Claire Denis Film Scores: 1996-2009

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French director Claire Denis began her decade-long working relationship with the British band Tindersticks in 1995. She initially approached vocalist/songwriter Stuart Staples about using the song "My Sister," from their second album in Nénette et Boni; Staples suggested Tindersticks write something original for her project. While an instrumental version of "My Sister" -- with a different arrangement -- appears in the film, as does the original version of "Tiny Tears," the group did indeed compose a beautiful, chamber jazz-tinged score for Denis, beginning a relationship that has resulted in soundtracks for six films thus far. Tindersticks released the soundtracks to Nénette et Boni and Trouble Every Day as albums on their own. Those two projects and the other four scores are included in this handsome five-disc box issued by Constellation. The other scores represented are Vendredi Soir ("Friday Night", 2002) by Dickon Hinchliffe (who has since left the group for a successful career scoring films), L'Intrus ("The Intruder", 2004) composed entirely by Staples, 35 Rhums ("35 Shots of Rum", 2008), and White Material (2009). Listening to the various discs, one gets an idea of just how the band itself has shifted in scope and form and responded to Denis' scripts and rushes with increased confidence that is now almost instinctual. The music -- especially in the longer scores for the latter two films -- offers its own narratives and stand alone. There is a willingness to take more chances with instrumentation, texture, tonality, and dynamic. The oddest disc on the bunch -- and one of the most satisfying -- is the split between L'Intrus and Vendredi Soir. The former is a harsher, percussive more abstract series of musical cues that employ feedback and noise along with a decidedly angular -- if not dissonant -- architecture in contrast to the latter's sparser, more pastoral cues filled with chamber strings and piano. It's somewhat jarring between the end of one and the beginning of the other (they are placed in reverse order), but deeply satisfying nonetheless. The score for 35 Rhums is the most uncharacteristic in the bunch, but it also may be the most seamless piece of music here. The two previously issued soundtracks have been remastered, to boot. Tindersticks' fans will simply have to own this package as it offers an equal but different dimension of their pop persona. The matte black, hard paper slipcase contains five silk-screened sleeves with stills from the films that correspond to each CD. There is a 52-page booklet with stills, color photographs and an authoritative essay by Michael Hill. The vinyl edition is more limited but even more handsome.

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:07 SpotifyAmazon
2 1:30 SpotifyAmazon
3 1:29 SpotifyAmazon
4 1:11 SpotifyAmazon
5 3:20 SpotifyAmazon
6 2:51 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:45 SpotifyAmazon
8 1:51 SpotifyAmazon
9 2:28 SpotifyAmazon
10 3:31 SpotifyAmazon
11 2:10 SpotifyAmazon
12 1:43 SpotifyAmazon
13 3:54 SpotifyAmazon
14 2:00 SpotifyAmazon
15 0:33 SpotifyAmazon
16 1:01 SpotifyAmazon
17 1:48 SpotifyAmazon
18 2:34 SpotifyAmazon
19 1:44 SpotifyAmazon
20 1:50 SpotifyAmazon
21 0:55 SpotifyAmazon
22 3:26 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:18 SpotifyAmazon
2 1:27 SpotifyAmazon
3 0:58 SpotifyAmazon
4 2:04 SpotifyAmazon
5 4:04 SpotifyAmazon
6 1:52 SpotifyAmazon
7 1:39 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:14 SpotifyAmazon
9 1:31 SpotifyAmazon
10 4:41 Amazon
11 2:06 SpotifyAmazon
12 5:50 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:48 SpotifyAmazon
14 5:39 SpotifyAmazon
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