Author Topic: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" (2007) by Christophe Honoré  (Read 19016 times)

Offline Artiste

  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • ********
  • Posts: 15,998
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2008, 06:41:38 pm »
Loved that Mémoire sale clip!

Je te remercie!!

Au revoir,
hugs!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2008, 08:02:40 pm »
Merci, de rien, Artiste!

Yes, Ma mémoire sale is--uh--hot, no? But, when you look at the words closely, it's sad, sad, sad--and angry. Despite seemingly tender, Ismaël has not accepted Erwann, let alone learned to love him--yet. (And poor Chiara Mastroianni coming in at the end with "des croissants" and then running away--that is my rôle , I'm afraid!)

Anyway, here are the lyrics below. Those with better French than me can explain Lave--"wash"--and Lave--"lava."


Ma mémoire sale (4:32)
Louis Garrel (& Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, silent--and beautiful)
Love Songs: Les chansons d'amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX3GIhWNxbU[/youtube]


Ismaël
(Louis Garrel):

Lave
Ma mémoire sale dans son fleuve de boue
Du bout de ta langue nettoie-moi partout
Et ne laisse pas la moindre trace
De tout
Ce qui me lie et qui
Me lasse
Hélas

Chasse
Traque-la en moi, ce n'est qu'en moi qu'elle vit
Et lorsque tu la tiendras au bout de ton fusil
N'écoute pas si elle t'implore
Tu sais
Qu'elle doit mourir d'une deuxième mort
Alors
Tue-la
Encore

Pleure
Je l'ai fait avant toi et ça ne sert à rien
À quoi bon les sanglots, inonder les coussins
J'ai essayé, j'ai essayé
Mais j'ai
Le coeur sec et les yeux gonflés
Mais j'ai
Le coeur sec et les yeux gonflés

Alors brûle
Brûle quand tu t'enlises dans mon grand lit de glace
Mon lit comme une banquise qui fond quand tu m'enlaces
Plus rien n'est triste, plus rien n'est grave
Si j'ai
Ton corps comme un torrent de
Lave
Ma mémoire sale dans son fleuve de boue
Lave

Lave
Ma mémoire sale dans son fleuve de boue
Lave


« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 06:18:23 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Artiste

  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • ********
  • Posts: 15,998
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2008, 08:29:28 pm »
Merci  jmmgallagher !!

Il y a de telles autres scènes sexées entre les deux hommes??

Clip(s) ??

Au revoir,

hugs!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 07:36:54 pm »
Ok, rather than give it scattershot as previously, here I will give you the full list of the pieces of the 14 song "cycle" from the score, in chronological order, with YouTube links if possible, or imeem audio links if not.

I'll first mention: ALL the songs, lyrics and music, are by Alex Beaupain, EXCEPT the last one, number 14, 'J'ai cru entendre,' which was written by Alex Beaupain (words) and Doc Matéo (music).

All of the songs are sung by the principal actors themselves; number 5, 'Brooklyn Bridge,' as sung by Alex Beaupain himself, as he does have a scene in the movie, singing in a club (Les étoiles, I think) in the 10th arrondissement.

5 Youtube video links
(6 songs) and
8 imeem audio links of the full
14 songs in correct order of the movie score.

By the way--although all of the songs are represented here, I think you still have to see the movie if you really want to experience it! Thanks to Oilgun/Lee Ryder's tip, you can preorder the (American Continent) NTSC format version of the DVD at Amazon.ca in Canada; the approximate release date is June 3, 2008. See here:

http://www.amazon.ca/Les-Chansons-D-Amour/dp/B0016AKSQO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1207095494&sr=8-4

So, here it is:

Les Chansons d'amour
a film by Christophe Honoré
 
1.
De bonnes raisons &
2.
Inventaire (4:37)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) & Ludivine Sagnier (Julie)
Les Chansons D'Amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_UnKTsyBhE[/youtube]
 


3.
La Bastille  (3:24)
In order, verse by verse:
Ludivine Sagnier (Julie), Jean-Marie Winling (Le père), Alice Butaud (Jasmine),
Chiara Mastroianni (Jeanne), and Brigitte Roüan (La mère)
Les Chansons D'Amour
Listen:
http://profile.imeem.com/UaP8i1J/music/Z-UcopqR/ludivine_sagnier_jeanmarie_winling_alice_butaud_chiara_mast/


