Friday, October 7, 2016

A series of obituaries

The conductor Sir Neville Marriner died over the weekend at the age of 92. If you have a classical music radio station in your neck of the woods and listen to it, you've certainly heard the name, as he was a prodigious conductor and did a whole lot of recordings with the ensemble he founded, the Academy of St. Martins' in the Fields. So why am I posting about him here? Well, movie scores need to be played, and when you have a score from a real composer, you need a conductor. There are any number of composers who would conduct the music themselves, and back in Hollywood's golden age, they probably had conductors on the payroll who went from one score to the next. But Marriner worked with Miloš Forman most notably on Amadeus, what with all that Mozart music, as well as Valmont.

Brock Yates died earlier in the week aged 92. He was an automotive reporter and auto racing color commentator. But that knowledge also led to him screenplays, the best known of which would be The Cannonball Run. He also did Smokey and the Bandit II with Hal Needham, which I somehow think isn't a high point in either of their careers.

Finally, cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitzky died today. He was 104. He fled Vienna in 1935 seeing that the Nazis would come to power there, and settled in England. There he became an acclaimed photographer, which eventually led to his becoming a cinematographer as well. He handled the cinematography on Michael Caine's Get Carter, as well as Ring of Bright Water and a bunch of others.

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