Same Old Song


2h 1998

Brief Synopsis

Six men and women criss-cross in the streets of Paris as they negotiate real estate deals and relationships gone wrong. Finally merging at a housewarming party, the six duplicitous characters are unmasked, exposing the ugly lies that tear lovers apart.

Film Details

Also Known As
Das Leben ist ein Chanson, Leben ist ein Chanson, On Connait La Chanson, We Know the Song
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1998
Distribution Company
Artistic License Films/Merchant/Ivory Productions
Location
Paris, France

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Synopsis

Six men and women criss-cross in the streets of Paris as they negotiate real estate deals and relationships gone wrong. Finally merging at a housewarming party, the six duplicitous characters are unmasked, exposing the ugly lies that tear lovers apart.

Crew

Arletty

Song Performer

Paul Armont

Song

Eva Arnaud

Unit Manager

Charles Aznavour

Song

Charles Aznavour

Song Performer

Jean-pierre Bacri

Screenplay

Josephine Baker

Song Performer

Alain Bashung

Song

Alain Bashung

Song Performer

Sylvette Baudrot

Script Supervisor

Gilbert Becaud

Song

Gilbert Becaud

Song Performer

Wilfred Benaiche

Other

Michel Berger

Song

Boris Bergman

Song

Renato Berta

Director Of Photography

Jane Birkin

Song Performer

J P Bourtayre

Song

L Bourtayre

Song

J P Boutayre

Song

Jo Boyer

Song

P Bretonniere

Song

Marie-christine Budelberger

Dresser

Jackie Budin

Costume Designer

Frederic Caillierez

Assistant Director

Marie-sylvie Caillierez

Casting

Denis Carquin

Sound

Didier Carrel

Unit Production Manager

Didier Carrel

Production Supervisor

C Carrere

Song

Helene Chalant

Unit Manager

Maurice Chevalier

Song Performer

Leo Chiosso

Song

Catherine Chouridis

Line Producer

Catherine Chouridis

Production Manager

Henri Christine

Song

Dalida

Song Performer

Guido De Angelis

Song

Herve De Luze

Editor

Maurizio Deangelis

Song

G Del Re

Song

Pierre Delanoe

Song

Alain Delon

Song Performer

Terry Dempsey

Song

Cesare Denatale

Song

Armando Dona

Song

Anne Dunsford-varenne

Wardrobe

Jacques Dutronc

Song

Jacques Dutronc

Song Performer

Bertal Duvernois

Song

Michel Emer

Song

Leo Ferre

Song

Leo Ferre

Song Performer

Gianni Ferrio

Song

Bruno Fontaine

Music

Claude Francois

Song Performer

Serge Gainsbourg

Song

France Gall

Song Performer

Henri Garat

Song Performer

Georges Garvarentz

Song

Marcel Gerbidon

Song

Robert Gilbert

Song

Johnny Hallyday

Song Performer

Werner R. Heymann

Song

Andre Hornez

Song

J Hourdeaux

Song

Michel Imbert

Unit Manager

Agnfs Jaoui

Screenplay

Michel Jonasz

Song

Michel Klochendler

Sound Effects

George Koger

Song

Christian Lacroix

Wardrobe

Aurelia Lafaye

Other

Jean-pierre Laforce

Sound

Jean-pierre Laforce

Rerecording

Serge Lama

Song Performer

Serge Lama

Song

Gerard Lamps

Sound Mixer

Jacques Lanzmann

Song

Marcel Lattes

Song

Pierre Lenoir

Sound

Pierre Lenoir

Sound Engineer

Pierre-yves Lestum

Unit Manager

Laurent Levy

Sound Effects

Laurent Levy

Post-Production Sound

Camille Lipmann

Assistant Director

Didier Lize

Music

Eddy Marnay

Song

B Maubon

Song

Eddy Mitchell

Song Performer

C Moine

Song

Raoul Moretti

Song

Thomas Nellen

Hair Stylist

Gaston Ouvrard

Song

Gaston Ouvrard

Song Performer

P Papadiamandis

Song

Bruno Pesery

Producer

Bruno Pesery

Executive Producer

Edith Piaf

Song Performer

Christophe Pinel

Assistant Editor

Albert Prejean

Song Performer

Delphine Quentin

Other

Gustave Quinson

Song

Jacques Quinternet

Location Manager

Jackie Reynal

Makeup

Alain Romans

Song

Salabert

Song

A Salvet

Song