Ludivine Sagnier (Julie) at left, Chiara Mastroianni (Jeanne) at right

 
4.
Je n'aime que toi (2:43)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) & Ludivine Sagnier (Julie) & Clotilde Hesme (Alice)
Les Chansons D'Amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoTcfsk09Ak[/youtube]
 


5.
Brooklyn Bridge (4:06)
Alex Beaupain (Himself)
Les chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://profile.imeem.com/UaP8i1J/music/UZhkY5RI/alex_beaupain_brooklyn_bridge/





6.
Delta Charlie Delta (3:05)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël)
Les Chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://profile.imeem.com/208v1Hw/music/aU2uJavm/louis_garrel_delta_charlie_delta/


 


7.
Il faut se taire (2:33)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) & Clotilde Hesme (Alice)
Les Chansons D'Amour
Listen:
http://lebaisermodiano.imeem.com/music/3EfifbEq/alex_beaupain_il_faut_se_taire_louis_garrel_clotilde_hesm/


 


8.
As-tu-déjà aimé? (2:54)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) & Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann)
Les Chansons d'amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkZnH82_7v0[/youtube]


 
9.
Les yeux au ciel (3:49)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël)
Les Chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://moulou.imeem.com/music/uXCcvK1B/louis_garrel_les_yeux_au_ciel/


 


10.
La distance (3:15)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) & Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann)
Les Chansons d'amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6eP7VsqQnM&feature=related[/youtube]
 


11.
Ma mémoire sale (4:32)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) (& Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, as Erwann, silent)
Les Chansons d'amour
[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX3GIhWNxbU[/youtube]


 
12.
Au parc (2:16)
Chiara Mastroianni (Jeanne)
Les Chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://profile.imeem.com/xkvPbUO/music/IDlPhAPl/chiara_mastroianni_au_parc/


 


13.
Si tard (3:08)
Ludivine Sagnier (Julie) (& Louis Garrel, as Ismaël, silent)
Les Chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://profile.imeem.com/UaP8i1J/music/6q3XCN0A/ludivine_sagnier_si_tard/




 
14.
J'ai cru entendre (2:54)
Louis Garrel (Ismaël) and Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann)
Les Chansons d'amour
Listen:
http://moulou.imeem.com/music/ord5zAqt/grgoire_leprinceringuet_jai_cru_entendre/


Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet (Erwann) at left, Louis Garrel (Ismaël) at right


« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 06:47:56 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2008, 12:11:01 am »
http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/btm/feature/2008/03/19/love_songs/index.html?source=search&aim=/ent/movies/btm/feature

From Salon:

Beyond the Multiplex
By Andrew O’Hehir

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 13:32 EDT
Ménage à trois: The musical!


Ludivine Sagnier as Julie, Clotilde Hesme as Alice and Louis Garrel as Ismaël in "Love Songs."


Prowling the chilly, rain-swept streets of Paris like a disconsolate cat, pursued by at least four actual or potential lovers of various genders (one of them a ghost), Ismaël Benoliel, played by the startlingly handsome Louis Garrel, is a classic lonely hero of French cinema. To be specific, Ismaël belongs to the socially disconnected, emotionally damaged tradition of French New Wave protagonists. "Love Songs ," the rapturous and compelling new film from 37-year-old writer-director Christophe Honoré that features Garrel amid a tremendous supporting cast, is part of an ongoing effort to reanimate the spirit of the New Wave in the context of a new century and a vastly different French society.

You could describe "Love Songs," in fact, as a blend of François Truffaut's wistful Parisian sentimentalism and Pedro Almodóvar's acrid polysexual comedy, which were never far apart to begin with (given the difference in climate and native temperament between France and Spain). But Honoré is also tapping into another French tradition, one he hinted at in his lovable and miscellaneous "Dans Paris," also starring Garrel. You see, "Love Songs" is a musical that blends young love, bedroom farce and tragedy in the bittersweet-chocolate vein of Jacques Demy's classic "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (or, more precisely, in the vein of Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's underappreciated 1998 AIDS musical, "Jeanne and the Perfect Guy").

