CSA & Jutra Nominated soundtrack: Mars et Avril by Benoît Charest

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CSA & Jutra Nominated soundtrack: Mars et Avril by Benoît Charest

The director Martin Villeneuve entrusted composer Benoit Charest (Triplets of Belleville, Polytechnique, Route 132) with the score of his first feature film released last fall. Set against a backdrop of a futuristic Montreal, where 3D newscasts are detailing humanity’s ambitious plans to finally set foot on Mars as three astronauts travel to the red planet, Mars & Avril is the story of an elderly charismatic musician Jacob Obus (Jacques Languirand) who slows down time and entrances audiences as he plays hypnotic music on instruments inspired by women’s bodies, designed by his young friend Arthur (Paul Ahmarani).

In the history of Canadian cinema, there has never been anything quite like this film. A visually sumptuous sci-fi movie set in a not-too-distant Montreal, this brilliant story eschews army battles and conflicts, and looks instead at a world in which creating art and music and beauty have taken over the collective consciousness.

In order to bring these invented instruments to life, the composer says he’s been inspired by retro-futuristic music that he translates as being a music from the future with a realm of the 40’s and 50’s imagination. “in those times, people had a very optimistic outlook into the future; they thought everything was going to be great, different and funky” adds Charest. To be reflective of his inspiration, he chose well-known acoustic instruments – modulated, oscillated and mixed their sounds to create the fictional “gravophone” and “soupirotique”.

The soundtrack has been nominated for Best Score both at the Canadian Screen Awards (March 3rd) and at the Jutra Awards (March 17th) and will be released (digital) on Feb 28th in Canada.

Listen to the soundtrack for Mars et Avril here.

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