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PIAF

Her Stories... Her Songs....

Raquel Bitton
 

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Reviews Diversen

Piaf: The Movie

The photo gallery presents images captured during live performance of Piaf: Her Story... Her Songs.

Description

PIAF: HER STORY, HER SONGS Part documentary, part stage performance, this entertaining look at French chanteuse Edith Piaf tells her story through a terrific theatrical presentation by singer Raquel Bitton, who literally becomes Piaf while singing, but steps back and tells her story - in English - between the mostly French songs. Archival photos of Piaf illustrate her life of lucky breaks and tragedy. Some of the film's best moments are of Bitton and friends happily discussing Piaf over food and wine at a Paris bistro.

There have been other films about Edith Piaf. There was PIAF: The Early Years (1974), directed by Guy Casaril, with Brigitte Ariel as Edith Piaf. Included is PIAF (1984), A TV film with Jane Lapotaire as Edith Piaf, also starring Jean Smart and Judith Ivey.

A stunning concert film was PIAF: Her Story, Her Songs (2003). This film featured songstress Raquel Bitton actually singing all of the Piaf songs, and doing a great rendition; so much nicer that watching an actress lip-synch. There is a good documentary too, LES HOMMES DE PIAF (2003), narrated by Charles Aznavour. For those who were paying attention we heard Edith Piaf singing on the soundtrack of Spielberg’s SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998).

Distribution: Lions Gate Films

Reviews:

Interest in legendary French singer EDITH PIAF surges.
Edith Piaf revival lead by French Jazz singer RAQUEL BITTON

RAQUEL BITTON re-release Piaf tribute on CD with feature film in global distribution on DVD (Lionsgate).

Award winning Edith Piaf movie “Piaf..Her story..her songs” brings it home with
“PIAF..Her story..Her songs” Starring RAQUEL BITTON
(Lionsgate) ON DVD NOW

Sparrow Productions is proud to announce the re-release of the acclaimed CD “Raquel Bitton sings Edith Piaf” accompanied by a 24 piece orchestra IN STORES NOW at BORDERS, Barnes and Noble and Online at Amazon.com, Itunes.com.

Pops icons like David Bowie, Patti Smith, Faith Hill, and Dr John proclaimed that Edith Piaf was a great inspiration to them.

Currently in Distribution by Lionsgate films on DVD is a gem of a film that captures the true essence and story of Piaf through her music “Piaf.Her story.Her songs” starring Raquel Bitton.

While many films focus on Piaf’s tragic life, uniquely “Piaf..Her story..Her songs” lets you see the true artist, the musical icon.

Written and performed by Raquel Bitton.

Raquel Bitton chose to pay tribute to Piaf through her songs, as Piaf was known for her music.

The critics said:

On the subject of Piaf..You are no doubt over qualified from your clips and the sound of your CD (The Golden album). Your CD is terrific and I will be glad to say so."
Liz Smith
New York Newsday


"Passion is at the core of the "Piaf" Persona, in this case there is a surrogate, she is RAQUEL BITTON."
Anna Kisselgoff.
New York Times


“PIAF..Her story..Her songs”
Bitton sings material that she does better than anyone else in our midst - the songs associated with Edith Piaf.
Piaf and Billie Holiday shared a poignancy in their delivery that few others have mastered; Bitton, here, is one.
Phil Elwood.
San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle



"PIAF..Her story..Her songs
"The great French jazz singer Raquel Bitton has fashioned interpretations of Piaf's songbook that are the best thing since,well,Piaf herself sang them."
By Janice Page
Boston Globe


“PIAF..Her story..Her songs”
Bitton's homage to Edith Piaf
by Daniel Gewertz Boston Herald Saturday, September 23, 2000
PIAF..Her story..Her songs”.
Raquel Bitton created a lovely homage to Edith Piaf . Piaf's songs were sung with high artistry and knowledgeable flair. "Bitton, for all her dignity and elegance is an excellent, refined singer .The jaunty ``Milord'' came across like a jubilant burst of street-wise confidence. ``Mon Dieu,'' the song Piaf sang for her boxing champ boyfriend the night he died in a plane crash, held high drama. ``Hymne a l'amour,'' Jean Cocteau's favorite Piaf song, showed how truly accomplished Bitton is."



Raquel Bitton’s remarkable French articulation of the lyrics to such classics as "La vie en rose" and "Non, je ne regrette rien" is Piaf-like, but Bitton's phrasing and her sound are her own. The result is a glorious contemporizing of one of the classic 20th century musical styles.
By DON HECKMAN
Los Angeles Times



"A phenomenally good singer, BITTON can rasp with the best, and on the softer tunes be crisply, sensationally Rhapsodic".
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle

 

Festival Screenings:

 

Screened to rave reviews and sold out at :

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Received the SPECIAL JURY AWARD for most moving film experience.
Recipient: Artistic Director/writer/performer RAQUEL BITTON

The Highland International Film Festival Lifetime achievement award

The Boston Film Festival

The Washington DC International Film Festival

The Denver international film festival.