Built around 14 doleful, funny, dark, dance-floor-accented songs by French pop composer Alex Beaupain -- the movie was written to fit the songs, rather than the other way around -- "Love Songs" follows Ismaël's progress through a bumpy ménage à trois with blonde, high-strung Julie (Ludivine Sagnier of "Swimming Pool") and vivacious brunette Alice (Clotilde Hesme, who played alongside Garrel in "Regular Lovers"). As Alice sings to her two bedmates in one of Beaupain's best numbers, "Je suis le pont entre toi et toi", or "I am the bridge between you." It's clear that Ismaël and Julie are passionately in love but wrestling with the usual big questions about commitment and the future. Alice is an intriguing detour for both of them, and a mode of communication on the way to getting married or breaking up.

Neither of those things happens, and while I can't totally avoid a spoiler, it's better if you don't know too much about the sudden and devastating tragedy that descends on this awkward threesome. Let's just say that Ismaël is sent wandering sleepless from place to place, unable to find much solace with Alice or with Julie's charming parents (Brigitte Roüan and Jean-Marie Winling), and avidly fleeing the attentions of both Julie's older sister (Chiara Mastroianni) and an idealistic and clearly gay Breton college student (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) who's developed a massive crush on him.

If Ismaël's ultimate destination surprised me, and if I felt that "Love Songs" ended a little too abruptly, the fact is that I didn't want it to end at all. At first it's startling when Garrel and Sagnier move from naturalistic dialogue into a pop song -- performed in their own pleasant, natural, nonprofessional singing voices -- but Honoré soon wraps you in his distinctive universe of realism and artifice, erotic comedy and heartbreak. It's a seductive, absorbing, treacherous realm, photographed with unshowy grace by Rémy Chevrin.

Honoré works fast and cheap on the margins of the French cinema mainstream; his four features so far haven't tackled hefty social issues like race or immigration, and with the exception of his 2004 incest drama "Ma Mère" they aren't sexually explicit. ("Love Songs" is remarkably chaste, given the subject matter: There's no on-screen nudity, let alone sex.) So he really hasn't been recognized at home as anything beyond a niche art-house director with a '60s obsession, and he has zero profile overseas. This inexpressibly tender and lovely picture suggests that he's developing into a major talent, one who can make the spirit of classic French movies come alive in a new world.

"Love Songs" opens March 21 at the IFC Center and Paris Theatre in New York, with other cities to follow. It will also be available on demand via IFC In Theaters on many cable-TV systems.

― Andrew O'Hehir
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 01:21:23 pm »
Interview with
CHRISTOPHE HONORÉ




The origins of LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR lie in pre-existent musical material: the songs written by Alex Beaupain...

I’ve known Alex ever since we were both twenty. He has composed the music for all of my films, I myself have written a few lyrics for him. After the warm reception given to DANS PARIS I was allowed to work quickly on another project, I asked him if I could use his songs - some from his latest album, others that were much older - and I placed them within a screenplay that told a fairly painful story that we both shared. I subsequently adapted some of his lyrics and asked him to write a few new songs.

This is the first time that you have dealt so directly with the emotions of love...

In DANS PARIS, I dared to present people who felt love for each other but it was above all brotherly love, I still felt embarrassed about the emotions of love. For me, it was a big step to place emotion at the heart of a story, I’ve never been able to do it before. This led to the idea of a film in which the characters start singing as soon as they are in a state of love because they are incapable of expressing it otherwise. I have always loved songs, the way they allow you to express a strong emotion in a fleeting manner, with a permanent need for lightness. I have always been a huge fan of love songs, I can be moved by a French popular song that, in theory, holds no interest for me musically, simply because I am touched by a chorus, a voice or an emotion that I find expressed in a pertinent manner.

Had you wanted to make a musical for a long time?

