Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Artist, 'George Valentin' - Ludovic Bource

My two favourite movie lines from the past month are, ‘Again from the top George?’ and ‘With pleasure.’ Of course I am talking about the recent French sensation, ‘The Artist’. Not only did I think it was a great movie and concept, but the score was outstanding. Ludovic Bource - who composed the Golden Globe winning score - was practically unheard of until his 2011 triumph. The thing that most amazed me about his score was the sheer versatility that was so obvious from his use of authentic 1930s Golden Age film music as well as jazz, classical and even experimental influences that, combined together, make one of the most original scores audiences have heard in a long time. I chose ‘George Valentin’ because not only is it a charming expression of such a loveable character, but it’s one of few extracts from movie scores that can stand on its own two feet without a picture (and that’s exactly how important this theme was in the movie considering it was silent!) I was surprised that such a fuss was made by actress Kim Novak that there was theft of music from Alfred Hitchock’s film, ‘Vertigo’. When we look at film music, there are few rules about stealing motifs and ideas, and considering I’m studying ‘Vertigo’ for my A-level music course and didn’t even recognise Herrman’s infamous ‘Love Theme’ portrayed in the movie, if Bource did copy the music, he did it skilfully and with class. (Unlike certain obvious comparisons we can make between other film music such as Erich Korngold’s ‘Kings Row’ and John Williams’ ‘Star Wars’.) I hope this piece starts your foot tapping, and leaves you dancing around the room as it did with me. 


  1. Sometimes 2 pieces of music may have similar aesthetics, instrumentation and underlying rhythmic style but that does not mean that a composer has stolen ideas. Equally, as in the infinite monkey theorem, certain melodic or harmonic turns of phrase will repeatedly crop up in music that is tuneful. Here is another interesting example:

  2. Thanks! that's one I've never seen before - really interesting.

  3. Completely agree - interesting post!