, Thomas, their musician son and now working accomplice, or the photographer friend, Jean-Marie Périer. From Mireille’s “Petit Conservatoire de la chanson” (from 1955 to 1974), where the young singer learned the trade, to her rare short-lived forays into the cinema (Castle in Swedenby Roger Vadim, adaptation of a play by Françoise Sagan; Grand Prizeby John Frankenheimer, with Yves Montand; Male Femaleby Jean-Luc Godard), the numerous archives summoned trace a solid line, barely modified by the years.

Graceful silhouette, melancholic, serious and witty as much as facetious; tracker, always surprised by the admiration she has been able to arouse… “I know that life is short. And I’ve been around”, sang, from 1963, Françoise Hardy, in Like so many others.

Françoise Hardy, so many beautiful thingsdocumentary by Olivier Bellamy and Jean-Pierre Devillers (Fr., 2004, 75 min).

“Françoise Hardy, so many beautiful things”, on France 3: the itinerary of an elegant icon of French song