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Boogie Nights 

For a band that isn't "commercial-sounding," scoring a movie is a boon

Wednesday, Jun 25 2003
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The world premiere of This Girl's Life, an "intimate portrait of an international porn star as she muses on life, love and loss," was the hot ticket at the just-wrapped CineVegas International Film Festival. No wonder, given that program description, the enticing poster, and James Woods in a supporting role. The indie film also features a wealth of atmospheric, downtempo tunes by the S.F. band Halou -- compiled on a week's notice.

L.A.-based director Ash (Pups, Bang) initially tried to contact Halou through its label, which, inexplicably, didn't relay the message. "We had hoped to do the score from the get-go, but there were some complications, we shall call them," says Count, the group's similarly one-named drummer and producer. Nonetheless, Ash used five Halou songs (including "The Ratio of Freckles to Stars" and "Oceanwide") as a temporary soundtrack until, finally, he tracked down the group near the end of post-production. "Within a few hours of talking to him," Count recalls, "I received a DVD and was able to start manipulating some of our music to fit his scenes." Scoring movies, he allows, "is the most mysterious way to get yourself out there. For a band that isn't commercial-sounding but is very musical or melodic, this is a great way to get yourself heard. But you really can't push the issue. It has to be someone coming to you."

That's also the case with Quality of Life, Ben Morgan's upcoming local feature about two friends growing apart, set in the urban graffiti-art world; it has Count on board as music supervisor, and the soundtrack will feature Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, and Lyrics Born. "This time will definitely be a better working situation," Count says. A benefit party for Quality of Life, with hip hop DJs, an art show, and a silent auction, kicks off at 8 p.m. this Friday, June 27, at Punch Gallery, 155 10th St.; admission is $15.

Belle de Jour For the spunky French actress Ludivine Sagnier, who cavorts unclothed through much of François Ozon's sly, perverse Swimming Pool, submitting to her characters is "a kind of a holy act. It can be compared to religious devotion. You give yourself entirely for the sake of someone and you give away everything that used to belong to you. It's for a certain amount of time; after that, you recover your own reality." Sagnier gazes at me through her oversize sunglasses on the Fairmont patio. "Acting is, I will quote Douglas Sirk, "an imitation of life.' When you're pretending that you're living, you must not avoid scars. I never [finish] a film without getting those scars."

Sagnier gleaned some wisdom from co-star Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter), legendary for holding nothing back in her early performances. "Sometimes I hurt myself to get the proper feeling," Sagnier admits, "and maybe Charlotte helped me to understand that I didn't need that much pain. As I grow up, I'll be better with that." She also kept a close eye on two starlets of previous eras -- Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Béart -- on the set of Ozon's 8 Women. "They just let me observe them, and that was enough for me," Sagnier says. "I understood that they were exactly like me when they were my age, and they were as afraid and as shy and as inexperienced as I. It was normal that I had all these doubts, and if I just kept being myself, it would be all right." Swimming Pool opens July 2.

The City of Lost Children Veering from the typical indie-film strategy of opening in New York or L.A., Lynn Hershman's Teknolust will have its theatrical premiere Aug. 22 in S.F. It's expected to be one of the first bookings in the upgraded Lumiere, which is allegedly on the verge of its long-delayed seismic retrofit and renovation. ... Eve Ensler will be at the Roxie on July 9 for opening night of the one-week run of What I Want My Words to Do to You: Voices From Inside a Women's Maximum Security Prison. The doc centers on a writing group the playwright led at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester, N.Y. ... HBO acquired East Bay filmmaker Garrett Scott's Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story for broadcast next year.

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Michael Fox

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