Amore

a look at the music of Vangelis Papathanassiou

Introduction
Until it's publication in 2011, very little was known about this film by Henry Chapier. It turns out to be an incomprehensible love story, set to the cityscapes of Venice. What was longtime suspected but unverifyable by the unavailability of the film, indeed Vangelis provided an original score to this movie.

"Amore" played in French cinemas for a short while, and afterwards was swiftly forgotten. Until 2011 when French French website Ina.fr published the movie after almost 40 years since its original release!

With no soundtrack release, the only way to hear Vangelis' original score is to watch the movie itself!

 

Details and Credits
Amore (France, 1973)
Length: 85 minutes
Released in France: January 30th, 1974

Directed by: Henry Chapier

Scenario: Henry Chapier and Anne Capelle
Cinematography: Alain Derobe
Camera: Anne de Gasperi
Music: Vangelis Papathanassiou

Produced by MARA films and O.R.T.F.

 

Cast

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Sonia Petrova (Marina)

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Daniel Quenaud (Daniel)

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Julian Negulesco (Paolo)

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Henri Déus (Fabrizio)

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Daniel Ceccaldi (P.D.G.)

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Catherine Marshall (P.D.G.'s wife)

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Gaby Wagner (Young German tourist)

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Nini Ritter (Italian singer)

 

Media
It took almost 40 years after the original production for "Amore" to be published, thanks to INA.fr!  The film can be ordered online, for download or DVD print.

Hopefully this publication is the prelude to an official DVD release, as previously happened with "Sex Power".

Recording Studio
The music for "Amore" is recorded at Europa Sonor Studio in Paris, France. This is the same studio where also the albums "666" (Aphrodite's Child), "Fais que ton reve soit plus long que la nuit" and "Earth" are recorded.

Synopsis
As told on the original press-sheet

"This film examines the problem of rescuing Venice. But is neither a documentary on art, nor a television special like S.O.S. Venice. A Young reporter goes to Venice, considering he is there on a 'special assignment'. Between him and the city there is no warmth, no affinity. Like a surgeon naively engrossed in his operation, Alquier examines the city's wounds, photographing them and imagining ways to heal them.

Paolo, his Italian collaborator, tries to show him the unusual side of Venice, rather than the postcard, folk tenor version. Alquier visits the dilapidated palaces and the teeming slums and sees people's faces loom into view, but a myth can not be easily erased.

While strolling alone through the city Alquier thinks he sees a face in the stone... The age-old 'love at first sight' takes a different turn. What follows is not a romantic, nor even a realistic, love story. Right away, he films the girl, Marina, in his fantasy. We never find out if the girl has a real flesh-and-blood, everyday existence, or if she merely represents Venice in Alquier's mind.

Alquier pursues his assignment, but it becomes more sensitive, peotic, more human. What was documentary description becomes a genuine encounter. Marina triggers a daydream in Alquier's mind and begins to have an existence of her own in which the other character, Paolo, plays an important part; he is refractory, rebellious and scoffs at the system, declaring that Venice and the rescue project are nothing more but a farce, a cultural alibi to soothe the conscience of the western world. He is the negative image of an architect.

Rescuing Venice is like winning a person's affection or encountering love; it can not be done from the outside. Daniel Alquier's experience serves as an example and a warning to all who think they can solve major problems with disembodies formulas and viewpoints lacking faith. As for Venice herself, her heartbeat is slower as it once was. Are the stones, pollution and the tides solely to blame? What about the Venetians?

 

another synopsis, in French:

"Un jeune architecte, Alquié, est envoyé par le gouvernement français étudier une solution pour sauver Venise. Son collaborateur, photographe italien, estime que le Français ne connaît pas suffisamment l'âme de la ville et de ses habitants pour statuer de son sort; afin de lui faire mieux saisir cette ambiguïté, il utilise les charmes de Marina, jeune comtesse désoeuvrée qu'il a séduite facilement. Celle-ci, énigmatique comme la ville, fréquente les deux hommes jusqu'au jour où sa mère décide de la marier à un richissime compatriote, plus intéressant par la noblesse de ses ancêtres que par sa valeur personnelle. Comprenant que les Vénitiens préfèrent se scléroser et conserver leurs traditions surannées, Alquié quitte, écoeuré, Marina et Venise."

 

 

 

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