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Section Header
8 Femmes
Score Composed and Conducted by:
Krishna Levy

Songs Produced by:
Mick Lanaro

WEA France/Rhino

Release Date:
December 17, 2002

Also See:
Moulin Rouge

Audio Clips:
1. 8 Femmes 8 Fleurs (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (256K)
Real Audio (159K)

2. Papa T'es Plus Dans L'coup (0:29):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (233K)
Real Audio (145K)

7. Pile Ou Face (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (240K)
Real Audio (149K)

19. Le Baiser (0:32):
WMA (211K)  MP3 (260K)
Real Audio (161K)

The original release of the album was produced by the French division of Warner Music. The American album was subsequently released by Rhino. Both were initially readily available and feature identical music.


8 Femmes
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Sales Rank: 208506

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Buy it... if you seek an affable companion album from an equally creative film, or if you easily fall in love with tributes to the lush themes from Hollywood's Golden Age.

Avoid it... if you're listening to Armageddon at this exact moment and you can't fathom why anyone would find French tongue in cheek comedy music to be remotely tolerable.

8 Femmes (8 Women): (Krishna Levy) One of the most creative films to come out of any country in the 2000's, François Ozon's international hit 8 Femmes (or 8 Women) is a large-scale comedic parody of murder mysteries and musical productions from yesteryear. It's the French story of eight oddly matched women who get stuck in the mansion of a murdered man, and through their outwitting of the others, they pursue the mystery and attempt to stay out of each other's suspicions. The fact that the film is an utterly ridiculous musical is what gives it a comedic personality and undeniable charm. Each of the eight women performs her own song, which is no small event given that the eight actresses are well known in France and aren't seen in such roles everyday. The melodies and instrumental styles are all interpretations of famous songs from the 1960's through 1980's (along the lines of what Baz Luhrmann did with Moulin Rouge, but executed with a playful tongue in cheek attitude). Likewise, the orchestral score by Krishna Levy is a parody of sorts, taking aim at both the classic romance and suspense scores of Miklós Rózsa and Bernard Herrmann (respectively). The overall result is a delightful listening experience, but it is so overwhelmingly unique that it exists in a corner of film music almost completely by itself. The eight songs, adapted by Mick Lanaro, are carefully chosen to reflect each character's personality. They range from funky 1960's dance hits to lofty Parisian jazz, modern light tangos to longing 1970's ballads. Their diversity speaks volumes about the characters, and the arrangement of the songs, while distinctly separate from the score in style, is well handled. It is undoubtedly the kind of work that will attract its small audience to the individual characters that the listener finds the most appealing in the story, and for those who can't speak French, then the genre and tone of the material is really the only identity available with which to distinguish each song. The generic imitation of American 50's teenie-bopper rock in "Papa T'es Plus Dans L'coup" takes advantage of Ludivine Sagnier's younger voice to provide the collection's most spirited performance.

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The score by Levy is perhaps the less desired part of the production and album if you were to poll the masses of viewers of the film. Despite its far less enthusiastic attitude and rather short duration, however, it shouldn't be summarily disregarded. The fluid thematic simplicity that it exudes is even reminiscent of early Elmer Bernstein music, stirring a whimsical atmosphere of innocence that rarely exists in the Digital Age of film scores. Tender moments are handled with elegant duets between piano and cello, performing a title theme that is slightly reminiscent of several classical progressions of familiarity but still effective. Levy passes the melody around between players in the ensemble with ease (especially the woodwinds). In its most lush incarnations, as immediately heard in "8 Femmes 8 Fleurs," the retro style of Levy's writing, along with a hint of proper European sensibilities, reaches towards the territory of a few of Philippe Rombi's comedies and dramas from later in the decade. Likewise, the suspense tip-toes around the chord progressions and tense shades in the high ranges often used in the string section by Herrmann, resulting in a score that could bring a smile to the faces of veteran film score collectors. The parody is precise enough to be both recognizable and effective, but concurrently funny enough in its interpretations to stay true to its comedy genre. The performances of the score by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra are definitely underpowered in the bass region, a circumstance not assisted by the mix of the album presentation. While this attribute of the recording may suffice to maintain an airy atmosphere in the film, it diminishes the impact of the score's attempt at weightier drama. After all, the best parody material is that which takes itself absolutely seriously. The album is a gorgeous production that identifies each song with its character and provides extensive lyrics and song identification credits. Because the product was released first by Warner Brothers in France, the majority of existing albums on the market at the time of the film's debut in 2002 were in French. Rhino re-distributed the album in the U.S. six months later, unsuccessfully attempting to extend the concept into an international venue. The identical contents of the two albums, though, are still a comedy riot and will appeal to listeners across all generations. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.45 Stars
Smart Average: 3.37 Stars*
***** 153 
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*** 159 
** 65 
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 41:01

• 1. 8 Femmes 8 Fleurs (2:20)
• 2. Papa T'es Plus Dans L'coup - performed by Ludivine Sagnier (1:31)
• 3. Message Personnel - performed by Isabelle Huppert (4:14)
• 4. A Quoi Sert De Vivre Libre - performed by Fanny Ardant (2:40)
• 5. Mon Amour Mon Ami - performed by Virginie Ledoyen (1:43)
• 6. Pour Ne Pas Vivre Seul - performed by Firmine Richard (2:31)
• 7. Pile Ou Face - performed by Emmanelle Béart (1:36)
• 8. Toi Jamais - performed by Catherine Deneuve (2:42)
• 9. Il N'y A Pas D'amour Heureux - performed by Danielle Darrieux (2:42)
• 10. Theme 8 Femmes - performed by Generique De Fin (3:53)
• 11. La Fenetre (0:52)
• 12. Confession De Suzon (2:31)
• 13. Augustine S'evanouit (0:57)
• 14. Pierrette Seule (0:26)
• 15. Augustine Seule (1:06)
• 16. Portrait De Gaby (2:11)
• 17. Envie D'etre Belle (1:16)
• 18. Complicite Feminine (1:51)
• 19. Le Baiser (1:19)
• 20. La Machination (1:15)
• 21. Fin (1:14)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes extensive lyrics and notation about the songs.

  All artwork and sound clips from 8 Femmes are Copyright © 2002, WEA France/Rhino. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 2/4/03 and last updated 3/2/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.