Friday, June 5, 2009

Johnny Hallyday Update

Ol' Johnny has been in the news quite a bit in the last week or two. Reading the New York Times last week I opened up to the Arts section to see a front page article on the Cannes Film Festival featuring a picture of Johnny and prominently mentioning the film he's now starring in called Vengeance. Johnny plays an aging ex-hitman who travels to a foreign country (in this case, Macau) to investigate his daughter's murder. Sounds cool, but I may have liked it better the first time when it was called The Limey.

It's directed by Hong Kong director Johnnie To and is very much a homage to the 60's and 70's French gangster films of Jean-Pierre Melville, to the extent that To originally wanted Alain Delon, the star of multiple Melville films to play Hallyday's part. Melville himself was always interested in Eastern philosophy and began his film Le Cercle Rouge with a Buddhist quotation scrolling down the screen in silence. Hong Kong directorial icon John Woo called Melville's film Le Samourai "the closest to a perfect movie that I have ever seen."

Check the trailer here:

Also, apparently last month, Johnny has announced his retirement from being Johnny, stating his desire to plain old Jean-Phillipe Smet. He is currently on a 6 month goodbye tour. If this is true, I admire the ironic decision to end his career with dignity. As Johnny says, "I saw Frank Sinatra sing at 80 and despite his immense talent, I was disappointed.” I get where he's coming from. And especially with rock and roll, a genre built on youth and energy. Speaking of, apparently the Stooges are now going to tour with Raw Power guitarist (and current Sony Electronics Executive James Williamson on guitar). Will this guy still be able to produce solos that sound like caged ferrets being poked with sticks?

Anyways, with Johnny in the news again, thought I'd repost my Johnny Hallday mix. Enjoy!


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