The Maine International film festival.

The Montreal Cinemania film festival.

The California film institute in San Rafael, CA. (Hosts to the Mill valley film festival). For the one screening scheduled, over a thousand people crowded the landmark Castro cinema in San Francisco to screen "Piaf..her story..her songs" presented by the California film institute.

The Portland Oregon Reel music international film festival.

Haifa Film festival
EDITH PIAF: HER STORY HER SONGS is unlike any other film we have presented. In short, it was a phenomenon. The film can easily stand by itself, but having Ms. Biton in person for the Q&A makes for an electric evening. Vivacious, charming, witty, she personally connects with the audience creating a unique dynamic. My only wish is that she was involved with every film we present...we could benefit from her energy and enthusiasm. What a talent!

Miami Mini Fest

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
The film played before a sell-out crowd at FLIFF's Miami Mini Fest creating the the need for three additional screenings. It then went on to sell-outs in Weston, Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The distributor who lands this film has a potential gold mine.Gregory von Hausch, President & CEO.

PIAF: HER STORY, HER SONGS
"Tears flowed down my eyes through at least half of Piaf: Her Story, Her Songs, a documentary about the famous French chanteuse. Not that it is a particularly sad film. It's just that Edith Piaf's life, expressed mostly in her songs, is full of the passion that stirs all kinds of emotions. French singer Raquel Bitton feels an equal passion for Piaf. Bitton's show of the same name as the film was critically acclaimed in New York. More than just singing Piaf's songs, though she emulates her style and voice, Bitton becomes a storyteller, weaving that inseparable tapestry of Piaf's songs with her life. Bitton casts a moving figure in her little black dress and short hair. Piaf: Her Story, Her Songs is a fine tribute to an unforgettable singer." - M.Barber.Miami Herald

"PIAF..Her story..Her songs": Lowes Common Cinema in Boston

"The great French jazz singer Raquel Bitton has fashioned interpretations of Piaf's songbook that are the best thing since,well, Piaf herself sang them." - By Janice Page Boston Globe September 11 2004

Bitton Leads Edith Piaf Revival, August 1, 2004
Thank goodness Raquel Bitton has taken up the cause for reviving Edith Piaf's mystique and talent as a singer and a performer. Although Edith Piaf (1915-1963) is a popular name in the French music genre, her special performing talent is at risk for suffocation, especially for the generations who have grown up without knowing much about the amazing person Piaf was during her hey-day. Bitton's revival of Piaf's life and work is an accompaniment to the feature length movie of the same name now showing in artist circles and film festivals. It's Bitton's passion to keep the candle of the little sparrow's memory alive, a feat she easily takes on as her repertoire of Piaf's songs is lively, charming and portrays a deep understanding for the way Piaf would like to be remembered in her music. Raquel Bitton returns Piaf to life, as though the singer never left us prematurely in 1963. Although Piaf's hallmark La Vie en Rose is one of the selections on this CD, the sparkle in this rendition of Piaf's work comes through Bitton's selections of other highly entertaining songs, especially Mon Dieu, an invocation evocative of Piaf's painful biography. I highly recommend Bitton's portrayal of Piaf's songs, especially for those who enjoy chantons en française.


PIAF: HER STORY, HER SONGS Part documentary, part stage performance, this entertaining look at French chanteuse Edith Piaf tells her story through a terrific theatrical presentation by singer Raquel Bitton, who literally becomes Piaf while singing, but steps back and tells her story - in English - between the mostly French songs. Archival photos of Piaf illustrate her life of lucky breaks and tragedy. But some of the film's best moments are of Bitton and friends happily discussing Piaf over food and wine at a Paris bistro.

(E.S.) Boston ONLINE

Piaf..her story..her songs" won the prestigious Gold Telly award for Artistic Director/writer/performer Raquel Bitton.

From the Director of the Denver International film festival after 2 sold out screenings of "Piaf..Her story..Her songs" starring Raquel Bitton.

"I consider the screening of the Piaf Documentary-concert one of the most memorable events of my 26 years at the Denver International film festival. I predict a great success for the film. I can't tell you how many people came up to me after the screenings raving about the film and Raquel's (What charming woman!) touching performance. I think you have a hit on your hands. Congratulations!"
Ron Henderson
Director
Denver film society

Richard Peterson
Director of Programming
California film institute

"It was a pleasure to present the film at the Rafael film center, which is distinguished not only by your fine performance of Piaf's repertoire, but also by strong technical and production values. The audiences for both screenings were extremely enthusiastic. It is unusual that the entire audience stays for the QandA,but this was the case both evenings followed by over a thousand people attending the screening at the Castro theatre in San Francisco a few weeks later."

