Weekly Recommendations – w/e 16th September 2022: Jack Mimoun et les Secrets de Val Verde & The Conversation

Here’s a round-up of recommended scores that caught my attention over the week ending, 16th September 2022. This week it’s a couple of European features that are worth looking for.

Jack Mimoun et les Secrets de Val Verde (2022) – Mathieu Lamboley (Pathé Films)

Jack Mimoun et les Secrets de Val Verde is a French/Belgian action comedy film about a famous adventure celebrity who is coaxed back to the island of Val Verde to search for a legendary pirate’s sword. French-born composer Mathieu Lamboley takes full advantage of the opportunity offered to him by this movie to write am exciting orchestral score (with added choir) that very much echoes the classic adventure score. There’s a grand and memorable main theme (that somehow reminds me of Alan Silvestri’s Back to the Future) around which the various aspects of the score are written. As well as the exciting action scoring, there’s a slower-paced music that probably reflects the romance and love interest, and quieter mysterious ambient music. It’s a strong adventure score that’s both punchy and restrained when required, and is a further example of solid scoring that I have come to expect from Lamboley.

The Conversation (2022) – Dalibor Grubačević (Plaza Mayor Company, Ltd.)

Croatian composer Dalibor Grubačević’s music for the Croatian feature The Conversation has a chamber orchestra feel about it. He uses a string ensemble as the main “voice” of the score that’s supplemented with occasional brass and percussion. Although the score is melodic and has an element of romance in it too, there’s a dark menace inherent in the music that always accompanies the other emotions. Although the movie is about a meeting of two people and their conversation, there’s also the presence of a woman who appears in the film as part of the memories of one of the two main protagonists of the film, and it is with her we hear a lovely piano theme. And part of the enjoyment of the score is how the string ensemble interacts with the piano. A particular highlight of The Conversation is the opening “Prologue” which is a beautiful track to open the album and is a contender for one of my favourite tracks of the year.

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