Yes, but I wanted the choice of the genre to be justified rather than make a lampoon of its codes. Irony is often very flattering because you feel you’re being smart but it is totally devoid of interest. There was no question of me making a parody of the genre. I simply approached it by saying, "This film is a musical because the characters can only express their feelings by singing." I like the spirit of musicals, which resembles that of pop music: never complain, never dwell on things, offering the possibility of lyricism with its roots in everyday tragedy.

Did the fact of using pre-existent material alter the way in which you approached the screenplay?

LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR tells such a personal story that I knew it by heart. The issue of the story was never raised in fact, only the idea of how to deal with it without becoming petrified, how to tell it and make it work in a musical structure that reflects on the whole film. The settings, such as the parents’ apartment, return like a chorus, with a different tone according to what happened in the previous verse. And, as in a song where certain instruments return or vanish while others are added on, the secondary characters give fresh impetus to the story while others are ejected from it.

How did the musical work on the film unfold?

We re-arranged Alex’s songs with Frédéric Lo, who has worked notably with Daniel Darc - never losing sight of the fact that we didn’t have a whole year ahead of us, nor the budget to bring in an orchestra. We tried to match our desire to our means and I think that this has ended up creating an aesthetic approach and a form of precision. People often talk about the precision of an actor, about the right distance adopted by a director but the general aesthetic approach of a film has to be just as precise. Alex and I did not want the songs to sound "cheap". The actors rehearsed a great deal with Alex. We did the first readings all together in early November, then recorded the songs just before Christmas so that the actors could lip-synch to them during shooting that began in early January.

Did filming characters who sing change your approach to directing?

Filming characters who sing is very complicated in physical terms. You have to make sure that the changeover from speech to song, then the return to speech again, looks completely natural... but, at the same time, something that is "not natural" takes place. Direction has to take a step back from realism, but without becoming a music video. The fear of turning my film into 13 music videos made me come out in a cold sweat. To the extent that the first song I filmed was shot as a single take and I refused to break it down into different shots. However, I saw right away that this was a very bad idea because I was going to end up in the cutting room with a series of single takes that I wouldn’t be able to cut. I therefore opted for increasingly complex direction and shots depending on the songs or according to the emotion that they express.

"The departure", "The absence", "The return"... A three-part structure...

It was during editing that I realized there were three parts to the film. This is the classical structure of any romantic comedy or drama. In LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, the return of the emotion of love comes about through a third party exterior to the tragedy and through the appearance of a ghost. In fact, perhaps the basic idea of the film was to allow that ghost to return to earth just long enough for a song.

Each character reacts differently to the sudden arrival of tragedy...

I have the impression that they react above all at different speeds. Ismaël (Louis Garrel) walks along blindly but he keeps walking in spite of everything. From the very beginning of the story, I have filmed him in motion and I refused to halt that motion in spite of the sudden tragedy. And then Erwann (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) quickens his pace a little. Jeanne (Chiara Mastroianni), on the other hand, is condemned to be immobile: she remains a fixed point. The tragedy freezes her. As for Alice (Clotilde Hesme), she walks alongside Ismaël, then she turns away from his path to follow another story with this Breton guy that she meets. In my previous films, tragedy arose from the expectation of disaster. LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR is more about the consequences of it and how to resist. It’s a film more rooted in the present in fact. Here, the tragedy opens up new lands to explore.

Does our period have a right to its own tragedies?

Tragedy arrives unannounced, we don’t need the Trojan War for it to burst into our lives. The idea was to physically locate the story in the city... Without necessarily making a documentary or militant film, I wanted a topical dimension, resulting in the idea of Ismaël being a newspaper editor, in order world someone in charge of the fold’s news. The end of his idyll and his carefree days does not take place outside that world.

You are gaining a reputation as a filmmaker of the early 21st century who films today’s world and is fully implicated in it...

Yes, I feel this need to deal with the modern world very strongly. I believe that this need is also linked to the production conditions of this film and my previous one. Very little time went by between the moment when I expressed the desire to make these films and the moment when we shot them. Paulo Branco can make very quick decisions, deciding in October to make a film in January. As a result, you don’t have time to build up another world in your mind, you can only deal with what you are experiencing personally in the present, the present lives of the actors, the city, society...

This grounding in reality is all the more striking since the film has elements of the musical...