Michel Sardou

Song

Michel Sardou

Song Performer

Jacques Saulnier

Production Designer

Esme Sciaroni

Makeup

Vincent Scotto

Song

Michel Seydoux

Associate Producer

Simone Simon

Song Performer

N Skorsky

Song

Alain Souchon

Song

Alain Souchon

Song Performer

Catherine Staub

Other

Gilles Thibault

Song

Jean-paul Toraille

Assistant Camera Operator

Philippe Turlure

Set Decorator

H Varna

Song

Sylvie Vartan

Song Performer

Thierry Verrier

Assistant Director

Ruth Waldburger

Associate Producer

Albert Willemetz

Song

Film Details

Also Known As
Das Leben ist ein Chanson, Leben ist ein Chanson, On Connait La Chanson, We Know the Song
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1998
Distribution Company
Artistic License Films/Merchant/Ivory Productions
Location
Paris, France

Technical Specs

Duration
2h

Articles

Same Old Song - Alain Resnais' SAME OLD SONG - Offbeat 1997 French Musical on DVD


Same Old Song, a 1997 musical-comedy-drama directed by Alain Resnais, truly cleaned up in the César Awards race, France's equivalent of the Oscar sweepstakes. Along with best picture, it won three best-acting awards plus honors for best screenplay, editing, and sound as well as additional nominations for Resnais and four others. No doubt about it, Same Old Song, known as On connaît la chanson in its native French, proved an instant crowd-pleaser. And this surprises me, because it isn't that marvelous a movie. It has some likable performances, a mildly interesting gimmick, and a modest amount of low-key charm. But it's way below the level of Resnais's greatest work, and only Resnais completists are likely to be enthusiastic about it today.

Then again, Dennis Potter completists may also want the DVD edition from New Yorker Video, since the movie is an homage to that remarkable screenwriter. And this is where the aforementioned gimmick comes in. In some of Potter's most celebrated TV miniseries, including Pennies from Heaven (1978) and The Singing Detective (1986), characters abruptly burst into song – not singing with their own voices, but lip-syncing popular numbers that reflect their thoughts and feelings at the moment, as if life itself were a karaoke session on a cosmic scale. A miniseries he finished just before his death in 1994 is actually called Karaoke, referring to a screenplay that's been written by a character who's dying of cancer, exactly as Potter was doing in real life. The big difference between Potter's greatest works and Resnais's tribute is the intense philosophical seriousness that surges beneath the multileveled plots and grimly absurd moods that are among Potter's trademarks. Resnais is a hugely intelligent filmmaker, and his most legendary masterpieces – from Night and Fog and Hiroshima mon amour in the 1950s to Love Unto Death and Mélo in the 1980s – have as much philosophical depth as any European movies of the last sixty years. By either accident or design, though, his accolade to Potter is never more than skin deep.

Like many of Resnais's more recent films, Same Old Song has a sizable cast of interacting characters. Camille, a graduate student who's terminally bored by her own thesis, gets infatuated with Marc, a real-estate agent you'd never buy a used car from, and ignores Simon, who's obviously a perfect match for her. Odile, her chronically keyed-up sister, is so tired of her husband, Claude, that she takes more than a casual interest when an old boyfriend, Nicolas, pops back into her life. The movie deals mainly with the romantic complications in these relationships, culminating in a large party where all the figures have to confront truths and falsehoods they've been doing their best to evade throughout the story.

