Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Georges Delerue's Exposed

While EXPOSED is certainly a tribute to Nastassja Kinski, it can also accurately be described as a love letter to the French New Wave films of the fifties, sixties and seventies that Toback owes such a debt to.
The New Wave connection comes up at almost every turn, from the casting of people like Pierre Clementi to the photography of Decae. One of the most obvious and pronounced connections Toback's film had with the films of his youth is the stirring score by New Wave icon Georges Delerue.
The French born Delerue had a remarkable and prolific career that spanned over fifty years and included well over three hundred scores. While he worked in nearly every conceivable genre with directors all over the world, his name will always be synonymous with the French New Wave and one director in particular.
Much like Bernard Hermann's name with always be matched with Alfred Hitchcock, and Pino Donnagio will forever be linked with Brian De Palma, the names Georges Delerue and Francois Truffaut will always be linked together in a very strong and noteworthy way.
Delerue first met Truffaut when Francois was a critic in the mid fifties and the composer had already worked with other New Wave directors, most notably Resnais, before hooking up with Truffaut for the astonishing 400 BLOWS follow up, SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER in 1960. Delerue's moody, evocative and at times nostalgic music matched Truffaut's film perfectly and the two would go onto to make cinema history throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties. Delerue would provide Truffaut with some of the most memorable film scores of all time including LOVE AT TWENTY (1962), TWO ENGLISH GIRLS (1971), SUCH A GORGEOUS KID LIKE ME (1972), DAY FOR NIGHT (1973),
LOVE ON THE RUN (1979), THE LAST METRO (1980), THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR (1981), and Truffaut's final film, CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS in 1984.
While his work with Truffaut is among his most talked about, probably the finest score he ever delivered was his haunting themes for Jean-Luc Godard's CONTEMPT in 1963. It is perhaps no coincidence that the theme for EXPOSED shares some similarities with his heartbreaking and beautiful Godard score from twenty years before.
EXPOSED isn't one of Delerue's great scores and I think at times it is a bit underused. But still, the main theme is lovely and his music does match the film's darkly romantic European leanings very well.
It looks as though the score for EXPOSED remains unreleased as I can find no evidence of a soundtrack album for the film. Part of the film's main theme was released on an album called THE LONDON SESSIONS but outside of that it looks like Delerue's work on Toback's film remains in the vaults somewhere. A real pity as it is a fine, if not overwhelmingly great, piece of work.
Delerue would continue working tirelessly right up until his death in 1992. He left behind a wealth of some of the best film music ever composed. EXPOSED is a solid entry into one of the most astonishing film music catalogues in history. Hopefully it will get a full release someday.

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