Cours Lapin are four film composers from Denmark, and their new, self-titled album is an evocative homage to cinema, lovingly performed in the French ‘chanson’ tradition. Louise Alenius provides the breathless, child-like vocals for the eleven theatrical, atmospheric songs performed by Peder Thomas Pedersen, Asgar Baden and Jonas Struck. The result is the perfect soundtrack to an imaginary film full of mystery, adventure and longing. The album is out on September 13 on Fake Diamonds Records, but in the meantime you can listen to their free track ‘Cache Cache’. Catch them live in London on July 7 at Death Disco, Notting Hill Arts Club and July 8 at Rough Trade East. For more information, go to their MySpace page. Below, they tell us about their favourite films. SARAH CRONIN
Peder Thomas Pedersen:
1. King of Comedy (1982)
De Niro is heartbreaking and sad, I’ve never seen him in a role like this.
2. Mulholland Drive (2001)
When I stepped out of the movie theatre I had a headache and no idea what just happened. But I loved it.
3. Life of Brian (1979)
It is the best laugh ever – and it works for me every time. I’m not into comedies at all, they rarely make me laugh, but Life of Brian is just so extremely funny that I laugh just by thinking of it.
4. Goodfellas (1990)
Because I loooove men with attitude saying cool things. If I were a man I would definitely be a gangster.
5. Blue Velvet (1986)
I’m fascinated by the characters, especially this sad, sad singer and her fucked up relationship with the freak. I must admit that I find it really interesting to watch extremely cruel people abusing some weak person without any ‘scruples’. It’s a theme I often work with in my own music and lyrics, and many of the lyrics on the Cours Lapin album are also about the relationship between a person doing something really bad, and the victim… In Blue Velvet we also meet this prototype young and sweet girl. She is all good but also really boring, and she almost makes me forget that it’s actually a good thing to be honest and helpful. I just find the dark side of people more interesting. The music is also amazing.
6. Naked Lunch (1991)
I like the way Howard Shore’s score understates the mystery and darkness in this fantastic movie. The mix of the symphonic score with free-jazz virtuoso Ornette Coleman on top is absolutely stunning. The movie is very abstract and Peter Weller’s performance as drug addict William Lee taking bug powder is really far out.
7. South Park (1997)
The title theme was composed and performed by Primus. This crazy ragtime tells us what to expect from the episodes – and it’s really a funny signature that sums up the madness of Kartman, Kenny and the rest of the kids.
8. No Country for Old Men (2007)
I love most of the Coen Brothers movies but this one is really something special. It’s very exciting, violent and super-tense, and funny in a darkly comic manner. It’s very meditative with almost no music at all – and it works without music. I don’t miss a single note and it makes it even scarier with just silence. Javier Bardem as psycho Anton is scary but also very funny.
9. City of God (2002)
This is one of my all-time favourite films. It’s about gang wars, drug dealers and young people growing up in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. It’s very shocking but there’s also a lot of humour in it – a kind of Brazilian Tarantino vibe. The songs selected and the 70s score by Antonio Pinto and Ed Cortes really set the right mood. The characters are absolutely fascinating and very endearing, and they are convincingly played by young, unknown actors. The story is well told, and is alternately funny and brutally shocking. The style of the film includes Tarantino-style time-jumping, freeze-framing and titles to indicate the different chapters of the film. It is a sort of Brazillian Pulp Fiction or Goodfellas, but with its own unique flavour.
Peder Thomas Pedersen + Louise Alenius:
10. In the Mood for Love (2000)
Peder: Extremely beautiful cinematography by Christopher Doyle… It’s like you’re standing next to the movie and watching it in extreme saturation. Maggie Cheung isn’t exactly bad-looking in all those colourful dresses, and the score is happening too. Louise: 100% because of its music. After I saw this film I began to write music for classical instruments, and that’s what I’ve been doing since.