Resnais's most memorable films generally fall into two camps: transfixing excursions into crystal-pure cinema, such as Last Year at Marienbad and Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour, and imaginative essays in richly theatrical film, such as Not on the Lips and Private Fears in Public Places, another movie with a real-estate theme. Same Old Song falls between these categories, lacking the visual ingenuity of the first and the emotional concentration of the second. Most of the limited pizzazz it does manage to display comes from the stock company of engaging actors that Resnais has cultivated for the past 25 years or so, and the picture's César wins reflect this. Best actor went to André Dussollier as Simon and the supporting-actor prizes went to Jean-Pierre Bacri as Nicolas and Agnès Jaoui as Camille; this left Sabine Azéma and Lambert Wilson, who play Odile and Marc, as the only performers to get nominations only. Bacri and Jaoui, who has herself become a filmmaker of note in recent years, wrote the César-winning screenplay, and the editing honors went to Hervé de Luze, who does his best to keep things hopping along.

The best assets of Same Old Song are the old songs that pepper the soundtrack from start to finish. Among the selections are "J'm'en fous pas mal" from Edith Piaf; "J'ai deux amours" from Josephine Baker; "Et moi dans mon coin" from Charles Aznavour; "Afin de plaire à son papa" from Simone Simon; "Mon homme" from Arletty; "Ma Gueule" from Johnny Hallyday; "Avec le temps" from Léo Ferré; "J'aime les filles" from Jacques Dutronc; and "Quoi" from Jane Birkin, who's also in the on-screen cast. If you're a fan of French pop music, this is definitely the movie for you, as long as you don't mind hearing just a handful of lines before the character drops back to plain old talking.

The late Pauline Kael, who was overloaded with strong opinions even by movie-critic standards, once said Resnais was "an innovator who hasn't got a use for his innovations." Applied to much of Resnais's career, that's a nonsensical verdict. But when I'm faced with a second-tier achievement like Same Old Song – or with a flat-out disaster like I Want to Go Home, an alleged comedy made several years earlier – I can almost see what Kael meant. Same Old Song is too inventive, or rather too tricky, for its own good; and the primary trick isn't even Resnais's own, it's potted Potter, lacking the originality and bite it had when it was new. The movie's high-spirited atmosphere makes it hard to dislike. Unfortunately, its uninspired contrivances make it just as hard to like.

For more information about Same Old Song, visit New Yorker Films.To order The Watcher in the Attic, go to TCM Shopping.

by David Sterritt
Same Old Song - Alain Resnais' Same Old Song - Offbeat 1997 French Musical On Dvd

Same Old Song - Alain Resnais' SAME OLD SONG - Offbeat 1997 French Musical on DVD

