Now this is what you call a performance. Rightfully, Isabelle Adjani has to go down as one French cinema’s greatest actresses. Possessing an expressive beauty that she can transform from ethereal to surreal in movies like Possession, Subway, all the way to Diabolique, it’s Isabelle’s ability to sculpt that mysterious sexuality on her own terms that allowed her to use such talent to get away with almost everything in her artistic career. That’s also what makes her one and only foray into music, 1983’s Pull Marine, so devious.
Partnering with a reinvigorated Serge Gainsbourg, together they co-wrote the majority of this album and applied that same honed chisel to this torrid collection of very askew pop songs. Whether pointing out her affection for androgynous men/style in the mutant/schizoid funk of “Beau Oui Comme Bowie” or simply giving props to the state of Ohio for not being a dump like whatever state is next to it in the opener “Ohio“, there are a lot of truly dark, sinister musical themes hidden beneath a lot of the subversive sultriness on display in this release. Pull Marine is one of those albums some record label head must have unwittingly signed off without knowing the full intentions of the partners in play. But, I don’t want to spoil it all for you, that’s what the download link is for.
You can, however, get a taste of those brilliant ideas floating in Isabelle’s mind in her forward-looking video for the surprising hit single from the album: “Pull Marine”. Directed by a young Luc Besson, and taking full advantage of Isabelle’s many God-given talents, this video would serve as a brilliant starting point for what would later become the influential cinematic style seen in Nikita, The Professional, and countless other Cinema du Look movies.