Julien Boulier – A Film Not Yet Made

Instead of fitting into the glitzy era of vintage Hollywood and living it up en masse on LA’s sunset strip, A Film Not Yet Made has more of a European feel, descending upon the streets of Paris and using her boulevards and arrondissements as outdoor studios. French composer and pianist Julien Boulier films on location. No indulgent lifestyle. No Mulholland Drive. But musically, nothing is out of bounds.

Thoughts appear like emerging notes, slowly populating the reel and imprinting themselves upon the filmy surface of the music. The recently-unloaded cameras are ready to record, pregnant with rolls of black film which will soon occupy the silver screen of the mind. Thoughts flitter like pages of an unfinished script caught in an immediate, anxious breeze, but the music relaxes, taking in an extra shot of whiskey just before a tricky scene begins, calming the nerves of stage fright in the process. The music follows the actress as she walks through the side-streets, meandering casually around recently excavated corners and narrow streets. In this film, the actress is both director and star. Between the shoots, the music reclines, as if it were on a prolonged smoking break, but its ambling narrative picks up again afterwards, its scent of mystery let loose in the Parisian air.

The nine celluloid constructions bring a dream to life; a magical realism hopping from screenplay to reality. Framed in black-and-white, these cinematic, classical pieces are spattered with screen tearing and the oblique rain of old cinema’s white noise. The nine breathy, atmospheric, and incredibly spacious pieces are encased in frames of music, sealed in a vault, never to see the light of day (quite literally, as sunlight will tarnish the film), where seconds freeze and the smartly-dressed actors walk and talk in half-speed.

The notes live in a fairy-tale, but it’s just an illusion. They’re just actors, playing a role, filling a scene. Off camera, the music lives in the cold blue light of reality. A cold day in February.

Dripping strings and uneasy chord progressions bring the mystique of Hollywood scoring to the film. A thriller / romance inside the trickling strings, like something from the 1958 classic ‘Vertigo’, even though the music defies a specific date. It could feature a stunning actress from the 1930’s, or it could be from 2018. The date has been lost. Electronic blips recall the old chill-out style that ascended to commercial popularity at the turn of the millennium, its free-flowing arpeggios encased in a block of ice. The mysterious sounds slink around, wandering the backstreets like out-of-focus shadows.

Some people say that music can date, can age, but does it ever become stale? The classical music of the past seems ageless; to this day, it still has abundant life. A Film Not Yet Made is as fresh as a raindrop.

That’s a wrap.


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