Saturday, 18 July 2015

Trevelyan's Mainframe - FILE: Serra, Eric / Twenty Years Removed


Well, you’ve managed to stumble across one of my favorite files we currently have archived. Let’s forget the codes for this one, shall we? Permission to continue is automatically granted. However, don’t always expect the same access moving forward… This is what we have for our subject, twenty years removed from his work on GOLDENEYE...

According to several reports made by several credible operatives, our preliminary information on Mr. Serra is rather extensive. It seems our subject is a Frenchman of many hats, being listed here as a songwriter, record producer, and composer. Serra is credited here for scoring twenty four movies over the course of his ongoing career. Talk about staying busy! Now, that understood we may shift our focus to 1995. After being chosen to score GOLDENEYE, Éric Serra would take the Bond soundtrack in an entirely modern and fresh direction. Not only would he compose the soundtrack to the film, he’d also perform and present the final track of the film himself, entitled “The Experience of Love”. Quite a beautiful piece, really. Each track for GoldenEye had a special avant-garde sound that made them unlike anything heard previously in a Bond film. This uniqueness would win over a whole new generation of James Bond fans at the same time taking the franchise out of its comfort zone. For this accomplishment, I congratulate you, monsieur.

Directly following GOLDENEYE, 1997’s French science fiction film entitled THE FIFTH ELEMENT would receive much the same classy treatment from Mr. Serra. Relying heavily on orchestral sounds, yet incorporating exotic sounds of reggae, hula, and the pizzicato for the score proved to very successful. Following the film’s release, an album of the soundtrack would hit the shelves complements of Virgin Records. Rightfully noted here, is that said album peaked at number ninety nine on the Billboard 200, with over two-hundred thousand copies sold in France alone! Also worth mentioning is the fact that THE FIFTH ELEMENT film debuted in the United States at number one, earning seventeen million dollars over the course of its opening weekend. Or in other words, quite a few American ears were exposed to Mr. Serra’s work in 1997!

Eric Serra’s next film score would come attached to 1999’s French historical drama picture, THE MESSENGER: THE STORY OF JEANNE D'ARC. For this score, Serra would somewhat modify his favored synthesized  sound for a more classical texture, doing so to further match the time period and feel of the film. Even still, many critics and fans stood by the track list, claiming that it showed an evolution in Serra’s work as it changed from pop-score writer to orchestral film composer. The complete soundtrack would be released as a sixty four minute album by Sony Music Entertainment after the film’s screening.

Our file resumes with a few French picture scores, including L'ART (DÉLICAT) DE LA SÉDUCTION and DÉCALAGE HORAIRE, until 2002’s American science fiction remake, ROLLERBALL. Though the film was financially unsuccessful at the theaters, Serra’s score would not go unnoted. In a similar circumstance, 2003’s BULLETPROOF MONK would put our subject to work on another Éric Serra classic. Serra’s work would again be considered a success, despite the poor reception for the film itself. Following 2003, Mr. Serra would score the animated Arthur Trilogy, including 2006’s ARTHUR AND THE INVISIBLES, 2009’s ARTHUR AND THE REVENGE OF MALTAZARD and 2010’s ARTHUR 3: THE WAR OF TWO WORLD. This trilogy would do best in non-English markets and Serra’s work would transcend his former work to a much younger audience across Europe and North America.

This mainframe suggests that the next point of interest on our subject lays in late 2011, with the French-British biographical film entitled, THE LADY. And, in a bizarre twist of fate, opposite number Michelle Yeoh, known to us as the resourceful Wai Lin, stars in the picture! Her performance alongside Serra’s score would be remembered as a beautiful combination of beauty and grace. His work with Wai Lin should be noted as an act of treachery against Janus. One of which, will not be forgotten, indeed.

The latest entry in our file occupies the year 2014, with the release of the science fiction film entitled, LUCY. This film would prove to be a heavy hitter in the box office, and the score composed by our subject would get matched attention. A prefect blend of futuristic sound and synthesized class made for a very successful soundtrack. So much so, that it too would be released in album form. By the end of July 2014, the soundtrack album would drop under the Back Lot Music label. 

Side notes on our subject are rather robust, unlike many. In 1985, Éric Serra appeared on the big screen for the first (and latest) time in Luc Besson’s film SUBWAY, playing the part of ‘Enrico the bassist’. Speaking of Luc Besson, Éric Serra has scored seventeen of his twenty four movies under Besson’s direction! The two have nearly become synonymous with one another and remain great, close friends. It is also worth mentioning that Serra is responsible for the sounds of the Las Vegas Criss Angel/Cirque Du Soleil combination show, called ‘Criss Angel: Believe’.

In conclusion, this organization rightfully respects all that our subject, Mr. Eric Serra, has contributed to our cause. Oppositely, you are also to understand that the man cannot be trusted following his run in with Wai Lin in 2011. Though his legendary score for GOLDENEYE has been encased in the ears and minds of many across the globe, his ties to Janus have been officially severed for years.

Only a true master at what he does can be considered as one of my favorite subjects among our files here. Now, you undoubtedly understand why our subject fits these qualifications. But, keep this information on Éric Serra close moving forward, old boy…

After all, double agents have no friends.

- End transmission, Trevelyan.

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