Hollywood’s top music composer Jarre dies

LOS ANGELES: Tributes poured in on Monday for Maurice Jarre, the Oscar-winning French composer of music scores for such timeless films as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”, who died at age 84.

Jarre died in Los Angeles in the early hours on Sunday after suffering from cancer, a spokesman for his son Jean-Michel Jarre told reporters.

Hollywood’s most decorated composer, Jarre had written more than 150 scores for a range of films from thrillers to love stories, working with star directors like John Huston, Alfred Hitchcock and Franco Zeffirelli.

He won his first Oscar for “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1962 and three years later was awarded a second statuette for “Doctor Zhivago”, famous for the tearful balalaika of “Lara’s Theme.” Both films were directed by David Lean.

A third Oscar came in 1984 for best original music score for “A Passage to India”, which he wrote for a full symphonic orchestra and marked yet another collaboration with Lean.

President Nicolas Sarkozy described Jarre as a “great composer” and praised his “majestic and full-bodied works, popular and classical music.”

“By working with some of the greatest filmmakers in the world, he showed that music can be just as important as pictures to make a beautiful and successful film,” said Sarkozy.

Jarre had also written the score for “Witness” from director Peter Weir in 1985 and joined him again in 1989 to compose the music to “Dead Poets Society”.

Other music scores include “Ghost” in 1990 and “I Dreamed of Africa” in 2000.

Other than the three Oscars, Jarre won countless accolades for his scores including Golden Globes and BAFTA British film awards. He also wrote music for theatre and ballet.

“He was a creative, modern musician who showed a perfect mastery of sound. His music provided a counterpoint to the pictures and formed one with the film,” said French Culture Minister Christine Albanel.

“He was Hollywood’s greatest musician,” said French singer Mireille Mathieu.

“His fantastic and timeless scores are in perfect osmosis with the films.”

“He was a great man of music and film, but also a great ambassador for France,” said Mathieu who singled out for praise the score to the 1966 film “Is Paris Burning?” about the French Resistance.

Born in the central city of Lyon, Jarre was studying engineering when he switched to music. He recounted being inspired by the works of conductor Leopold Stokowski.

He studied percussion and joined French composer Pierre Boulez who wrote for a Paris theatre.

In 1952 Jarre wrote his first score for the short film “Hotel des Invalides,” at the request of director Georges Franju.

“In filmmaking, the composer is always the last link,” Jarre told Le Journal du Dimanche daily a few years ago.

“Often you find yourself working with a producer who can’t wait to release his film. So you have to work quickly. For Lawrence of Arabia, I was given six weeks to write two hours of music.”

Jarre moved to the United States in the mid-1960s and briefly settled in Switzerland before returning to Los Angeles.

During his last public appearance in Europe, he was awarded a Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival in recognition of his life’s work.

His son Jean-Michel Jarre rose to prominence as a composer in his own right with the worldwide electronic music sensation “Oxygene” in 1976. He also has a daughter Stephanie and second son Kevin.

Shilpa Shetty to join UK show ‘EastEnders’?

Indian actress Shilpa Shetty is reportedly in talks to join the cast of popular UK TV show ‘EastEnders’.?The 33-year-old Bollywood beauty is tipped to play a member of a new Indian family in the soap opera, the Daily Mail said.

t would Shetty’s first major foreign assignment since she became the winner of British reality show ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in 2007, which also made her one of the most popular faces in the country.

“EastEnders would be the springboard to long-term success in Britain – and that is very much in Shilpa’s sights. She knows all about the show as it is a big hit in her homeland – and of course it is popular with a lot of Indians in the UK,” the newspaper said quoting the People.

Shetty recently bought a seven-bedroom, 5 million??pound house in Weybridge, Surrey in London with boyfriend Raj Kundra.?’EastEnders’ is about the domestic and professional lives of the people living in a fictional borough of Walford in East London.

Shilpa’s inclusion in the show would make her the first Indian family in Walford since the Ferriera family in 2004, who were wrote out after being dubbed as ‘unrealistic’ by viewers.

The addition of an Indian family is an attempt by the show bosses to show the multi-cultural atmosphere of East London.?


( This post is from an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not endorsed by APakistanNews.Com.)

Madonna in Malawi to adopt

Madonna has arrived in Malawi to begin the process of adopting a second child from the African country. The pop star wants to adopt a young girl called Mercy James, local officials have said.

