Mon chien Stupide (Bande originale du film)
Sign me up for the film straight away: A French translation of the John Fante novella (My Dog Stupid from the posthumous collection West of Rome in which a middle-aged couple with marriage troubles have a big ‘Stupid’ dog come between them – written, directed by and starring Yvan Attal and his real-life partner Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Meanwhile Brad Mehldau’s score is setting the scene for me – and making me wonder while Mehldau (in a stunning later-career run right now) isn’t off scoring more films. He’s busy, always, with a great many projects, from playing classical to his ongoing trio and small combo jazz and to solo performances but his work here is stunning. Such a great melody writer and interpreter and you can feel – instantly – how perfect the somber mood of his music will be as a match to the movie.
The score finds a repurposed use for Mehldau’s brilliant solo piano rendition of Radiohead’s Paranoid Android; here split into a couple of cues/codas.
But the new pieces he’s written are lovely and have hints of Jacques Loussier’s stately grace (I’ve Been Stupid), and there’s even some of Paul McCartney’s melodicism on display (Four Minus Four Equals Zero evokes Junk). There’s a lovely solo piano instrumental of The Beatles’ And I Love Her as palinode.
Most of the pieces here are just short cues – dazzling wee glimpses offered in 60 or 90 seconds. And mostly solo. Just piano. There are bits of baritone sax and percussion (Rommel) that give a Michael Nyman feel. And in another bit of McCartney-aping The ‘Inchworm’-like motif behind Raphael Says Goodbye reminds me of Wings’ Winter Rose.
Did I mention I can’t wait to see the film?