Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

Director: Denis Héroux
Year Released: 1975
Rating: 2.5

Fragmented musical inspired by the songs of French-Belgian Brel (who appears here as himself, alive and well at the time) that acts as a good showcase of his remarkable talent. The problems with this, then, have nothing to do with Brel and everything to do with the structuring and filming of the play itself: the segues between musical numbers are either flimsy or non-existent, and the so-called 'direction' by Denis Héroux is terrible - the camera is too far back or too close at times, and other times it just sits there when it should be moving. With a little playwright magic and a more capable filmmaker, this might actually be a more dynamic (though no less melancholy - Brel was never the most upbeat of songwriters) experience.