Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jean Rollin: The Collaborators (Pierre Raph)

Requiem for a Vampire Music

Making his very memorable debut on a Jean Rollin film is French jazz and classical composer Pierre Raph. Raph's spare and romantic score for Requiem for a Vampire is lovely, compelling and serves Rollin's striking images quite well. Rollin himself has this to say about Raph in the booklet that came along with Encore's box set:

"(He was) an excellent composer and (his music) complemented the pictures. Particularly the visit to the dungeon in ruins that we had rented..."

Rollin, who had met Raph through assistant Jean-Noel Delamarre, would use the talented composer several more times on the films Jeunes Filles Impudiques (Schoolgirl Hitchhikers) (1973) The Iron Rose (1973) and The Demoniacs (1974). It is hard to imagine any of these films without Raph's music. According to the IMDB, Raph's only other film score comes with Le Débauche ou les amours buissonières in 1971 for director Jean-Francoise Davy, a film I mentioned in an earlier post on it's co-star Ursule Pauly.
Remembering his striking work on The Iron Rose in The liner notes to The Films of Jean Rollin CD, Rollin said that Raph was "able to set the tone for the baroque atmosphere of this story within the space of a few seconds." A less than prolific film composer (but respected by many in both the modern jazz and classical worlds), the work of Pierre Raph with Jean Rollin will be forever treasured by both of their fans.

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