1971-1980ArthouseDramaFranceMoshé Mizrahi

Moshé Mizrahi – Les stances à Sophie AKA Sophie’s Ways (1971)


The presences of the exemplary Nouvelle Vague icons Bernadette Lafont and Bulle Ogier in the female lead roles notwithstanding, what cachet 1971’s Les Stances a Sophie has accrued over the years is largely extra-cinematical. Its soundtrack, composed and performed by the legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago … was for many years a much sought-after item among contemporary jazz fans, and with excellent reason. Like many free-music pioneers, the Art Ensemble decamped to Paris in the late ’60s, where there was both a larger and more welcoming audience for its work and at least one pioneering record label (BYG …) throwing studio time at any number of adventurous artists. The Ensemble’s work for this soundtrack finds them folding classical themes and contemporary soul stylings into its already effortlessly eclectic and daring musical bag. “Theme de Yoyo,” with Bass declaiming a critique of the battle of the sexes that’s a raw counterpoint to some of the more politely limned tensions playing out in the film at that point, is an ever-bracing piece that suggests all sorts of post-Brechtian possibilities for movie music—possibilities that really haven’t been too thoroughly explored since. It’s also pretty killer when listened to entirely on its own.




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