From Ken Eisen at the Maine International film festival

Everyone is still talking about the performance and the film; it was truly an event that will long and well be remembered!

From MARCEL CERDAN Jr.Paris France
(Son of the late middle weight boxing champion of the world MARCEL CERDAN)

"To see over and over again the film you made in tribute to Edith Piaf is a pleasure I cannot let go of. You have a real talent, not only as a singer but as a storyteller, again BRAVO RAQUEL !"

 

From Francis Lai, Legendary composer who wrote for Piaf and who wrote the theme song in collaboration with Michel Rivgauche for Raquel in "Piaf..Her story..Her songs."

"Raquel, the film is magnifique, I loved it, you did a fantastic job, you should be proud of yourself."

From Rosalie Dubois, famous French chanteuse and a dear friend of Piaf.

"Raquel,today when I think of you, and it's very often, I am very proud of you, I know that Piaf also is proud of you. A thousand Bravos and thank you for your extraordinary film,so right on, so tender!"

From Monique Chauvigny, wife of life long Piaf conductor Robert Chauvigny.

Thank you infinitely for your film"Piaf..Her story..Her songs." You have succeeded in capturing the essence and myth of Edith Piaf with Bravado. What a beautiful interpretation, it's not an easy thing. You have an intonation that reminds me of Edith (It's a compliment coming from me, because we were together so much, being the wife of her conductor. I traveled with her for years.

From Bernard Marchois, curator of the Piaf museum in Paris (Les amis d'Edith Piaf)

What a beautiful gift you gave Edith on her 40th anniversary of her death. The images, the sound, you and us are all PERFECT! It's for us a great honor to know that she is loved and honored in the USA.

From Doris Contet, wife of one of Piaf's favorite composer Henri Contet

I saw the film and it filled my heart with joy. What a magnificent interpretation of "T'es beau tu sais." I have goose pimples! Your film is very important to me and is particularly dear to my heart. Thank you again a thousand times for this gift, it's magnificent!

On the subject of Piaf..You are no doubt over qualified from your clips and the sound of your CD (The Golden album). Your CD is terrific and I will be glad to say so."
Liz Smith
New York Newsday



"Passion is at the core of the "Piaf" Persona, in this case there is a surrogate, she is RAQUEL BITTON."
Anna Kisselgoff.
New York Times



“PIAF..Her story..Her songs”
Bitton sings material that she does better than anyone else in our midst - the songs associated with Edith Piaf.
Piaf and Billie Holiday shared a poignancy in their delivery that few others have mastered; Bitton, here, is one.
Phil Elwood.
San Francisco Examiner/Chronicle





“PIAF..Her story..Her songs”
Bitton's homage to Edith Piaf
by Daniel Gewertz Boston Herald Saturday, September 23, 2000

PIAF..Her story..Her songs”.
Raquel Bitton created a lovely homage to Edith Piaf . Piaf's songs were sung with high artistry and knowledgeable flair. "Bitton, for all her dignity and elegance is an excellent, refined singer .The jaunty ``Milord'' came across like a jubilant burst of street-wise confidence. ``Mon Dieu,'' the song Piaf sang for her boxing champ boyfriend the night he died in a plane crash, held high drama. ``Hymne a l'amour,'' Jean Cocteau's favorite Piaf song, showed how truly accomplished Bitton is."



Raquel Bitton’s remarkable French articulation of the lyrics to such classics as "La vie en rose" and "Non, je ne regrette rien" is Piaf-like, but Bitton's phrasing and her sound are her own. The result is a glorious contemporizing of one of the classic 20th century musical styles.
By DON HECKMAN
Los Angeles Times




"A phenomenally good singer, BITTON can rasp with the best, and on the softer tunes be crisply, sensationally Rhapsodic".
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle



“Piaf..Her story..Her songs” is an astonishing triumph. Bitton’s voice is powerful and emotional. The presentation is exquisite. BITTON is superb in sight and song. I could listen to her combined English/French renditions for hours, not minutes. Her intensity and authenticity are utterly overwhelming. She loves to sing, she loves the songs she has selected and loves the crowd that shares her delight in the songs she does so brilliantly. One wishes along the way to come up for air, to shout and clap and whistle in tribute to the glorious music and to the captivating BITTON."
Philip Elwood
San Francisco Examiner


-The stance was familiar: legs rigidly astride, hands on hips and fingers splayed below the waist. Diminutive, with cropped hair and wearing a plain black dress, Raquel Bitton took center stage and re-created the imagery and the magic of the legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf. Bitton, who discovered Piaf's repertoire in 1982, has subsequently shaped and molded the material into a thrilling program of song that goes beyond imitation. Bitton infuses her performances with her own musical richness and instinctive sense of drama and storytelling.
VARIETY
Raquel Bitton Sings: Edith Piaf - Her Story, Her Songs
By ROBERT L. DANIELS