The singer was seen walking through the village of Chinkhota with her 12-year-old daughter Lourdes. She refused to answer questions from reporters but said it was “amazing” to be back in the country where she adopted David Banda in 2006.?

Madonna is due to sign adoption papers in court in the capital Lilongwe in the coming days.
An unnamed welfare official told the Associated Press (AP) agency Mercy James’ mother was an unmarried 18-year-old who died a few months after the baby was born.?

The girl is in the same orphanage that was home to David, who is now three years old.

There are differing reports of Mercy James’ age, with AP and Reuters saying she is four years old and Agence France Presse (AFP) saying she is three.?

But Madonna has come in for criticism over her plans. David Nutt, spokesman for the Save the Children charity, urged Madonna to think again.? “We don’t want to pick on one individual – any time, any set of circumstances can change,” he said.?

Madonna also has two biological children, Lourdes and Rocco”But the problem is, very often this is the wrong thing to do, and Madonna tends to make it seem like it’s the answer to everything and all problems, and it just isn’t.”?

But Steven Whitehead from the charity Oasis, which represents families who adopt from abroad, said foreign adoption was a good idea in many cases. He said, “There are a number of children for whom inter-country adoption represents their only chance of having a family, and the human convention on the right of the child gives every child the right to a family.?

“And it’s much better for them be in a family, wherever it may happen to be, than be in institutional care. The damaging effect of institutional care on children is so well recognised that, you know, it’s just not an issue of debate.”?

Madonna’s spokeswomen, Liz Rosenberg and Barbara Charone, and her lawyer in Malawi, Alan Chinula, have not commented.?

Writing in response to e-mailed questions from Nation readers last week, Madonna said: “Many people – especially our Malawian friends – say that David should have a Malawian brother or sister.?

“It’s something I have been considering.”

In 2006, critics accused the Malawian government of sidestepping laws banning foreign adoptions in order to allow the celebrity to take David home with her. Madonna’s adoption of David Banda was confirmed last year.??

Role model
After the adoption was legalised, Madonna said the difficulties had arisen because “this adoption essentially was the beginning of the creation of adoption laws in Malawi”.?

She hoped it would make it easier for others to adopt from the country and explained: “I am the template or the role model, so to speak, for future adoptions.”? The star also has two biological children – Rocco, her son with former husband Guy Ritchie, and Lourdes, whose father is Carlos Leon.?

Film director Ritchie and Madonna’s divorce was finalised in November.

Malawi does not, as a rule, approve adoptions for single or divorced people, but the official at the country’s welfare department said that each case was considered on merit.? Madonna has also established a charity, Raising Malawi, which aims to provide accommodation, food, education and other support to orphans in the country.


( This post is from an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not endorsed by APakistanNews.Com.)

Kangna To Play Madhubala in Once upon a Time.

MUMBAI: Kangna is getting ready for the biggest challenge of her career. She’ll be playing whom she considers the most beautiful woman in the history of Indian cinema.

It’s a thought that flatters and terrifies her. Kangna is afraid she may not look beautiful enough on screen.

“I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful. In fact I’ve always suffered from the lowest self-esteem. Till recently, I’d look at my pictures and cringe. I still have the pictures from my first portfolio I got done in Chandigarh. They remind me of how ugly I can look. And to now play Madhubala in Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. How will I do it?”

Kangna is so petrified at the prospect that she has stopped looking into the mirror completely. She laughs when people tell her playing the traumatized mistress of the underworld don would be a cakewalk for her. “I’m proud of my so-called territory as an actress. If playing traumatized women is my territory then I’m glad. Because I know I’m good at it.”

The challenge in Once Upon A Time… is the physicality. “Madhubala’s role is not as tragic as my other roles. It’s basically a very tender romance between this really funny don (played by Ajay Devgan) and this female superstar who can’t understand his personality.

How will I manage to play the most beautiful woman that Indian cinema has ever seen? My characters have always had a dark and light side. And this one is no exception. But the challenge for me is to look almost ethereally beautiful, like Madhubala. How will I manage that?”

Kangna intends to undergo a complete transformation of look and appearance. She has already started watching DVDs of Madhubala’s films very carefully. “I won’t copy her. But I want to get into her mind and heart space.”