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La Baule film festival: the time of a masterclass Philippe Sarde looks back on his rich career as a composer

Official composer of Claude Sautet, nominated for the Oscars, Philippe Sarde has created the music for more than 200 films. An extraordinary career for a discreet man. Guest of honor at the La Baule film and film music festival, he led a masterclass.

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Philippe Sarde’s career had a dazzling start in the early 70s. At barely 20, he met Claude Sautet who asked him to sign the music for his next film. Things of life. Written in less than a month for 70 musicians, the soundtrack of this cult film is a master stroke. A long and rich career followed for the composer. When he arrives at the La Baule film and film music festival, he is awaited by his fans. Because the man is discreet and expresses himself little. He agreed to host a masterclass to discuss his profession and his career.

Philippe Sarde, guest of honor at the La Baule film and film music festival

Bear, Tess, The fire war, Caesar and Rosalie… the music of all these films and so many others is by Philippe Sarde. Claude Sautet’s official composer, he has also worked a lot with Bertrand Tavernier, Roman Polanski and George Lautner. A living memory of the history of cinema.

After Michel Legrand or Eric Serra and Vladimir Cosma, Philippe Sarde is the seventh composer honored by the festival, on the occasion of his 50-year career. He gave a concert to celebrate the 200 or so films he worked on and hosted a masterclass to recount his experience. “It’s the story of a lifetime” he explains. “To love people, to collaborate with them, to help them. And expect them to help you too, so that” the balloon goes up “as Sautet said”. Appointed to Oscars in 1981 for the soundtrack of Tess by Roman Polanski, Philippe Sarde preferred to pursue his career mainly in France, despite calls from Hollywood. He was also nominated 10 times for Caesar, a record in this category. He was awarded in 1977 for Barocco by André Téchiné.

It was thanks to Claude Sautet that he started and he remained faithful to him throughout his career. From the start of their collaboration, Philippe Sarde understood what he had to accomplish in order to last in the profession. “I thought to myself, I have to prove that I can do very different things. And I took a lot of risks, always, risks, risks … “.

In recent years, a little disappointed by French cinema and the conformism of society, Philippe Sarde has worked less. He only accepts projects that are close to his heart. In 2013 he signed the music of Quai d’Orsay by Bertrand Tavernier. And Louis Garrel called on him for his feature film Faithful man, released in 2018.

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