In musicals, you often have the impression of being in a fairly kitsch bubble, with slightly acid references and songs that create a distance with reality. When the exterior world is present, it is there as a guest. In LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, I treat the real world as a partner more than as a guest. I think that the fact of filming the city where I live has its importance. In DANS PARIS, it was a "museum" Paris. With LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, on the contrary, I opted to stick to the 10th arrondissement of the city. The 10th is one of the few neighbourhoods where people work out in the open, with men unloading delivery trucks... There was no question of blocking streets to shoot: I wanted life to slip into the shots as much as possible and, at the same time, respect the geography of the setting. I forced myself to abide by this constraint, not so much as to produce an effect of reality as to prevent myself from toppling into fantasy.

How did you go about casting the film?

The first obvious choice was Chiara (Chiara Mastroianni). I had wanted to work with her for a long time and I had heard her sing. Working with her was a revelation. I had the impression that I had found my female double and I plan to make many other films with her. As for Ludivine (Ludivine Sagnier), I met her in an unexpected manner, I had heard her sing too. On a human level, something resembling a form of trust quickly fell into place between us. But I still didn’t have the male lead at the time of our meeting and so I couldn’t really commit then. That didn’t bother her: she simply told me, "Remember, I’m here if you need me." And, of course, I needed her. Needed and wanted. I had worked with Clotilde Hesme on stage a long time ago, even before she made LES AMANTS RÉGULIERS. I found it amusing to reform, in a totally different manner, the couple that she created with Louis in LES AMANTS RÉGULIERS. And, above all, I wanted to make her perform in a livelier register. Her character continually turns up to refuel the story. In my opinion, Clotilde will soon be making her place in French cinema with the force of a dainty bulldozer.

This is the third time that you have worked with Louis Garrel...

Yes, but I nearly didn’t pick him! I thought that he couldn’t sing. And, in the beginning, I was looking for an Ismaël older than Louis. And so I started seeing other actors and I realize that the way in which the character spoke was that of Louis, his specific music. During that time, Louis was calling me regularly to ask how the casting process was going and to suggest actors. Then he asked me if he could read the screenplay. He left me messages on my voice-mail: "You know, I sing a little too..." I never considered making a third film with him but he kept insisting! So I sent him one of Alex’s songs, suggesting that he prepares it. One day, he came to my place to present his work to Alex and me. He asked us to turn round so that he could sing without seeing our faces and he took the plunge... His voice was quaking with fear but, for Alex and me, he was the obvious choice. In fact, the role was his from the beginning, I think that I had written it for him without realizing. Something has been built up between us with all these films, something that eludes us but that has helped us to grow and change. He has helped me to find my style, my identity as a filmmaker.

And Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet as Erwann?

He was in André Téchiné’s LES ÉGARÉS. I remembered his voice well; it has a very specific quality like Chiara’s or Ludivine’s. Indeed, we found out later that André had spotted him in a choir. Grégoire represents a certain idea of youth without falling into the clichés or sexual fantasies of our times. His beauty has an open and unostentatious side to it. I wanted the character to be a young man who has no doubts about his homosexuality but who hasn’t had an affair yet. Erwann isn’t tormented by his sexuality but by his feelings. Grégoire displayed a form of simplicity and kindness that quickly convinced me that he was the right actor for the part.

These days, it’s still possible to die of love...

Yes, the feeling has its dangerous side. I belong to a generation for which the idea of "dying for love" was necessarily linked to Aids and I wanted to relocate this danger in the realm of the emotions without the sexual side. Aids is still there, but the danger also lies in the way in which you don’t feel loved or don’t know how to love.

With the idea of finding your own rhythm too. "Love me less but love me for a long time," as Ismaël asks...

In the 1980s, one of Carax’s characters asked: "Is there such a thing as love that moves fast but that lasts forever?" Twenty years later, LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR expresses this same feeling but with an extra shot of lucidity. Ismaël isn’t asking for proof of love, he would rather be loved in a covert manner but with doggedness. In fact, today, I think contrary to Cocteau: "Proof of love doesn’t exist, only love exists."


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2008, 02:08:15 pm »
Interview with
ALEX BEAUPAIN




Would you define LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR as a musical?

