Zou Bisou Bisou

Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Photo via http://www.jackielee.org/discog5.htm
I'm purposely staying away from any reviews, spoilers, etc. of season five of Mad Men--I don't have AMC on my current cable package and don't want to pay for on-demand, and I prefer to gorge on an entire season once it's released on DVD. But I couldn't help but see the buzz of news last week after the season premiere that highlighted the performance of Zou Bisou Bisou that Don Draper's new bride, Megan, gave at his 40th birthday party. I honestly never heard the song before, so curiosity got the better of me...

Zou Bisou Bisou is a French pop piece sung by Gillian Hills that became a 60s hit. Hills' background is interesting; she was born in Cairo, Egypt to a Polish mother and English father who was a teacher and adventurer. Although she is mostly known for her singing, she also enjoyed an acting career, starring in the 1960 film Beat Girl and appearing in A Clockwork Orange. She also acted in a movie called Blowup in which she and French singer Jane Birkin shared a nude scene.

Zou Bisou Bisou translates to "oh you kiss kiss." In English, one of the verses means this:

My God, how soft they are!
But tell me, do you know
What that means, between us,
What does “zou bisou” mean?
It means, I confess to you,
But yes, I love only you!

Here's Megan's sultry performance of it on Mad Men. Is it me, or is Don in his usual douchebaginess really annoyed that his new wife is making a spectacle of herself? On another subject, the clothes are sure getting a bit more psychedelic this season--I love it! 

And here's Gillian Hill's performance of it--ooo la la!


  1. It's Blow-Up, not Blow-out!!Please tell me that it's a typo! Blow-up is of the most famous films made in the 1960's! Not having heard of it would absolutely disqualify you as a credible 'retro' blogger. It's almost like not knowing who The Beatles were.
    Gillian Hills was indeed in Blow - Up, but the brief scene she shared with Jane Birkin (who incidentally was English, not French) wasn't exactly nude - anybody who'd seen the film would know that.

    I really hope that you just copied and pasted some information without reading it first. If however, you really haven't seen Blow-up, I strongly advise you taking a break from 'Mad men' and doing some 'homework'. And do correct that post if you do not want to appear absolutely ridiculous.

    Kind regards.

  2. Well aren't you just the expert. The post was actually about the song Zou Bisou Bisou and not the movie Blowjob--OOPS, BLOWUP.

  3. Dandy, I'm curious, do you always leave comments with such a nasty tone?

    Not everyone sits around watching Antonioni films, and sometimes typos are made. It happens. I always mix up the titles Blow-Up and Blow-Out. They are just similar.

    I think if anyone appears completely ridiculous, it's you for being such a jerk for no reason.

  4. Thanks, Amanda. I'm finding that the people who leave nasty comments on other blogs, especially over something so anal, seem to be reeking of jealously because they don't have the same amount of followers/commenters on their own site.

  5. Well, I am sorry if my comment appears a little bit over the top. It is not about a Blow-up/Blow-out typo , it is about a fact that you do not seem to know the film at all - and, I am sorry to inform you - it IS a recognizable title. You say you were born in 1972 (that makes you well over a decade older than myself) and you have been doing your blog since 2007 - I just can't believe that throughout all that time, you haven't even once heard of such a cult film as Blow-Up. I am not being anal by pointing out this, and I stand by my claim that such a lack of basic knowledge disqualifies you as a credible blogger. It doesn't matter how many readers/followers you have, if you are letting them down by giving them incorrect information. I have been one of your readers and followers, and believe me, I really did like your blog, and I find myself generally agreeing with a lot of things you have to say. My remark was meant to help you rather than to take a poke at you. If my comment came across as patronising, it is because I couldn't hide my amazement.

    I am slightly let down by your reply, which is much more rude that my comment. You are obviously a bright and witty person, and I am sure you can do better than that Blowjob joke - which is something an angry twelve-year-old would write. So is your claim that my comment was merely caused by my jealousy. I always thought of vintage/retro bloggers community as a place where people with similar taste can connect,exchange ideas, views etc. not compete with each other. It is sad that you seem to think otherwise. Your anger is certainly worthy of better cause.

