Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maurice Jarre ... Dead Poet

It saddened me to learn yesterday of the death of Maurice Jarre, the composer/musical poet of some of the most recognized film scores worldwide.

According to The New York Times obituary, he died on Saturday.

At home tonight, listening to some of Jarre's music (specifically, the combination soundtrack to "Dead Poets Society," 'Witness," "The Year of Living Dangerously" and "Fatal Attraction" -- all among my personal top film picks) and yesterday while reading about his passing, I was curious whether Jarre had contributed to the Olympics over the years.

Though I found no explicit Olympic connections from Jarre to the Olympic Movement, the following are of note:

-- Jarre was born in France in 1924, the same year his home nation hosted the first Winter Olympics at Chamonix and the summer Games at Paris (portrayed in the Oscar-winning film "Chariots of Fire," which is known for its outstanding soundtrack)
-- Olympic Champion Alexei Yagudin, who won the gold at Salt Lake in 2002, previously skated at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games, performing that season to Jarre's "Lawrence of Arabia" composition
-- Michelle Kwan won her first world championship in 1996, apparently skating to "Lion of the Desert" by Jarre (perhaps the famed skater should have listened to Jarre's compositions for "The Year of Living Dangerously" titled "Kwan" and "Kwan's Sacrifice").

It's too bad Jarre was not engaged for activities within the Olympic Movement -- perhaps someday when South America eventually hosts the Games, the score for "The Mosquito Coast" will be suitable for a brief part of a ceremony.

Until then, I'll be thinking of Sigourney Weaver shouting "Get Off My Mountain!" with Marice Jarre's music underscoring her angst throughout "Gorillas In The Mist." You tell 'em, Sigourney!

And yes, Weaver was also in "The Year of Living Dangerously." See how this all ties together nicely?

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