Not really. When you talk about a musical, you think of music-hall movies, sheer entertainment, the way the Americans know how to make them, with choreographed numbers and songs that comment on the action. Or the films of Jacques Demy, who invented a new musical language: sung words. I feel that LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR is more part of a French tradition of the 1960s and 70s, films like Truffaut’s JULES ET JIM for instance where the characters suddenly start singing "Le tourbillon de la vie". Except that instead of having one or a few songs, as was also the case in DANS PARIS, here we have 13 songs that give structure to the film.

How did you work on the musical arrangements?

For us, it was obvious that we needed to rearrange the songs to create homogeneity between those from by first album and those that exist separately. That was very exciting! But I knew the songs too well, I needed an outside gaze. We quickly decided to work with Frédéric Lo, producer of Daniel Darc’s "Crève-coeur", a very lyrical and rich album in spite of its minimalist arrangements. Frédéric had managed to make Daniel Darc use "speech-song", something that resembled our problems in adapting the songs for actors: favouring the reading rather than the vocal technique.

Unlike a song that you listen to over and over on an album, a song in a film must have an immediate effect on the audience and inscribe itself in the story...

There’s the idea of a path through the film, the songs and the moments when the characters sing them are never innocuous. Nor how they sing them: alone, as a duo, as a trio, as a family... The film starts with fairly light-hearted songs. And we slowly move towards a more intense and lyrical musicality. We worked a great deal on the aural atmospheres according to how the scenes would be built up, whether they would take place out of doors or in a bedroom. But these orientations occurred in a totally natural manner, probably because Christophe, in writing his screenplay, hadalready thought out precisely how to integrate the songs in the scenes.

The decision not to dub the actors but to have them sing for real was that an obvious choice?

Yes, because of the experience of having made Romain Duris sing in DANS PARIS, which had convinced us that an actor, even without any vocal technique, has qualities of interpretation and intention that make him ten times more moving than a professional singer. But since there were 13 songs and not just one as in DANS PARIS, we could no longer play on the surprise effect of hearing an actor sing, something that makes the audience less critical and less attentive to his vocal limitations.

Did the actors rehearse the songs with you?

Yes, we had three weeks of rehearsals at my place before going to the studio. I simply worked with the piano and their voices. Since they were actors, I thought that we would work on the «speech-song» technique but, in fact, they all had a lot of capabilities, they really sang, they dared to tackle the melody and rhythm.

In "Pourquoi viens-tu si tard?", sung by Julie’s ghost, there’s the idea that a song can be sent through time...

I hadn’t written the song with that in mind. For me, it was a "separate" song that had no ties with the story told in the film. I had written it for someone else. Therefore, I was very surprised, on reading the screenplay, that Christophe should use it in such a way. You would think that once Julie is dead, she could no longer sing. But she suddenly reappears with this song. I think that it is a very beautiful idea, especially in this film that was written to keep someone alive somewhere...

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2008, 02:38:26 pm »
Interview with
LOUIS GARREL




Christophe Honoré didn’t originally consider you for LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR. Was it important for you to persuade him to make this third film together?

Yes, I like working with Christophe, it’s easy and amusing, natural even. I played on fate, on the old saying that "things come in threes"! One day, I went to Christophe’s place to prove to him and Alex Beaupain that I could sing. For me, singing in front of others was more shocking than what I did in MA MÈRE! Singing... That’s something you can’t control, it’s so unnatural to start singing in front of others. Most of the time, we sing alone... For me, there is a feminine side to singing, it is part of women’s charm, of their siren side!

For the film, how did you approach the sung scenes?

The hardest thing in the film was performing on screen the songs that we had pre-recorded. How can you show the effort of singing when you’re not really singing? For me that was as tough as a mathematics problem! It drove me mad, even if Christophe told me to let myself go, to assume the unnatural side of singing in a film...

According to you, what specific things does singing allow you to express?

At the Conservatoire, I realized on singing Don Giovanni that singing has a divine side to it. It is a way of addressing heaven, it allows you to go beyond your earthly tie. In singing, we communicate with distant times. Singing in a film means bringing together a very ancient art and an art that is 110 years old, a venerable old man and a baby... I think that singing allows us to express the tragedy of apparently banal lives. Singing is the way in which tragedy can enter the story.

