French Love

Valentine’s Day Special 8/8

Phew! I am so glad to have reached the 8th post. Excuse me as I do my victory tap dance on Doritos…

I’m posting music again today but I’m not cheating because this is not in English but French. Before getting to that, I just have to re-post a video I have already blogged. I did say then to save it for Valentine’s Day.

 

All these French songs are from the 2007 movie Les Chansons D’amour, or Love Songs, directed by Christophe Honoré. The film is a kind of unusual love triangle told in three parts. I began to watch it with little expectation — the best mindset — and was amazed at how gently it reeled me in… it is gentle only if you are comfortable with ménage à trois, so I did have a little difficulty. Its humor and sorrow is well timed. Nothing drags. Each character is carefully defined and unique in its perspective so it complements the whole. First time I saw it I just did not get the full point. The second viewing — something I hardly ever do — made me appreciate the film’s delightfully different take.

Now the movie gets its name because the characters throughout the film suddenly chime into a song because sometimes “that is the only way they know how to communicate their feelings,” according to Honoré. Fifteen in all. But they fit so well that I found it odd only 3 times. Oh, and the actors sang it themselves.

It’s a good thing I don’t understand French because even the dirty or trite sounds lyrical. The music is not typically French in style but apt. for the mood. Here are the best tracks from those 15 songs:

1. Brooklyn Bridge -A nostalgic recollection. Eng. lyrics.

2. Au parc – Passing of time and change. Touching. Eng. lyrics.

3. Inventaire – The girl on how she succumbs into his despicable charms every time. Eng. lyrics.

4. As-tu déjà aimé – A discourse on whether it is better to have loved and lost… My favorite, especially for the way the highest note is reached as it approaches the end. Eng. lyrics.

5. Je n’aime que toi – Making a bridge between a lovers’ quarrel. Lyrics in video.

Bénabar

I am happy to present Bénabar. One of those artists that you love to carried by even though you don’t have the slightest clue where you are going — his songs are in French.

He entered the music scene in 1997 and has since enjoyed platinum, gold, and diamond albums under his sleeve, so I know I’m not breaking any new ground by ”presenting” him to you. However, for the unacquainted, his is a typically French style of  music and  emphasis is placed on appreciation of the lyrics and it’s linked to a specific culture of modern “guinche“.

You don’t have to be mildly fascinated by French culture (like me) to flow with his songs. Give them a background-listen when you are slightly relaxed, perhaps when making your very own baguette from scratch at home.