Considered by many who lived through it to be the high point of rock 'n' roll in France, the years 1977 - 1982 saw a burst of creative angst in Gallic music. Bands like Métal Urbain, The Dogs, Bijou, Asphalt Jungle and Ici Paris heard the noise going on in England and quickly echoed back. Unlike in the sixties where France was a good 5 years behind the U.S.A. these musicians were concurrent with The Dead Kennedy's, X and The Germs.
Unfortunately though, punk was a subculture in France and insufficient record sales allowed these bands to slip into obscurity. They were also overshadowed by more mainstream acts like Telephone and Starshooter.
But in 1979 Philipe Puicouyoul 'borrowed' the the camera gear from the production he was working on during the day to film a punk rock love story at night. La brune et moi
- a play on the French title for the American 50s rock 'n' roll film The Girl Can't Help
(La blonde et moi
) - was shot in one week and a Saturday. Like it's American counterpart, the story is a thin prop for the rockin' performances.
The film stars scenester Anoushka and actor Pierre Clementi (The Conformist
, Belle de jour
) and features the following bands on the soundtrack:
The Questions (really known as Les Lous)
Marquis de Sade
played for a week in a small theater in the left bank in 1980 and vanished. The Cinematheque Francaise has a copy of the film but the negative and original master audio are all gone.
In 2005, rock 'n' roll movie archeologists Rockenscope uncovered La Brune
and found Philipe working in the film department at Le Centre Pompidou in Paris and staged a screening at the underground art space Les Voutes to a sold out crowd. The film has now crossed the Atlantic! Castle Pink Frankenstein and RockenScope are proud to bring to you the world of French Punk rock, a world even most Frenchies don't know about!
If you would like to help with a screening in your town please contact us.