Here are three older short music films I've really enjoyed lately.
Here is France Gall's adorable face, winning the 1965 Eurovision contest with the Serge Gainsbourg-penned song Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son ("Wax Doll, Singing Doll" - download video, 7 meg Windows Media file). She was seventeen years old when she sang this at the Tenth Eurovision Fest in Naples, Italy. Her performance is merely adequate, but the camera stays close up on her loveliness as she sings the song that went to number one throughout Europe, launching her career. Here's a ton more France Gall to listen to, via WFMU's Realaudio archives. Video via All Kinds of Everything, via Earnest Little Cartoon Guy.
Here's a cool short film of the great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and his Quintet of the Hot Club of France performing J'Attenndrai ("I Will Wait" - download video, 12 meg, Quicktime file) A newsreel-style announcer introduces the band as they lounge around a room, smoking and playing cards while a young Django and Stephane Grappelli lightly jam. Then it goes into a full blown performance of the Quintet. This is the first time I've ever seen Django play, after loving his music for 30 years. You can get a good view of Django's fret hand, which had two damaged fingers from a fire he suffered when he was eighteen. Despite his permanent hand injury, Django went on to be one of the main innovators of using the guitar as a melody instrument, along with Charlie Christian, Lonnie Johnson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Video via Djangobooks. More Django from the WFMU Realaudio archives here.
Elis Regina's version of Aguas De Marco (Waters of March) with the song's author, Antonio Carlos Jobim appears on the amazing collection Elis and Tom. On that version, she gets comically exasperated towards the end of the song and starts cracking up. On this version (download video, 11 meg, Quicktime file), the same thing happens, but it seems so genuine that it it's hard to believe this was simply part of her act (unlike Ella Fitzgerald's shtick of "forgetting" her lyrics). Not sure who she is playing with here, but if you already love her voice, you'll love her even more when you see her sing. via the great dailymotion site, discovered via antville. More Elis from the WFMU Realaudio archives here.