Saturday, 23 July 2011

Let's face the music - and talk (2. AMÉLIE)

I said this month I would participate in PARIS IN JULY – so the soundtrack of the month is from a French film – which is very surprisingly set in Paris..

NO!!! Who would have ever guessed that?!?

It's AMÉLIE by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2001).

The original title is LE FABULEUX DESTIN D’AMÉLIE POULAIN which can be very easily translated into “the fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain”.

It’s an absolutely lovely film – and I think it was the first French film I ever watched in cinema. It is one of my favourite films and Amélie is one of my heroines – I can relate to her very much.

In the film she personated by Audrey Tautou, who you may know from THE DA VINCI CODE (2006).

Here you have the US trailer for AMÉLIE – so you can take a first glance at it (some of the really beautiful pieces of music of this film can be already heard in this clip):

Maybe you recognized the young man: It’s Mathieu Kassovitz who also was in THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997) and in MUNICH (2005) and he will be in HAYWIRE (2011)…

Now let’s talk about the music:

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet originally wanted composer Michael Nyman to write the music for this film but changed his mind after listening to a CD by Yann Tiersen. So he bought the rights of Yann Tiersen’s melodies and used them for this film.

Yann Tiersen (who you can see in the picture above) also wrote one piece of music for this film which is used in different variations: LA VALSE D’AMÉLIE (= "the waltz of Amélie")

This is the orchestra version:

Another beautiful melody - A QUAI (hm.. I would say this means: "at the dock" - but I am not 100% sure about it..):

Not every song of this score was written by Yann Tiersen – here is GUILTY which was very popular in the 1930s - and it’s a wonderful song if you like to whistle… guess who does?!? ;”)

It was published in 1931 and is in this version sung by Al Bowlly – a very popular British singer back then. There are many more versions e.g. by my beloved Billie Holiday respectively my equally adored Ella Fitzgerald:

One track is not to be found on the actual soundtrack CD: THE CHILD by Alex Gopher which is played in a scene set in a porn shop. - None of my favourites – but maybe it's just YOUR cup of café au lait..

I can truly tell you – it’s a great soundtrack for long-distance trips by train (I checked that in several self-experiments..) – I can’t say anything about its “car-trip qualities” – yours Irene isn’t allowed to drive a car.. – mostly because she hasn’t got a driver’s license.. So you have to find that out by yourself.

I will add a poll again – you’ll have two weeks to decide which of those tracks I presented here is your favourite.

Well, and just for fun a little scene from the movie – Amélie behaves pretty much like I would do.. Very coltish..

I am sorry that I only found a scene with subtexts and nothing dubbed in English – but you know: international rights and such stuff.. *sigh* oh, poor me – and you! ;”)

Anyway: I hope you’ll like this scene.. and maybe start to think about watching this magnificent magical movie..

Yours (very well and) truly,



  1. What a wonderful in-depth post! Well done. :)

  2. Aww! Thank you, your Royal Orangeness!! (deep curtey...) ;") Honestly: Thank you very much!

  3. You know, I have to confess my favorite song from Amelie was the one the guy was playing on the record player in the Metro, which I think was "Si Tu N'Etais Pas La" sung by Frehel. But the entire score was gorgeous, perfect for one of the most romantic of comedies ever made.

  4. Mythical Monkey - oh, I can completely understand that! Lovely song!

    It was kind of hard just pick a few melodies for this post..

    Thank you so much for your visit and apparently stay here.. And so many thanks for your comment!

  5. Great post!! I love this movie! And, I agree, the soundtrack is wonderful. Quite perfect, really. Thank you for the information on the "Guilty" song. That's my favorite one and I've wanted to know more about it!

  6. Thank you, Sally - and: you're welcome.. ;")


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")