ROME — Jane Birkin, the British actress, singer and muse known for roles in films by Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean-Luc Godard, and Agnes Varda, among others – as well as for the Birkin Bag by Hermes – will be celebrated by the upcoming Locarno Film Festival.
Birkin, 69, is expected to attend the Swiss fest dedicated to indie and auteur cinema, which in a statement hailed her as “a transgressive voice, persona and epitome of panache in the 1960s.”
Her career took off when she was 20 with Antonioni’s “Blow Up,” in which she played a nude model. She followed that up with films by Jacques Rivette, Godard, Varda, and Alain Resnais, among others.
Birkin is also famous for her 1969 duet with French singer Serge Gainsbourg, her husband at the time, in the worldwide hit “Je t’aime…moi non plus.” The song segued into a film with the same title, directed by Gainsbourg.
The Locarno tribute will comprise screenings of a new short in which Birkin stars, “La femme et le TGV,” by young Swiss director Timo von Gunten; of Birkin-directed “Boxes,” in which she also appears alongside Geraldine Chaplin and Michel Piccoli; and 1980 incest drama “La fille prodigue” (“The Prodigal Daughter”) by Jacques Doillon, her second husband.
New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center earlier this year paid tribute to Birkin with “Jane and Charlotte Forever,” a series of screenings celebrating her acting career and the career of her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Earlier this month Birkin was forced to cancel a planned July 9 concert with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra after being denied a Chinese visa. While authorities reportedly gave no explanation, it is believed that she was denied entry into China because of her activism in fighting human-rights abuses. Birkin is a member of Amnesty International and the International Human Rights Federation.
The 69th edition of Locarno will run Aug. 3-13.