I want to make people cry even when they
don’t understand my words. – Edith Piaf
The story of Edith Piaf is all at once unbelievable, inspiring, and beautifully tragic. Abandoned by her parents, she was raised by her grandmother who owned a brothel in Normandy. The prostitutes
helped to raise little Edith, who was blind for most of her childhood but is said to have been granted sight by her devotion to Saint Thérèse (Jack Kerouac, also a devotee). When she was 14, she sang in the streets with her father, a street acrobat. Piaf grew as a flower from the dirt-soaked streets of Paris, singing in Place Pigalle and in and around Belleville. Piaf was only 4 foot 8 inches tall, but the voice within was enormous enough to define her as a French icon. She also has a minor planet named after her!
I love these photos of Edith and Marlene Dietrich. The two met while Piaf was touring the US, and remained friends for the rest of her life. Dietrich was her matron of honor when she wed Jacques Pills in 1952.
Edith Piaf in 1935 – I’m not sure of the context of this movie but it’s interesting to see all of these women lounging languidly around Edith’s feet as she sings.
Piaf song from “Étoile sans lumière” in 1946. Piaf sits in the audience, watching the screen (1:46)
La Foule. This video has some really spectacular photographs of Piaf as a young woman and some candid shots throughout her career. This song gives me the giddy shivers.
Edith Piaf – Milord.
Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien with Charles Dumont. Filmed in the early 1960s.
La Vie En Rose (2007) Trailer with Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf. I can’t think of a movie that is so inspiring, yet makes me cry so consistantly.
Pomplamoose sings La Vie en Rose
I was secretly thrilled when Edith Piaf’s song “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” was used as the “kick” in last summer’s blockbuster, Inception. For weeks after the film was released, I kept hearing the song as ringtones when I was out at the grocery or cafe. Now a whole young generation has been exposed to the little sparrow! This video is a demonstration of how Zimmer used Piaf’s song “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” as a foundation for the movie’s soundtrack.
The Little Sparrow, by tattoo artist Angelique Houtkamp
Edith Piaf inspired makeup: red lips and pencil thin eyebrows.
Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in 2007
Christina Ricci as Piaf, makeup by Kevyn Aucoin