You have worked with Christophe Honoré on 3 films now, have you noticed an evolution in his work?

In DANS PARIS, there was a great deal of improvisation. His direction on LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR was tighter, it was like an old film for Christophe, he had been carrying the story with him for a long time. I could tell that his desire came from a long way back, it was like a late birth. In MA MÈRE, I was the son; in DANS PARIS, I was the brother; in LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, I play a potential father who refuses to play that role. We never see Ismaël’s family, we don’t know where he comes from. I wondered why Christophe had made him Jewish... Perhaps simply because the Jewish people have always been drifting, with no ties. I know of Jews who never feel more at home than in other people’s homes, like Ismaël in Julie’s family clan.

And Julie’s heart...

In the screenplay, the couple argued because he didn’t want a child. This aspect is less present in the film but I kept that guilt in mind to play my character: killing a woman because you don’t give her a child. If Julie has a heart attack, it’s because she cannot go on living without a child. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that Ismaël then meets a boy. Ismaël falls in love with someone who cannot have a child someone totally different from Julie who will not encroach upon his love with her. Erwann quickly enters Ismaël’s life. Desire and laughter snap their fingers at death...

Even at the heart of the tragedy, you bring a breath of lightness to your character...

On reading the screenplay, the scene with the puppet in the kitchen struck me as particularly tricky... How can you be light with Julie’s family just after she has died? Laughter isn’t moral and I try to approach it as a clown. Ismaël is living through tragic events but he tries to be light-hearted, without necessarily losing his awareness of the tragedy...

In LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, did your past complicity with Christophe Honoré place you in a special position?

In French the "hôte" is both the host and the guest... Well, I was the «hôte» on this film: I was Christophe’s guest on his film and I was a host for the others who were working with him for the first time. It’s a very pleasant position to be in: I left all the inconvenience to Christophe and, at the same time, I felt responsible for making everyone happy.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 06:52:57 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2008, 03:32:58 pm »
Interview with
GRÉGOIRE LEPRINCE-RINGUET




How did you come to work on LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR?

I knew all of Christophe’s films. I saw DANS PARIS on the day it was released and I sent text messages to everyone: "Don’t miss this film, it’s brilliant!" The next day, by pure coincidence, I had a call from the casting director of LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR...

How would you describe Erwann, your character?

Erwann isn’t very mysterious or very complicated. He’s a young man who has his whole life ahead of him and who experiences love instead of going to school. That’s very beautiful, we’ve all dreamt of doing that! Erwann quite simply accepts the fact of falling in love with a guy ten years older than he is and who may not necessarily be homosexual. Erwann is naïve enough to believe that if he gives all his love, shouting it from the rooftops, it’s bound to work...

Do you know why Christophe Honoré chose you?

For a start, because I look Breton, even though I’m from Normandy! In the screenplay, Erwann was described as a beam of sunlight and I tried to get that across by singing the notes a little higher, by adding thirds, some of which made it into the film, notably in the final song, "J’ai cru entendre je t’aime".

Did singing help you to build up your character, to figure out who he was?

Yes, the desire to try for high-pitched and clear notes helped me to get a handle on the character. In fact, I think it would be a great exercise if you always needed to sing a song to know what your character is like... When you sing, the vocal work is necessarily more evolved. If only to hit the right note. You listen to yourself more carefully when you sing than when you speak, you are more aware of the tone of your voice and your intonation. I sang when I was little, I was in the Paris Opera children’s chorus, as an contralto.

How would you describe Christophe Honoré’s cinema?

Christophe’s cinema is very modern in its ideas and its characters that are on the cutting edge of today’s adventures and sorrows. Melancholy is a very contemporary feeling. Christophe is someone very modern in his way of being and living and this is reflected in LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR, that films sexual - and emotional - liberty with a great deal of simplicity.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 06:55:20 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,011
Re: Love Songs: "Les chansons d'amour" by Christophe Honoré
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2008, 05:05:00 pm »
Interview with
LUDIVINE SAGNIER



How did you come to work on LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR?

