Francis Lai

Bilitis (Original Film Soundtrack)

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Bilitis (Original Film Soundtrack) Review

by Thom Jurek

Frances Lai, king of the overly sentimental film scorers, gets his rightful place in composing the music for filmmaker David Hamilton's horrible adaptation of Pierre Louys' beautifully poetic novel Chanson de Bilitis (Songs of Bilitis). Lai was given the chore of creating a score for a provocative love story. There was only one problem: Hamilton saw the book as a way to make a soft-core porn flick and call it art. Therefore, Lai, who was familiar with writing scores for insipid romantic films, was further stretched by having to make his compositions "artful." The result would be hilarious if it weren't so predictable. This music is light to the point of almost not being there -- it couldn't be too heavy, or it might get in the way of the viewer getting his or her fill of flesh on the screen. Lai uses synthesizers, acoustic guitars, and a truckload of strings to weave what is supposed to be the "perfect" setting for two young lovers to do what young lovers do, but has it all coming out of the wash sounding like a commercial for those laundry detergents that are airy fresh, or a silent movie score where the music is supposed to tell you that this is a pensive moment. But given the film itself, what else is there to expect? This is nothing more than the collaboration of two shlockmeisters plying their trade.

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