Oscar History

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« Podcast: Top Ten Edition| Main| Valentine's - The Painted Veil »
Feb 13 2016

Valentine's - Les chansons d'amour

Team Experience are sharing their favourite love scenes for Valentine's.Here'sDavidfrom THE city of love...

Murtada was firstto share a musical movie moment to celebrate Valentine's,but,as the famous Shakespeare quote goes,"if music be the food of love,play on…",and so it is that I bring you an actual Love Song - one of the gentle acoustic numbers of Christophe Honoré's Les chansons d'amour...

The first of Honoré's experiments with musical narration, Les chansons d'amouruses composer Alex Beaupain's soft,winsome songs to tell the story of typically French sexual fluidity;Ismaël's (the ever-sexual Louis Garrel) threeway relationship with Ludivine Sagnier and Clotilde Hesme is rocked by a death,and among those he meets in his mourning is the younger Erwann (adorable,tousle-haired Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet),whose keen interest in him starts to draw him out of his depression.What might sound trite on paper is poignantly and sensitively addressed across the film's narrative,with Beaupain's lyrics eschewing metaphor for an ordinary directness,vividly recalling the great Jacques Demy and particularly The Umbrellas of Cherbourgin how it uses the music to express an oscillating variety of emotions in the same low-key timbre,consciously avoiding the generic flamboyance of the musical form as Hollywood knows it.

My favourite number in the film is the tender,erotic but melancholy Ma mémoire sale,in which Ismaël implores Erwann to wash his "dirty memory"clean of the pain of grief.It hardly sounds like a turn-on,sure,but what I continue to treasure about Honoré's film is its confrontation of how carnality and sadness aren't mutually exclusive,and how a man's grief doesn't need to be buried in order for him to move on.In this exquisite scene,Ismaël is again in sexual longing for two people at once.In this instance,only one is there,and yet Erwann's innocent,earnest difference from Ismaël's previous relationship provides a perfect remedy.

Our Valentine's Series
A Room With a View (1986)
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Before Sunset (2004)
The Painted Veil (2006)
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Beyond the Lights (2014)

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Reader Comments (13)

I'd never heard of this,or seen it,'s some beautiful filmmaking.

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I adore Love Songs!

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

YES!I love this movie and I really like this song.But my absolutely favorite is the cutesy/flirty "As-Tu Déjà Aimé"which you guys can see on YouTube/.

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Whoops.That link didn't work.Here's the url:

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I adored Love Songs.
Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet is so fucking cute!>.<

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRicopolo


February 13,2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Honore is so underrated."Beloved"was a little all over the place,but it also gave us Paul Schneider singing in French as a bilingual,bisexual punk rock drummer.

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

i love this movie.haven't seen it in forever.

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Such a wonderful and unique film.I love it so much.I really want to watch it again.I think it has a gorgeous ending.

February 13,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian


I am glad to see love for this movie here.

You're awesome

February 14,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMarcello

What a wonderful film,full of great pop music!Myfavourite song is "J'ai cru entendre".

February 14,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbcarter3

yes!this is one of my favorite musicals ever,Ma mémoire sale is one of the best songs written for a movie in the new century and Louis Garrel slays me hard

February 16,2016 | Unregistered Commentereduardo

est un film sur les affres

October 5,2018 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

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