Les Idoles was based on a popular stage play performed by the Center for Theater & Experimentation on Actor Performance founded by Marc’O (aka Marc-Gilbert Guillaumin) who also directed the film version of Les Idoles in 1968. The film’s stars were all originally members of Marc’O’s avant-garde theater group and in many ways Les Idoles was an accumulation of the work they did together on stage. This psychedelic musical satire serves as both a critique and inadvertently a celebration of French pop music and yé-yé culture in the sixties, which seemed to fuel the revolutionary spirit in French youth while also offering up easy escapism. Les Idoles apparently received a warm reception in France when it debuted in 1968, but for one reason or another the movie was never released in the United States.
The film centers around the rise and fall of three pop stars who sing and dance their way through Les Idoles. Pierre Clémenti plays the unruly and rebellious Charly “the Knife” le Surineur who is supposedly based on the real French pop idol Johnny Hallyday and the lovely Bulle Ogier plays the kooky, sweet and naive Gigi “the Mad” la Folle who seems to be a combination of two popular yé-yé girls; Sylvie Vartan and France Gall. And finally there is Jean-Pierre Kalfon as the singer with psychic powers known as Simon “the Magician” le Magicien. Although the quality of the musical numbers in Les Idoles varies, the three leading actors give some of their most energetic and sensational performances in this uncompromising musical.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on February 29, 2012