Louis Germain David de Funès de Galarza (31 July 1914 – 27 January 1983) was a French actor and comedian born to Spanish parents. According to several polls conducted since 1968, he is France‘s favourite actor – having played over 150 roles in film and over 100 on stage.
His acting style is remembered for its high-energy performance and his wide range of facial expressions and tics. A considerable part of his best-known acting was directed by Jean Girault and Gérard Oury.
De Funès is one of the most famous French actors of all time, and even more so when it comes to his international celebrity.
Besides his extreme fame in the French-speaking world he also still is a household name in places like Russia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Iran, Greece, Israel, Albania, former Yugoslavia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Mauritius and Bulgaria.
Despite this he remains almost unknown in the English-speaking world. He was exposed to a wider audience only once in the United States, in 1974, with the release of ‘The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob‘, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
All that according to Wikipedia. That last paragraph maybe because Louis de Funès’ film are very French.
Anyway, de Funès’ films were part of my child childhood and have cult status for many. So I wanted to see the exhibition.
The exhibition is not revolutionary. A timeline, some interviews and comparisons give context. We learn of his career and his sources for inspiration.
Getting old but still funny
De Funès’ films are more or less withstanding the a-changing times. Many jokes wouldn’t be made today, but they were not made today. They were made in the 1960s and 1970s.
The ‘Gendarmes‘-franchise is the most famous amongst Flemings, but is not my favourites. By far, I prefer ‘Rabbi Jacob’, ‘L’aile ou la cuisse‘ or ‘La grande vadrouille‘. ‘L’homme orchestre‘ and ‘La folie des grandeurs‘ are very good as well. The farts of the melancholic ‘La soupe aux choux‘ made me laugh as a child.
De Funès’ films were often accompanied by a very strong soundtrack. Inspiriation for Film Fest Ghent, I’d say.
Until 16 January 2022.