Novembre Toute L’Année

amantsparaFive years have passed since Vincent Delerm’s Quinze Chansons, a premier album including the downright gorgeous Et François de Roubaix dans le dos. Echoes of Roubaix can also be heard on Ils avaient fait les valises dans la nuit from his new CD Les Amants Parallèles which tells an histoire d’amour between un garçon et une fille in thirteen songs – actually, quite a melancholy tale with predominantly monochrome and (g)rainy moods. Though fine chansons like Robes, featuring Moriarty singer Rosemary Standley as raconteuse, capture the forlorn feel perfectly, Delerm gets a bit lost in his November frame of mind. And with hardly more than half an hour playing time, this love story is already over when most wouldn’t even have begun.

Vincent Delerm – Ils avaient fait les valises dans la nuit
Vincent Delerm – Robes

Tahiti Breeze: L’étoile oubliée de Vaea Sylvain

At age 16, Vaea Sylvain (see right in 1970) became Polynesian slalom waterskiing champion in 1966. Close kin to the sea, she was the ideal collaborator for film composer and avid diver François de Roubaix. Together, they recorded the title song for Robert Enrico’s 1968 movie Un Peu, Beaucoup, Passionnément … – a très jolie, tenderly floating song with an alluring touch of Rio, available on François de Roubaix: Chansons de Films. Today, Vaea, who began painting in 1972, is an acclaimed artist living in Tahiti again, highly praised by the likes of Robert Bolt, Roland Topor, or the late 60s ladies connaisseur Roger Vadim, who obviously fell for her right away: „Vaea is beautiful. Her long legs, slender waist, captivating blue-green eyes, her androgynous bust are proof that beauty blends with talent, courage, and intelligence.“ Don’t miss Vaea’s extensive website including its huge photo gallery, surely a Who’s Who of the last fifty years.

Vaea Sylvain – Un peu, beaucoup, passionnément …

FS Rerun: A Quiet Walk

Francois de Roubaix, film composer extraordinaire, drowned in November 1975 near the coast of Tenerife. Take a walk across the Cimétiere d’Arona, watch, and listen.

If you’re familiar with German language, you can also listen to the sonorous voice of Christian Gutowski telling the story of Francois de Roubaix, including a few excerpts from Roubaix’s works. I wrote this piece in May 2010 for MDR radio, Germany.

Francois de Roubaix & The Sea: A Love Story

FS Rerun: Joanna

Guuz probably recalls when I posted this first, maybe three or four years ago. Gee, Joanna. I’m still in love with her.

She had the looks of a Francoise Hardy with sex: Canadian born actress Joanna Shimkus, who appeared in only two handful of movies (after those, Sidney Poitier married her right from the spot). Robert Enrico’s classic Les Aventuriers (1967) made her immortal: a melancholy ménage a trois with her torn between Delon and Lino Ventura, the finest romantic triangle movie of them all, miles above and lots more fun than Truffaut’s Jules et Jim. The soundtrack is by composer wizard Francois de Roubaix, kind of a French Morricone of the 60s who scored most gallic noir movies of the time, an artist of pure genius who drowned near Tenerife in 1975. Joanna’s probably only recorded song is a tune from Les Aventuriers, but not in the (strictly instrumental scored) movie  – a wonderfully laid-back campfire version, simply irresistible.

Joanna Shimkus – Les Aventuriers

As for her only recorded song, I was wrong. Loin is a tender sweeper from Robert Enrico’s movie Tante Zita, provided then by an FS friend, and in Ces mots stupides Joanna teamed up with Sacha Distel (!) for the French version of Something Stupid, immortalized by Nancy Sinatra and her blue-eyed daddy in September 1967.

Joanna Shimkus – Loin

Joanna Shimkus & Sacha Distel – Ces mots stupides