Same Old Song, a 1997 musical-comedy-drama directed by Alain Resnais, truly cleaned up in the César Awards race, France's equivalent of the Oscar sweepstakes. Along with best picture, it won three best-acting awards plus honors for best screenplay, editing, and sound as well as additional nominations for Resnais and four others. No doubt about it, Same Old Song, known as On connaît la chanson in its native French, proved an instant crowd-pleaser. And this surprises me, because it isn't that marvelous a movie. It has some likable performances, a mildly interesting gimmick, and a modest amount of low-key charm. But it's way below the level of Resnais's greatest work, and only Resnais completists are likely to be enthusiastic about it today. Then again, Dennis Potter completists may also want the DVD edition from New Yorker Video, since the movie is an homage to that remarkable screenwriter. And this is where the aforementioned gimmick comes in. In some of Potter's most celebrated TV miniseries, including Pennies from Heaven (1978) and The Singing Detective (1986), characters abruptly burst into song – not singing with their own voices, but lip-syncing popular numbers that reflect their thoughts and feelings at the moment, as if life itself were a karaoke session on a cosmic scale. A miniseries he finished just before his death in 1994 is actually called Karaoke, referring to a screenplay that's been written by a character who's dying of cancer, exactly as Potter was doing in real life. The big difference between Potter's greatest works and Resnais's tribute is the intense philosophical seriousness that surges beneath the multileveled plots and grimly absurd moods that are among Potter's trademarks. Resnais is a hugely intelligent filmmaker, and his most legendary masterpieces – from Night and Fog and Hiroshima mon amour in the 1950s to Love Unto Death and Mélo in the 1980s – have as much philosophical depth as any European movies of the last sixty years. By either accident or design, though, his accolade to Potter is never more than skin deep. Like many of Resnais's more recent films, Same Old Song has a sizable cast of interacting characters. Camille, a graduate student who's terminally bored by her own thesis, gets infatuated with Marc, a real-estate agent you'd never buy a used car from, and ignores Simon, who's obviously a perfect match for her. Odile, her chronically keyed-up sister, is so tired of her husband, Claude, that she takes more than a casual interest when an old boyfriend, Nicolas, pops back into her life. The movie deals mainly with the romantic complications in these relationships, culminating in a large party where all the figures have to confront truths and falsehoods they've been doing their best to evade throughout the story. Resnais's most memorable films generally fall into two camps: transfixing excursions into crystal-pure cinema, such as Last Year at Marienbad and Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour, and imaginative essays in richly theatrical film, such as Not on the Lips and Private Fears in Public Places, another movie with a real-estate theme. Same Old Song falls between these categories, lacking the visual ingenuity of the first and the emotional concentration of the second. Most of the limited pizzazz it does manage to display comes from the stock company of engaging actors that Resnais has cultivated for the past 25 years or so, and the picture's César wins reflect this. Best actor went to André Dussollier as Simon and the supporting-actor prizes went to Jean-Pierre Bacri as Nicolas and Agnès Jaoui as Camille; this left Sabine Azéma and Lambert Wilson, who play Odile and Marc, as the only performers to get nominations only. Bacri and Jaoui, who has herself become a filmmaker of note in recent years, wrote the César-winning screenplay, and the editing honors went to Hervé de Luze, who does his best to keep things hopping along. The best assets of Same Old Song are the old songs that pepper the soundtrack from start to finish. Among the selections are "J'm'en fous pas mal" from Edith Piaf; "J'ai deux amours" from Josephine Baker; "Et moi dans mon coin" from Charles Aznavour; "Afin de plaire à son papa" from Simone Simon; "Mon homme" from Arletty; "Ma Gueule" from Johnny Hallyday; "Avec le temps" from Léo Ferré; "J'aime les filles" from Jacques Dutronc; and "Quoi" from Jane Birkin, who's also in the on-screen cast. If you're a fan of French pop music, this is definitely the movie for you, as long as you don't mind hearing just a handful of lines before the character drops back to plain old talking. The late Pauline Kael, who was overloaded with strong opinions even by movie-critic standards, once said Resnais was "an innovator who hasn't got a use for his innovations." Applied to much of Resnais's career, that's a nonsensical verdict. But when I'm faced with a second-tier achievement like Same Old Song – or with a flat-out disaster like I Want to Go Home, an alleged comedy made several years earlier – I can almost see what Kael meant. Same Old Song is too inventive, or rather too tricky, for its own good; and the primary trick isn't even Resnais's own, it's potted Potter, lacking the originality and bite it had when it was new. The movie's high-spirited atmosphere makes it hard to dislike. Unfortunately, its uninspired contrivances make it just as hard to like. For more information about Same Old Song, visit New Yorker Films.To order The Watcher in the Attic, go to TCM Shopping. by David Sterritt

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 1998 Prix Melies from the French Critics Association.

Winner of seven 1997 Cesar Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Andre Dussollier), Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Jean-Pierre Bacri), Best Supporting Actress (Agnes Jaoui), Best Editing, and Best Sound. Also nominated for five awards, including Best Director, Best Actress (Sabine Azema), and Best Supporting Actor (Lambert Wilson).

Released in United States Fall October 15, 1999

Released in United States on Video October 16, 2001

Released in United States 1998

Released in United States February 1998

Released in United States February 2001

Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1998.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (in competition) February 11-22, 1998.

Shown at Berlin International Film Festival February 7-18, 2001.

Began shooting January 6, 1997.

Completed shooting early April 1997.

Released in United States Fall October 15, 1999 (NY)

Released in United States on Video October 16, 2001

Released in United States 1998 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 25 - October 11, 1998.)

Released in United States February 1998 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival (in competition) February 11-22, 1998.)

Released in United States February 2001 (Shown at Berlin International Film Festival February 7-18, 2001.)