February 24, 2007
Best moment of the season...

Anne Thompson is my hero. Let me count the ways.

There was a wonderful little gathering tonight at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Westwood for Ennio Morricone, this year's recipient of the Honorary Oscar. Frankly, the guy has deserved award after award for some of the best film music in cinematic history, but this will have to do. Shaking his hand was good enough for me. But "Man with the Harmonica" playing over the sound system throughout the evening was comforting to say the least.

But why is Ms. Thompson my hero? Seriously, if you're at a party, and Anne is your friend (and she has a drink or two in her), you couldn't ask for a better scenario. Long story short, Clint Eastwood showed up. I wanted to make his acquaintance. Before I know it, Anne is shuffling me along with her up the stairs to a somewhat private room including Eastwood, Morricone and a lot of press. God bless her.

She introduces me to Mr. Eastwood as, essentially, the guy who is predicting his film to win Best Picture. Clint and I had some fun back and forth for about five minutes, talking about everything from "The Departed" to "Once Upon a Time in the West," but regardless, meeting this icon has become the highlight of my time here in LA since I moved here over a year and a half ago. However frail he may surprisingly seem when you're faced with him, he still has that Eastwood face. It was totally surreal.

I don't typically get star struck,...but Jesus. I was silly putty. Thank you, Anne. You rock my world.

Otherwise, I happened to randomly bump into Geza Toth, Oscar nomianted for his delightful animated short "Maestro." He has a good head on his shoulders, is apparently taking some meetings while in town and, if we're lucky, maybe he'll be working in the animated feature world before long. Though I'm in love with "The Little Matchgirl," "Maestro" is just the sort of film that could slip past the two Disney giants and sneak a win. Let's see what happens.

(By the way, watching Anne interrogate Morricone through his translator like a true journalist is fun and educational times indeed. I'm looking forward to whatever piece she writes concerning his creation of "The Ecstasy of Gold.")


I would like to thank you Kris for introducing me to Ennio Morricone's music.
I rented the Molto mondo Morricone Volume 3 CD and the scores gave me a sense of peace. Can you please tell me which CD contains Man with the Harmonica?

I'm not sure from that set which contains the track, but it is pretty much the main theme of "Once Upon a Time in the West."

I don't think I have ever been so jealous of you, Mr. Tapley; Clint Eastwood is as iconic as they come. I'm surprised he appears frail though, I always picture him as having failed to age.

Frail but solid, if that makes sense. But let's face it, for his age, he looks fantastic. He'll live to be 150. All things considered, it's pretty clear why people love this guy. He brings this weird sense of serenity to the room.

Sorry if that sounded lame but it's really the only way I can describe it.

Man with a Harmoncia is a really interesting theme. If you notice the harmonica parts at the start echo a trail whistle, which is clever considering the nature of the plot. I think the main theme is still the title theme, though, as it's the only one to incorporate all of the elements of the film.

The best Morricone remains The Mission, though. His loss for that remains a travesty.

Clint Eastwood..I've loves his films since The Bridges of Madison County. I think that's his best film as an actor to date. There's a sense of peace in his persona. He's truly a screen icon.

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