Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Powrie, Phil. "The Fabulous Destiny of the Accordion in French Cinema." In Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film, ed. Phil Powrie and Robynn Stilwell, 137-51. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.

The accordion in French cinema is a marker both of the past (including utopian longings for it) and of Frenchness. Three periods of French films that use accordion music exist, and Yann Tiersen's award-winning score for Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie), composed mostly of music from Tiersen's own pre-existing albums, offers a glimpse at a possible future period. While Amélie was criticized as a film for presenting a sanitized version of the area in France it depicts, Tiersen's music works against the clean-cut culture. The soundtrack establishes an imaginary sonic architecture built from melancholic retrospection through layers of Tiersen's minimalistic, pre-existing music. The use of Tiersen's accordion music rather than traditional tunes avoids citation of stereotyped music and allows accordion music to be reinvigorated.

Works: Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director), Yann Tiersen (composer): Sound track to Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie) (146-51).

Sources: Yann Tiersen: La Valse des monstres (146), La Rue des cascades (146), Le Phare (146), L'Absente (147).

Index Classifications: 1900s, 2000s, Film

Contributed by: Karen Anton Stafford

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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