Composer Maurice Jarre and writer/producer Steven Bach both died over the weekend, and though neither man was exactly a household name, they should be familiar to anyone who takes an active interest in the history of cinema. Jarre's scores for director David Lean's epics Lawrence Of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Passage To India all won Academy Awards, and helped establish those films' cinematic sweep as much as the cinematography or performances. As for Bach, he wrote acclaimed biographies of Leni Riefenstahl, Moss Hart, and Marlene Dietrich, but is best known for his 1985 book Final Cut, which gives an insider's account of how director Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate ruined United Artists and effectively ended Hollywood's auteur era. (Bach was an executive at UA during the Heaven's Gate debacle.) Final Cut is essential reading for anyone with an interest in making movies, writing about movies, or just watching movies with an informed eye.
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