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Field Day

Field Day 2013: François and the Atlas Mountains pick their favourite French music and film


François and the Atlas Mountains have been one of our sleeper favourites of the past couple of years – both their Plaine Inondable and E Volo Love have been foisted on friends and family enthusiatically, and their live show is up there with the best at the moment.

The band, led by François Marry (a touring member of Camera Obscura) have made us two excellent lists; five musical picks and five films. Both lists offer up a wealth of great stuff to discover. Have a read and click around below for YouTube and Spotify links.


1. Dominique A. Auguri
My all-time favourite. He invented “lo-fi chanson” in the early nineties. He aged well since, e.g. this beautiful mid-career album produced by John Parrish. He’s the only true French indie singer.

2. A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et une femme) Original motion Picture soundtrack. music by Francis Lai.
I got this record given by Bristolian. I learned a lot about French nouvelle vague when I moved to the UK. This record melts my heart. I still haven’t seen the film though.

3. Serge Gainsbourg - Percussion
An early album which is already a revolution for French music, mixing afro rhythm and French chanson. Serge is the best. Both musically and lyrically. He’s our Bob Dylan, only he’s better, (even though he’s French), because he stayed innovative all his life long.

4. Christophe Les Paradis Perdus
He’s a bit like a French Scott Walker. He was a teenage singer in the 60s and now he experiments with ambient music and puts a lot of silence in his songs. A pure dude of a small French man.

5. Higelin et Areski - self-titled album.
A recording made in 1969 that captures the craving of freedom there was amongst the youth at that time in Paris.


1. La Jetee by Chris Marker
A short 1962 science fiction film made of still photographs. It inspired Terry Gilliam to do 12 Monkeys.

2. Le Peril Jeune and Peut-Etre by Cedric Klapish
Both films are very significant of the spirit of France in the nineties. Simple and funky.

3. Les Glaneurs Et La Glanneuse by Agnes Varda
A documentary about people who live of food scraps left after the markets.

4. L’Atalante by Jean Vigo
Because it gives a glimpse of Paris at the beginning of the century, it’s like time travel.
And for the idea that if you put your head in a bucket of water for too long you can see the one you love.

5. La Belle Et La Bete or Orphee de Jean Cocteau.
Early 20th Century art put onto film. Grace and simplicity.