Yves- Le frigo chantant
Comedy that made sensation in Cannes, Yves by Benoît Forgeard is also a musical film. We met Bertrand Burgalat who wrote the soundtrack on the Croisette.
By Jacques Braunstein
Reading time 4 min.
Yves is a fridge, even the first film in which the hero is a fridge. But a smart, connected, endowed with words and with a conscience fridge. It’s installed for a teste at Jerem’s (William Lebghil), amateur rapper who lives in his deceased grandmother’s pavilion. He especially wants to enjoy the free food included in this test. Incidentally, he isn’t insensitive to the So charm (Doria Tillier) who oversees the operation for the Digital Cool start-up. They will form a kind of threesome composed of a man, a woman and a fridge. Very quickly, Yves will help Jerem in his rap compositions. Before emancipating himself and becoming a star of the song, candidate of France to the Eurovision. Futuristic fable, the film is a kind of comic version of an episode of Black Mirror.
Benoît Forgeard’s cinema is not absurd,
It’s more of an anticipation movie.
Bertrand Burgalat, CEO of the Tricatel label (Chassol, Christophe Willem, Michel Houellebecq, Valérie Lemercier…) is the author of his music. We interviewed him at Cannes during the SACEM meetings. For a while, he’s the director Benoît Forgeard acolyte (Gaz de France) which with he had created the « Ben & Bertie Show » on Paris Première. « The Benoît cinema isn’t absurd, it’s more of an anticipation movie. But very short-term anticipation… At Eurovision this year there was a candidate surrounded by robots. It was almost a scene of Yves. »
Is there any musical writing specific to comedy ?
I don’t think so. A soundtrack is a line of a larger score. I write the violin, but the cello line sometimes plays the same melody, sometimes harmony, or will have dissonances. So, if a scene is sad, you don’t have to put a sad song. Personally I think that the most melancholic things don’t necessarily come from the darkest music. And comedy music is not necessarily fast… Vladimir Cosma’s music is great (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, The Wing or the Thigh, Knock on Wood…), but outside the context they are not funny at all. They are quite nostalgic even (it starts humming the music of The Tall Blond). Film music is a matter of language, of understanding. You have to understand what the director is trying to express.
You also played a judge in the film…
Often at the begging I have to compose the soundtrack… And the director tells me « It will be fun if you say a sentence ». Then I say the sentence and it’s someone else who finally makes the music. After a while, I got tired of it.
I came back with the Eva Ionesco films (My Little Princess, Golden Youth whose music he wrote, even appearing in the second). I’m not a actor, I’m always scared to ruin the movie. But it’s funny, it allows me to see how a shooting takes place. The dynamics on the set are quite interesting to see from the inside. How extras are treated, for example. It teaches me how to write music.
Jerem, the human hero of the film is a rapper, a music quite far from your world…
Rap is a hyper-codified genre. The three tracks of the film had to be credible and I would have made pastiches. So it’s Mim and Tortoz, real rap producers, who do it, as they would have done for a real artist. Texts are crazy, funny (as demonstrated by the track Carrément rien à Branler – I just don’t give a shit in English – in which Philippe Katerine plays Jerem’s manager in the film).
I took care of the rest, especially the songs we hear during the Eurovision competition. Making a Fado or Italian variety is my thing. Like the German piece inspired by Rammstein which already pumps Laibach (group of Slovenian indus that Bertrand Burgalat produced in the 90s).
How do you decide to accept to make the music of a film, or not?
When we tell me « this director knows about music », I tell myself « Help ! ». It’s like a guy who knows boxing. You’re a boxer or you’re not a boxer…We don’t ask to a director to have a good taste in music and especially not to want to show it by putting such or such a piece or reference in his film. What’s important is that he has a vision and he’s able to listen to a piece that’s not finished and see what happens.
Moreover, now, there’s often musical supervisors… We make you work with a well payed man to seduce producers. He’s there to make the linked between director and compositor, and choose songs for the film. Which makes kind of soundtracks for summer karaoke. Whereas for me, a film is an original work that must have original music. Even if there are some very good exemples as Tarantino or Kubrick. He, he took a real music and making it a revolutionary soundtrack. When he asked the Karajan version of « Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra » for 2001, he refused. But Kubrick used it anyway, slightly boosted, pretending that it was from some obscure orchestra.