Les États généraux du film documentaire 2015 Sacem Day

Sacem Day

It is with great pleasure and commitment that the Sacem, French Society of music creators, composers and publishers, is associated like every year with the Lussas États généraux du film documentaire. Alongside all those who breathe life into documentary creation with their talent and daily work, our society will testify quite naturally to the strong connections tying music to the image.
Among its one hundred and fifty-three members including three thousand author-directors, a large number of Sacem composers work for the cinema and audiovisual industries. Composers and directors speak the same language: that of the work they are creating together.
Music will be highlighted during the day of screenings proposed by the Sacem at Lussas. The public will be invited to meet author, composer and interpreter Piers Faccini around the film A New Morning which he codirected with Jeremiah, and also Arthur B. Gillette and Jennifer Hutt who composed the score for Safia Benhaim's film A Spell of Fever.
And continuing this day of exchange, two very fine musical documentaries will by honoured this year by the Sacem. Sandrine Bonnaire will receive the Sacem Prize for Best Musical documentary for her What Time Gave a Man – Jacques Higelin, an extremely successful film on this great poet of French song. And for the first time, the jury also wished to award a special mention to the documentary In and Out. Martial Solal – Bernard Lubat a musical conversation directed by Thierry Augé.
So many moments that illustrate the Sacem’s constant concern, through its cultural action, to support the young talents of music in image, and also the authors and directors of musical documentaries.
A very fine festival to you all!

Laurent Petitgirard
President of the Sacem Board of Governors
Member of the Institute

Piers Faccini, an encounter

I started out as a painter, and in the early nineties, I preferred the solitude of a painter’s life to that of a performer. Eventually I began sharing my songs in front of an audience and in 1996 I started up a band called Charley Marlowe that ran until I recorded my first solo album in 2003. During those years with Charley Marlowe, I also began composing music for British television, recording scores for the BBC and for Channel 4.
I think that being a painter gave me an insight into the way music can accompany an image and vice versa. In my songs I’m more of a classic songwriter, always looking for the perfect blend of word and melody but as a writer of instrumental music to picture, I’m fascinated by the infinite and imagistic textures that music can create. In a way, I can be more experimental as a film composer than as a songwriter but I often find the scores I record, help give me ideas for the ways in which I can arrange and dress my songs. Recently I’ve had the fortune to write music for three different films by the French director Philippe Borrel, the most recent being L’Urgence de ralentir and I’ve also just written music for a feature by Fanny Jean-Noël called Move. In 2011, I co-wrote a film with Jeremiah called A New Morning in which we set intimate and acoustic performances of my songs across the four seasons in the Cévennes region where I now live. I also recently began making animation videos for my songs and although I have no training as an animator, I’ve used my experience as a painter and film composer to experiment and find ideas.
I’m looking forward to the États généraux du film documentaire where I can share and present my way of experimenting with the various art forms that I use.

Piers Faccini

At half time in the festival, this encounter can be seen as a respiration, an invitation to listen and discuss with Piers Faccini, composer, songwriter, interpreter, painter, photographer.
A film, animated videos, his paintings, song, excerpts from films for which he composed the music constitute so many approaches to apprehend his multidisciplinary universe, rich and singular.
At the close of the session, Piers Faccini will set himself a little challenge that should not be missed.

Encounter led by Cédric Jouan.
In the presence of Piers Faccini.

Filmmakers and Music Makers

It’s at a performance entitled Last Things (a fictional story about the last man on earth) at the Côté Court short film festival in 2013 that Jennifer Hutt and myself, music makers, met Safia Benhaim, filmmaker. This encounter morphed over some months into a back and forth collaboration leading to the collective writing of the sound story for A Spell of Fever, completed in 2014.
With Jennifer we will retrace the story of this encounter. It is a story of immediate flights of fancy and getting bogged down, a story of music preventing one from thinking and trying to serve the purposes of another artistic creation: working rhythms and inventions, mental images and iterative trials.
We will play a short part of the performance live with guitar, keyboard and violin. We will talk about our presence and our playing (musical and physical) in the “natural” sets of the shooting of the performance, to question the way that these first inventions were transformed by successive manipulations and inspired Safia Benhaim. Using a computer, we will simulate on screen the creative paths that modified the acoustic raw material and brought the story of A Spell of Fever alive, a process marked by numerous discussions, misunderstandings and tries.

Arthur B. Gillette

In front of the editing screen, scattered rushes, fragmentary images to tell the tale of a memory full of holes. Black screens. Texts, or rather a “mute” voice, to retrieve and bring to the surface drowned childhood scenes, reminiscences. The desire that all this memory should come back in one night, a night of delirium and fever. The music was born thus: to give flesh to this fever, to this delirium. To carry along with it the voiceless, imageless words, words in the dark. So that, little by little, born of the fever, images might surge forth as hallucinations.
I thought I didn’t like music in films and in “documentary”… But as I started to write the text of the film, this “mute” voice written on the darkness – directly against a black screen, directly in the editing rather than on a white page – I felt that this “text” couldn’t simply be reduced to words telling the story, but they would have to, in their rhythm, carry the progression of a feverish delirium (of which I had a very vivid memory since having experienced a “real” night of fever as a child). To write it, I needed a rhythm. An insistent music resounded in my memory, composed by Arthur and Jennifer for a previous common project, and finally left aside. To write the text, I put the music on the soundtrack: then the words and the rhythm came naturally in continuous flow. Quickly I realised that the music I was listening to was no longer simply a “tool” helping me to write, but was the unrepresentable “matter” of the fever, of the fever’s delirium. The music became the most perceptible, the most “mimetic” form of that sensation remaining in my memory and stuck inside my body. The music gave birth to words of reminiscence, and under its influence the fragmentary images, this lost memory resurfaced. Then I felt the need for ruptures in the rhythm, and I asked Arthur and Jennifer to compose a new track – so that I could, alternating the two long pieces, play with the rhythms and the “appearances” of silent characters (silent voices of the exiled phantom, silent voice of the child possessed by the phantom). The entire film is constructed on this music: it is the “material” of the fever, the “foundation” of the film.

Safia Benhaim

Encounter led by Cédric Jouan.
In the présence of Safia Benhaim, Gréco Casadesus, Arthur B. Gillette and Jennifer Hutt.