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>Wishlist Wednesday: All Things Edith

> Last week, I finally saw La Vie En Rose, the biopic of Edith Piaf. I watched it twice, then watched all the special features. The documentary was in French with Korean subtitles, but at that point, I didn’t care; I was smitten. It’s all about Edith. Even as we speak, I’m playing Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien on youtube. Over and over. The version I like best is a color home movie made in 1961. The piano player, Charles Dumont (who also wrote the music) is hot. I love the way he hammers the keys after Edith sings (en Francaise) They’re all the same to me… Whoo…makes me want to turn in my American passport at the French border. In addition, Piaf is so tiny (maybe 4 ft. 10?) and compelling and defiant in her black dress and tiny red shoes. Only two years after that home movie, she would die at 47, officially from liver cancer, but probably more because of her long-seated twin addictions to alcohol and heroin.

I hit Kyobo Books after book group last week, but forgot to go downstairs to Hot Tracks and look for the soundtrack to La Vie En Rose, so I was a bit vexed with myself during the bus ride back to Gumi. Obviously, I was in a forgiving mood, because I somehow ended up at amazon the next day and treated myself to A Cry From The Heart: The Biography Of Edith Piaf by Margaret Crosland. When the A&E show, Biography, did a documentary on Piaf, (which I watched with Greek subtitles, courtesy of youtube) they interviewed Crosland extensively, and she was marvelous — slightly grim and gruff, but loads of sympathy for her subject.

Piaf has cast a spell over me with her voice. No kidding. I want to read about her, watch her on youtube, listen to CDs of her music, have Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien or Milord as my ringtone, buy a black dress, learn French then move to Paris and sit at sidewalk cafes all day long and shabby little nightclubs all night long. Did I mention my longing for French food, beginning with hot, crusty French baguettes and something pungent and semi-soft in a cheese? Bring on the escargot! And wine, of course! Bottles and bottles; bring the whole lot to my small but cozy Paris flat, with its bookshelves crammed to bursting with French authors.

How did this happen? Summer madness? Crazy from the heat? The French probably have a word or phrase for it and Edith Piaf probably had a song about it.

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