Limited to 2000 copies
Viva Maria! teams legends Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau -- the body and soul of 60s French screen femmes fatales -- as music hall girls (both named Maria) who unwittingly become the striptease-pioneering heroines of Louis Malle's decidedly slapstick take on the Latin American revolutions of the early 1900s. For the film, Georges Delerue composed the music-hall songs (performed by both Bardot and Moreau) and the captivatingly beautiful and exciting score. Never before available on CD, this release would have been a classic even if we didn't add King of Hearts. Our source for this release of Viva Maria! was a pristine 3-track master and the sound is glorious.
King of Hearts was a touchstone of the late 1960s, when it was seen as an antiwar allegory for a world in which madness seemed to reign. Directed by Philippe de Broca and set during World War I, the film stars Alan Bates as a Scottish soldier separated from his unit in France. He wanders into a small French village that has been abandoned by its residents in the face of oncoming combat and which is now populated by the residents of a nearby insane asylum, whose keepers have fled--a fact that escapes the innocent soldier, who assumes these are the regular folks. A film that celebrates the innocence and wisdom of the insane, even as it questions who the real madmen are. Delerue's score is a classic. It's whimsical, beautiful and lots of fun.