Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Christine and the Queens: It's Only Mystery

A weekend of award ceremonies, with both the Oscars and the César award ceremonies being held over the past few days.

There was no French flavour at the Oscars, no winner like Jean Dujardin or Marion Cottilard, but the César awards cast the spotlight firmly on French cinema.

Mustang and Marguerite each won four awards at the 41st Césars, best film going to the movie Fatima.

The award for Best Original Music went to Mustang, the soundtrack by Dirty Three/Bad Seeds/Grinderman member Warren Ellis. He's composed for a number of films before, most noteably for 2009's The Road.

Highlight of the event to this blog was probably the appearance of Christine and the Queens, performing the track It's Only Mystery. Another of her well-chosen covers, it was a track from the soundtrack of iconic 1980s French movie Subway, the song written by composer Eric Serra.

That movie, directed by Luc Besson, was one of the turning points in French cinema, not only giving Besson an international reputation but also showing that innovation and style in French cinema wasn't something that was consigned to the history books or arthouse nouvelle vague retrospectives.

Her appearance at the cermony coincided with the UK release of her Chaleur Humain album, a collection that swept the boards at the Victoires de la Musique awards in 2015, and picked up another two this year.

It's been a joy to see her get so much positive press in the UK, including a two-page article in the Times along with a cover photo. An article which also included references to other French acts to watch, including VLR favourite Sudden Death of Stars no less.

She's got a sold-out show in London later this month, so I suspect more press might be on the horizon as she takes on the UK market.

I don't think it will be long until one of France's most significant artists in recent yaers is as well known here as she is in France.

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