Not all of the memorable music from this year's festival lineup is available online — I couldn't find, for instance, “Keep Your Hands Off Vietnam,” the track that frames Gromozeka [pictured above], performed first by the characters as cheerful high school students and again later by their disappointed, disastrous middle-aged selves, or “Stinking of You,” the unreleased Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love track glimpsed in the footage of Hit So Hard. But plenty of other songs are on the web — and so I present you with the following 2011 ND/NF playlist.
Marcos Valle – “Samba de Verao 2,” from Marc Fitoussi's Copacabana
Rio de Janeiro seems a universe away from the greyish northern French town of Tourcoing in which the free-spirited Babou (Isabelle Huppert) begins this film, and the chilly looking Belgian seaside spot of Ostend, where she eventually finds herself selling timeshares. But the samba soundtrack, including this opening Marcos Valle number, suggests that Brazil can also be a state of mind.
Stacey Q – “Two of Hearts,” from Denis Côté's Curling
Maybe it's a sign of how isolated a life, both culturally and literally, Jean-François Sauvageau and his daughter Julyvonne are living in rural Quebec that their taste in music runs from this 1985 one-hit wonder to Tiffany's “I Think We're Alone Now.”
Radiohead – “You and Whose Army?,” from Denis Villeneuve's Incendies
The haunting, wordless opening scene from this film is one the audience can't understand the implications of until much further into the puzzle box of a story. Villeneuve notes that he'd always imagined using this track to open the film, and that he feels the dissonance it creates between image and association is a signal that the narrative is being told from a present day, outsider perspective.
Matthew Cooper – “Some Days Are Better Than Others,” from Matt McCormick's Some Days Are Better Than Others
McCormick's feature debut has for its stars two major indie rock figures, Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and The Shins' James Mercer, but the score is the work of another Portland-based musician, Eluvium's Matthew Cooper. With dreamy hints of a faraway carousel, the title track embodies the drifting melancholy in which the film's three characters are living.
Jeremy Jay – “Jet Stream,” from Rebecca Zlotowski's Belle Épine
When troubled teenager Prudence (Léa Seydoux) meets Maryline (Agathe Schlenker) while shoplifting, she invites her new bad-girl friend over to hang out and smoke cigarettes, and they listen to and then reject a song from her parents' record collection — possibly one after which Prudence was named. This slinkier track from American singer-songwriter Jeremy Jay better represents the rebelliousness to which Prudence aspires.
Mascara – “Ab’aad Makan,” from Ahmad Abdalla's Microphone
Because the families of all-girl band Mascara disapproved of their appearing in Abdalla's film about Alexandria's burgeoning underground art and music scene, the director arranged for the band’s music to be part of the film while keeping the members' faces unrevealed.
Tahiti Boy & The Palmtree Family – “Brooklyn,” not quite from Mikhael Hers' Memory Lane
This is a bit of a cheat, but since neither of the two original tracks from David “Tahiti Boy” Sztanke that are performed in this film (in which Sztanke also appears as the character named Florent) are online, here's another of his songs offering a similar feel.