Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Alvin Lee and Le Péril Jeune

The death in March of guitarist Alvin Lee, best known for his playing in Ten Years After reminded me of the memorable scenes in the French movie Le Péril Jeune that featured his music.

Lee's playing was famous probably as a consequence of his performance at Woodstock, which was captured on the film of the archetypal 60s rock festival.

Afficionados of 60s/70s guitar heroes would always debate who was the best. Opinions would be split and there would be passionate debate over the  merits or otherwise of the likes of Hendrix, Blackmore, Clapton, Page or whoever. It mattered whether a particular player was the most tasteful, the most authentic, the most versatile or whatever. , but there would always be an agreement that Alvin Lee was the fastest.

The film Le Péril Jeune was a 1994 film directed by Cédric Klapisch, who would go on to direct films like 1996's Chacun cherche son chat, and most famously 2001's Auberge Espagnole and its 2004 follow up Les Poupées Russes.

Le Péril Jeune is a coming of age drama with the characters looking back on their youth in Paris in the 70s from a vantage point ten years after (!) they left school, as they await the birth of the child of one of their former school friends who recently died of a drugs overdose.

It's one of those great French films that is wonderfully scripted and acted, and while there might not be any huge drama, it's the kind of film that features characters that you can actually sympathise with on a human level, and situations that you can recognise.

I'm sure anyone who has ever picked up an electric guitar will recognise the situation in the clip/

It starred Romain Duris in his debut performance. Duris was offered the part after the casting director saw him in the street. He's gone on to star in other films such as Dobermann, Arsène Lupin, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, as well as in Klapisch's  Auberge Espagnole, Les Poupées Russes as well as in other films he's made

Goin' home by jeanbeatles

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