Ever since 17 FOIS CÉCILE CASSARD, Christophe had been among the people I wanted to work with, he was on my "list". We met by chance in a bar and then my agent organized a meeting with him... At first, he was a little hesitant but then everything quickly came together. One month later, we were recording the songs. This film was made in a rush, with a small budget, in a fairly light and impromptu manner. The expressionism of the songs heightens this spontaneity, notably in the way of approaching the dialogue. The songs are explicit enough and require no further stress. They allow us to be more direct, to create a situation without a lengthy set-up. It’s very enjoyable to make a film in which the music is a character in its own right that drives the situations along. Before beginning the film itself, we were already fine-tuning our performances, thanks to the songs that we had pre-recorded. We each had a CD, the whole crew bathed in this musical ambiance as in a bubble.

Were you apprehensive about performing a sung role?

It was a pleasure in fact... I had sung before, in François Ozon’s films, and these songs don’t require incredible skill. We don’t force our voices, we’re in a very intimate register. And the intimate is less scary than the showy. At the end of the day, the film doesn’t use our talents as singers but rather our talents for performing and listening, our precision and sensitivity. Christophe’s film unfolds in an everyday and naturalistic register. It was hard for me at first to hold myself back: I wanted to walk to the beat, dance, twirl or nod my head! We could hear the music over a loudspeaker, it was very hard to stay still and ignore the rhythm.

Each character reacts differently to Julie’s death...

What I like about Christophe is that he’s never judgemental, in particular in relation to Ismaël who seeks refuge in the arms of a boy. Jeanne, meanwhile, tortures herself with material details. I understand that well, it’s a very human reaction, rendered sublime here by the musical aspect. LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR echoes UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME. The film is set in the same area of Paris, a woman wants a child... Godard also had a very light-hearted way of dealing with adultery and a ménage à trois. On the surface, the dialogue is very light but, deep down, it tells a tragic story.

How did your work with Louis Garrel go?

Louis has become a key figure in Christophe’s cinema. He has an aura, a singularity, a freedom of performance and a way of representing his times that has nothing artificial about it. He is in an off-key mode that it is a delight to watch. Opposite him, I was in the type of cinema that I love.

Does Christophe Honoré have a special way of working?

He is very relaxed and devotes a great deal of time to the actors. There is great complicity between him and his actors, he likes to touch them, position them, stand in their marks, we have the impression of fusing with him in a way. I like it when a director is a double for his actors, when he performs with us.

Julie’s family is very present...

I love the scene in which all the sisters are lying on the couch with their father who looks like a fat cat surrounded by his kittens. On reading the screenplay, I had the feeling that I knew this family. There was something obvious about it. Christophe has a totally incredible feeling for dialogue. He has humour, a sense of detail and complicity. I love the character of the youngest sister (Alice Butaud). She displays incredible cynicism, she seems indifferent, she is like the young girl that I could play in the past.

Can we perceive the end of an overly agitated heart?

Julie is fond of Alice but she also wants to move ahead in her couple. Deep down, I think that she is in a state of self-denial, she goes along with the threesome to keep her man happy. There is a form of devotion in her character. Julie has an elevated vision of love and she expects her man to be the same. What she hasn’t realized is that men are self-centred! The film doesn’t focus on Ismaël’s egoism but it nonetheless, in a cover manner, asks the question, "Why do I give you everything I have and why don’t you give me all your love? Why don’t you tell me that you love me, why don’t you tell me that you want children, why do you beat about the bush and why don’t you tell me what I want to hear?" Julie is looking for something that will last, she fights against fleeting love affairs, she has a fairly classical vision of love. Sometimes, people die for no reason, that’s the brutality of life... What I love in the film is that this threesome is not presented as a form of dissoluteness or transgression. Christophe’s cinema has nothing subversive about it, he accepts anything that comes along. That’s fairly symptomatic of this period of ours that is trying to get over the Aids years and to feel less guilty about the emotions of love. From this angle, Erwann is a magnificent character: he’s the angel of redemption.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 06:57:06 pm by jmmgallagher »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"