Krishna Levy – 8 femmes (OST) (2001)

FrontCover18 Women (French: 8 Femmes) is a 2002 French dark comedy musical film, written and directed by François Ozon. Based on the 1958 play by Robert Thomas, it features an ensemble cast of high-profile French actresses that includes Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Ludivine Sagnier, and Firmine Richard. Revolving around an eccentric family of women and their employees in the 1950s, the film follows eight women as they gather to celebrate Christmas in an isolated, snowbound cottage only to find Marcel, the family patriarch, dead with a knife in his back. Trapped in the house, every woman becomes a suspect, each having her own motive and secret.

8femmes01Ozon initially envisioned a remake of George Cukor’s 1939 film The Women, but eventually settled on Thomas’s Huit femmes after legal obstacles prevented him from doing so. Drawing inspiration from Cukor’s screwball comedies of the late 1930s and the 1950s work of pioneering directors such as Douglas Sirk, Vincente Minnelli, and Alfred Hitchcock, 8 Women blends farce, melodrama, musical, and murder-mystery film while addressing murder, greed, adultery, and homosexuality. Set primarily in the entry hall of a manor house, the film recreates much of the play’s original theatrical feel. It also serves as a pastiche of and homage to the history of film and the actresses’ filmographies.

The film’s premiere was held on January 8, 2002 in Paris, where filming had taken place. 8 Women competed for the Golden Bear at the 52nd Berlin International Film Festival, where its all-female cast was awarded the Silver Bear. Released to widespread critical acclaim, with major praise for the stars, the film was nominated for twelve César Awards, including Best Film. At the 2002 European Film Awards, the film was nominated for six awards, including Best Film and Best Director; it won for Best Actress for the eight principal actresses. (by wikipedia)

8femmes03About the movie:
One morning at an isolated mansion in the snowy countryside of 1950s France, a family is gathered for the holiday season. But there will be no celebration at all because their beloved patriarch has been murdered! The killer can only be one of the eight women closest to the man of the house. Was it his powerful wife? His spinster sister-in-law? His miserly mother-in-law? Maybe the insolent chambermaid or the loyal housekeeper? Could it possibly have been one of his two young daughters? A surprise visit from the victim’s chic sister sends the household into a tizzy, encouraging hysterics, exacerbating rivalries, and encompassing musical interludes. Comedic situations arise with the revelations of dark family secrets. Seduction dances with betrayal. The mystery of the female psyche is revealed. There are eight women and each is a suspect. Each has a motive. Each has a secret. Beautiful, tempestuous, intelligent, sensual, and dangerous…one of them is guilty. Which one is it? (by Anthony Pereyra)

8femmes04About the music:
The soundtrack to Francois Ozon’s witty combination murder mystery/musical spoof 8 Femmes (titled 8 Women for the English-speaking market) stands out due to an unusual device in this French film that lent itself well to a CD compilation. In the movie, each of the eight characters gets a chance to sing a song that reflects their personalities. These songs, in turn, ape aspects of French pop music, and are sung not by outside vocalists who the actresses mime to in the picture, but by the actresses themselves. At least some of these are, in fact, covers of vintage songs from the ’60s and ’70s — Françoise Hardy sang and co-wrote “Message Personnel” in 1973, for instance — though it would be nice if the liner notes (wholly in French) detailed the original versions. The subtlety of it all might be a little beyond non-French audiences who will be less familiar with the actresses involved than the French will, though certainly many average moviegoers will be familiar with Catherine Deneuve, Fanny Ardant, and Isabelle Huppert, who contribute a song apiece. But there’s considerable cheesy charm to be enjoyed in the eight vocal extracts, particularly Ludivine Sagnier’s corny early-’60s twist-like “Papa T’es Plus Dans l’Coup,” Virginie Ledoyen’s “Mon Amour Mon Ami” (which is much like France Gall’s mid-’60s ingenue pop), and Fanny Ardant’s smoky torch song “A Quoi Sert de Vivre Libre.” Unfortunately, those eight vocal songs comprise only about half the disc; the rest is given over to the romantic suspense of Krishna Levy’s serviceable but unexceptional score. (Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Elena Chouchkova (arranged by Krishna Levy)

8femmes05Tracklist:
01. 8 Femmes 8 Fleurs (Levy) 2.20

02. Ludivine Sagnier: Papa T’es Plus Dans L’coup (Plait/Jil) 1.31
03. Isabelle Huppert: Message Personnel (Hardy/Berger) 4.14
04. Fanny Ardant: A Quoi Sert De Vivre Libre (Carmone/Weiss/Hugo/Luigi) 2.40
05. Virginie Ledoyen: Mon Amour, Mon Ami (Popp/Bacri) 1.43
06. Firmine Richard: Pour Ne Pas Vivre Seul (Faure/Kelly) 2.31
07. Emmanuelle Béart: Pile Ou Face (Ivy/d’Onorio) 1.36
08. Catherine Deneuve: Toi Jamais (Mallory) 2.42
09. Danielle Darrieux: Il N’y A Pas D’amour Heureux (Aragon/Brassens) 2.42

10. Thème 8 Femmes (Générique De Fin) (Levy) 3.53
11. La Fenêtre (Levy) 0.52
12. Confession De Suzon (Levy) 2.31
13. Augustine S’évanouit (Levy) 0.57
14. Pierrette Seule (Levy) 0.26
15. Augustine Seule (Levy) 1.06
16. Portrait De Gaby (Levy) 2.11
17. Envie D’être Belle (Levy) 1.16
18. Complicité Féminine (Levy) 1.51
19. Le Baiser (Levy) 1.19
20. La Machination (Levy) 1.15
21. Fin (Levy) 1.14

CD1*
**

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