Composer Marvin Hamlisch died last week so he’s the subject for this edition of the Watercooler Musical Interlude. The voice is Carly Simon’s of course and the words are by Carole Bayer Sager, but the music belong to Hamlisch who stepped in when regular Bond composer John Barry was waylaid by tax problems in the UK.

Hamlisch is one of 11 people to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony (the others are Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, Jonathan Tunick, Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg an Scott Rudin). As if that’s not enough, Hamlisch also won a Pulitzer which is a feat matched only by the previously mentioned Richard Rodgers.

His most recent score was terrific work for Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! His body of work also includes. The Way We Were, The Sting, Ordinary People, Sophie’s Choice, A Chorus Line and Frankie and Johnny.

Hamlisch died August 6th, 2012.

That’s all from me this week. Now it’s your turn. Has anyone been up to anything worth talking about since last time? Lay it on me.

10 Responses to “The Spy Who Watercoolered Me: Marvin Hamlisch 1944-2012”

  1. I also mourn his passing. He was a colossal musical talent, and this moving ever-popular song sets the proper mood for a Hamlisch appraisal. I like a good part of his body of work including the ones you mention here, of which his work for THE STING and ORDINARY PEOPLE are my favorites. Marvin is certainly in great company with that award statistic too. He passed before his time. Very sad. Lovely testament here Craig!

    The Universal Festival at the Film Forum has concluded, and Lucille, Sammy and I attended three more films of that venue, in addition to three new releases.

    We saw:

    Easy Money **** (Saturday night) Film Forum

    Meet the Fokkens *** 1/2 (Saturday night) Film Forum

    Farewell, My Queen **** (Friday night) Montclair Claridge

    Lonesome (1928) ***** (Tuesday evening) Universal at Film Forum

    Cobra Woman (1944) *** 1/2 (Wednesday evening) Universal at Film Forum

    The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945) *** 1/2 (Wed.) Universal at Film Forum

    Paul Fejos’ bustling phantasmogoric LONESOME, due to release on blu-ray by Criterion in October takes it’s place among the greatest films of all-time; It’s emotionally resonant and boasts incredibly audacious filmmaking for it’s time. Robert Siodmak’s COBRA WOMAN is trashy, devilish fun in glorious Technicolor; the same director’s period noir THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY features some murderous intrigue and excellent performances from George Sanders and Geraldine Fitzgerald; the French costume drama FAREWELL MY QUEEN by Benoit Jacquox showcases lavish sets and costumes and the court debauchery and intrigue during the reign of Marie Antoinette pre-French Revolution. Both Ms. Kruger and Ms. Seydoux are exceptional. The Swedish EASY MONEY by Daniel Espinosa is a dark crime film full of deception and double-crosses, and some penetrating sub-threads of domestic crisis. It does go over the top with the hand-held camera, but it rivets and dazzles in a very big way.

  2. Naked women doing gymnastic moves on Bond’s gun barrel. They sure don’t make them like that anymore :-)

    We saw Melancholia over the weekend. As was the case with Antichrist, I love Von Trier’s formally assured direction, his ambition, and ability despite improbable psychological or character elements to still say something uncomfortably truthful about human experience. The film’s story was a striking metaphor for the inexorable and overwhelmingly bleak nature of the severely depressive state of mind. But it also captured the sufferers sometimes self-involved tendency to romanticize melancholy. Terrific performances by Dunst and Gainsbourg, two actresses I’ve always admired. And I should mention that I also enjoyed its dark humor.

  3. sartre, I applaud you on a cogent analysis and appreciation of a film I do hold as high in esteem as you do. Certainly much like ANTICHRIST Von Trier opens the film with some spectacular images, set to Wagner sublimity. And as you note the dark humor is a big part of this equation.

  4. Thanks Sam. I recall that neither of his most recent films worked for you. They sure aren’t for everyone and even as an admirer of what I saw as the strengths in these works I didn’t find them completely successful in every respect. But I’m sure glad that genuine auteurs like Von Trier are making movies that challenge the audience.

    I’m encouraged by your appreciation of Easy Money. It’s a film I’m really looking forward to catching.

  5. Oh no sartre. We may have gotten our singles crossed or I may have been mistaken for someone else. I absolutely loved MELANCHOLIA, and named in on my ten best list for 2011, and thought ANTICHRIST excellent, (through nightmarish and disturbing) narrowly missed the year end cut. And I did say above “of a film I hold as high as esteem as you do.” Beyond that DOGVILLE was my #1 film of 2004, DANCER IN THE DARK my top choice of 2000 and BREAKING THE WAVES a masterwork. I’m a very big Von Trier fan.

    I look forward to your reaction to EASY MONEY.

  6. Oops, sorry Sam. I misread your comment and mistakenly recalled your earlier ones about the films! What do American politicians say? I misspoke.

    My brain is broke.

    Glad to see we’re on the same page.

  7. hahahahaha sartre my friend.

    My brain has been broken for many years!

    Some American politicians we both know have been mis-speaking as of late! LOL!

  8. Sam, is Easy Money the Swedish film or did Espinosa do an English language remake? I’ve heard good things about it if it’s the same one. Got a lot of good press on the festival circuit.

    Sartre, I totaly agree on Melancholia, a film that for me gets better on second viewing. I think the first time I was expecting more controversial along the lines of Antichrist, but in a lot of ways it seemed like one of Von Trier’s most quietly personal films.

  9. Craig, EASY MONEY is indeed the Swedish film. I really liked it a lot.

  10. Thanks Sam, I’ll have to hunt it down.

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