My posts on film, and the importance of soundtracks (such as Brief encounter, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, La strada, Cinema paradiso, The conformist, Tampopo, Twin peaks, Wild at heart, Performance, Killing Eve), offer me a pretext to praise
- Un homme et une femme (Claude Lelouch, 1966)—a very different classic on the eve of more radical French experiments.
However did they film the captivating restaurant scene near the opening? I’m mortified that I can’t find it on YouTube—but it’s OK, you can just watch the film! As the characters of Jean-Luis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée, both widowed, explore their bond through their respective kids, the camera delights in their blossoming relationship, lingering adoringly on her complex, enchanted, enchanting expressions. This is one of several scenes suggesting the improvisation that Lelouch encouraged.
As ever, the soundtrack, by Francis Lai, evokes the ambience perfectly (cf. Michel Legrand). Like the Pearl and Dean tune, the theme makes good practice for additive metres.
Pausing to wallow in the gorgeous leap of a minor 9th that opens the melody in the instrumental version of Plus fort que nous, here are Nicole Croisille et Pierre Barouh (Anouk’s real husband at the time) singing it live in 1969, with exquisite touches on accordion (Francis Lai himself!) and piano:
And Barouh with À l’ombre de nous—again with tasteful keyboard commentaries:
Anouk Aimée is also mesmerising in La dolce vita…
8 thoughts on “Un homme et une femme”
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The soundtrack is amAzingly subtle, from the first instant onwards. L’oeuvre-en-entier.
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