MovieChat Forums > Pauline at the Beach (1983) Discussion > Trivia: When they were playing records i...

Trivia: When they were playing records in Henri's house

One of the records in the stack Sylvain was searching through is "Bongo Fury" by Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa from 1975

Not important, but just wondered if anyone else noticed


I just watched "Pauline..." but I didn't stop the dvd when the records were visible. But ai have a vague recollection of the covers in the film and one did indeed look like Bongo Fury... which means that either Rohmer himself or one of the actors had particulary good taste in music. Of course, I am not objective at all as I'm a true Zappophile myself. Who knows? The music we hear in "La collectionneuse" was composed by a British progressive psych rock group that only passionate prog aficionados know already, i.e. Blossom Toes. I am even inclined to say that Blossom Toes' music shared quite a few characteristics with that of Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, first period: total freedom of musical expression, hard core psychedelic music of the highest degree, acidly satirical social commentary in the lyrics, etc.

In a way, it almost looks like Rohmer might actually be the one responsible for such apparently "odd" choices in music. The man keeps fascinating me : the richness of his cinematographic production, the almost inexhaustible inspiration, but most importantly, a deep understanding of human nature, its passions, its complexities, its fragility as well as its power. Behind the appearance of a shy, reserved and very religious person, Rohmer certainly had quite surprising idiosyncrasies and led a life rich in lessons and experiences, as only a seasoned man who has gone through a lot can possibly write such solid storylines and deliver such potent images of people interacting like normal human beings on the screen. Iy's quite apparent to ne that Rohmer has been either an qctor or a privileged observer of many life situations that taught him many of the profound lessons that certainly served him as sources for his unique inspiration and his exceptionally keen understanding of the complexities of men and women when they interact with oher men and women. It would be no wonder that such a unique individual might have had unusual tastes in other art forms.

I am looking for a good biography of the man and I do hope that there is one already since the more I get to know Rohmer through his movies, the more I am fascinated....

Does it mean that Rohmer secretly liked Zappa and prog? Gee, why not? Zappa is God, after all 😚...


Update from Oct 23 , 2016

Indeed Bungo Fury it was, my friend! I just watched the bit of movie in question and yes, the second LP we see when they are examining the titles from the pile of records Henri brought back is Bungo Fury -- impossible to miss when we pay attention. What I would know like to know is which record and music Pauline and her "boyfriend" are dancing to... Not that the music is especially remarkable (it sounds to me like a pedestrian commercial ditty, but I'm curious anyway.

Speaking about music, I just watched the supplement to "Le Rayon vert" (The Green Ray) in which Rohmer discusses how he came up with the haunting theme we hear at various moments in that movie. Quite amazingly, Rohmer penned up the basic melody himself after the main theme from The Art of Fugue by J.S. Bach. Sort of, because any resemblance is rather vague: only the texture and tonic mode remind me of Bach's masterpiece. But still, to write himself an air he was humming for himself with no formal musical training on his own admission is quite a feat and adds itself to the impressive picture of a highly complex and talented artist who had a long career making movies the way he wanted them to be and with very little consideration for the commercial and lucrative aspects of his art. Of course, he would have died very early as a creator had he been struggling within the confines of the Hollywoodian system.

In France, like here in Canada too, the state helps artists who have demonstrated a true talent and personal originality one way or another at an early stage to perform artistically without having to sacrifice all purposes to financial considerations (up to a certain point of course: if nobody shows interest for their work, the monetary flow of public support will be eventually cut off to them. During his very long career, Rohmer proved again and again that financial support for his art was worth it, even though he is less famous than some of his Nouvelle Vague colleagues such as Truffaut, Chabrol or Godard. And yet, nobody would dispute the fact that Rohmer's legacy is as rich, if not even more substantial and durable than the opus left by each of the latter.

But I'll make the latter opinion clearer in a future commentary elsewhere in the poorly populated forums on Rohmer's movies here on IMdB. I cherish so much his films that it is a pity they remain so underground for all purposes. Apart from Gene Hackman's funny, famous yet idiotic words about Rohmer's films (do I need to be more explicit?), the average movie fan with a general culture on cinema would be at loss at summarizing the main points of Rohmer's filmography. I have devided to add my voice to that of the few IMdB regulars who have made careful efforts to write about his movies and why they are such marvelous works if art.

There are only few other movie directors whose films manage to bring me as much pleasure at so many levels than Eric Rohmer. I like to watch most Woody Allen movies regularly for their humor. Kubrick's short but extremely dense artistic production keeps me at awe and is to me the most extraordinary luminary this art form has ever known: their absolute perfection (within the confines of reality) is why his movies remain so impirtant to me. And I could list quite a few others, my point being at the end that my fascination for Rohmer's movies owes mainly to the fact that this creator has managed to realize what I consider the most penetrating and accurate depiction of (mostly) modern Western society through works of fiction. He is to cinema what Balzac has been to literature with La Comédie humaine: even better, what Fabre's "Souvenirs entomologiques" has been to entomology: interesting, endlessly fascinating and litterarily superb while remaining accurate dscriptions of societies of small creatures.... Geniuses are almost always bizarre, living at the margin of society, and very often self-diminishing or shy individuals, and often astonish the unsuspecting observer with the contrast they make with their creations.

One of Quebec's most famous writers of the second half of the 20th century, Réjean Ducharme, was so withdrawn from the public eye that he refused to have the least photograph of him to be published anywhere for a very long time. The fact that this Man with ano Face kept winning both national and international literary prizes after prizes and that his novels were celebrated in France as even more at the cutting edge than their own - quite a thing to say indeed! - not only allowed him in a way to display such extreme "asocial" behavior, but also made of Ducharme a almost a living myth of giant proportions and led to as many urban legends as Shakespeare's "true" identity pseudoconspiration theories :) That is to say that behind this little shy man who also often refused to let himself be filmed and shown on television, which also made of him a borderline mad man of sorts in the public's eye, was this incredibly penetrating intellect and astute observer of the human condition as it is in the real world - his highly naturalistic approach - who managed to put on film these portraits of characters who are often more real than life itself almost. Not bad at all for a drying paint documentarist ....

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