TE #7 Soundtrack special (John Ferret, John Gruen & Bobby Vinton)

This week, as the rest of the internet posts its end of year lists, we’re sticking with soundtracks.

Jean Ferrat – Ma Môme //Godard – Vivre sa Vie (1962)

In a later point in the film Nana falls for a young man with whom she spends some time before she is killed. In that sequence Godard’s swiss accent can be heard ventriloquizing the young man, as he reads Edgar Allen Poe’s The Oval portrait, a short story about an artist who becomes obsessed with painting a portrait of his wife. The Poe story ends with the artist realising that the price for the lifelike image he creates is his wife’s death. “This is our story … An artist painting a portrait of his wife” says Godard. The episode serves as a rather strange comment on the problems of casting his own wife in the film.

This episode in the Café however, works as a simpler nod to Karina/Nana, his then wife. ‘Ma môme’ means ‘my girl in French and occurs on the soundtrack as Karina looks directly into the camera lens. Also of interest, as RFL points out, is the shot of the guy by the jukebox who plays the song: Jean Ferrat himself. You can see him lip syncing to the song in the clip below.

John Gruen //Willard Maas and Ben Moore – The Mechanics of Love (1955)

Visually, this 1955 Avant-Garde short is a pretty cheeky effort. A naked couple embrace as if about to have sex before their actions are replaced with a montage of banal household objects. It’s the John Gruen’s zither score that’s really the draw here. Truly beautiful, it clatters to a climax as a pot comes to the boil and a drill and sewing machine limp out the rest of the metaphor.

Bobby Vinton – Blue Velvet amongst others //Kenneth Anger – Scorpio Rising (1964)

Rock n Roll.


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