    Anyway,I hope this explains a bit clearer what I was trying to say.

    Amanda by night - Just the fact that you know the film proves my point.

  6. Oh, the irony, Dandy. Here you are telling me that you thought retro/vintage bloggers support one another but yet you came on here to nitpick a typo which has nothing to do with the main point of the post and tell me that it appeared "ridiculous." The only person being rude here is the one who started it. I've attracted many followers by being an active positive commenter on their sites; not by criticizing their posts and calling them ridiculous.

    I've never said I was an expert on retro pop culture nor have I ever promoted this blog to be the be-all and end-all encyclopedia of retro pop culture. Every retro blogger covers something different because they all have different personal tastes. I can't tell you how many readers with their own retro blogs who are the same age as me or even older have told me they never heard of a particular movie, song, TV show etc. mentioned on here (and we're talking more common American entertainment) and have told me they would check it out. I don't criticize them for not being knowledgeable about it. Not everyone has the TIME to watch everything made before 1990.

    Also, it's a real stretch to call this movie "one of the most famous films made in the 1960s." It isn't on any list of notable 60s films that I've ever seen. Easy Rider, Doctor Zhivago, La Dolce Vida, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Midnight Cowboy...yes. To compare its fame level to that of the Beatles is truly insulting.

  7. Well, I am afraid that we are gonna have to agree to disagree on that one. Perhaps it is just a matter of a cultural difference between England and USA. Here, in England, Blow-Up is just as important as Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, etc. It was certainly one of the most important English films of the era. It captured the whole Swinging London phenomenon (a period , which sadly, by an average American of today is associated usually with 'Austin Powers'). In many ways it was a cinematic equivalent of Beatles and Stones albums - the comparison is not 'truly insulting' since I am talking about cultural significance, not fame level. It might not have been a blockbuster hit (certainly not in America) but it gained a cult following, also among young people fascinated by 1960's today (and can you say the same about Doctor Zhivago?)

    I don't think there is anything wrong about criticizing your fellow bloggers - as long as it is a constructive criticism within the boundaries of civilised discussion. It doesn't matter what area a blog covers - what matters is whether the blog provides reliable and well researched information. There is so much 'junk' on internet (even on Wikipedia) and blogs provide a space where truly passionate people can supply an information to those who are interested. You have to be a little bit geeky or anal to do it - like a detective or journalist, otherwise there is just no point. This is how I feel about it, hence the overly harsh tone my comment for which I apologize.

    So,let's leave it at that , shall we? No hard feelings?

    Like I said I do enjoy your blog. Keep up the high standard.



  8. JZ - Thank you very much for the kind words, and I forgot to thank you for the tidbit about the other movie mentioned, Beat Girl. I have no doubt that its content was probably considered very controversial at the time.

    Peter aka Dandy - Thank you for your apology; I appreciate it. Since you've apparently been following my blog for a while, you probably know that foreign films are not my forte--and while I love movies in general, I just don't have the time to review or comment on them here much, as other post ideas take priority (although there is a French one I recently watched and loved called Potiche that takes place in the 70s.) However, I'll make the effort to view Blowup sometime and let you know what I think. I do try to make the effort to research topics I don't know much about but in this case I was focusing on the song Zou Bisou Bisou so I wasn't concerned about looking into the cultural impact of Blowup.

    Anyways, absolutely no hard feelings here.

  9. JZ - You are right, that's what I should have done.
    Blow-Up is 'slow', but that's one of the things that creates the incredible atmosphere of that film.

    Pam - Yes, I guess I did not take it under consideration. But do watch it if you have a chance. People usually either hate it or love it, but it is definitely worth seeing. I wish I could re-live the experience of watching it for the first time.

  10. I hope that the current season comes out on DVD very soon after it ends so that you can enjoy one of your favorite shows. I read articles about it often and think of you. I also love all the fashions of that period. I had never heard of that song before. Both the girls singing it are pretty. I hope that you had a very nice Easter.


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