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A Tribute to Maurice Jarre

April 3, 2011, 12:00 P.M. - 10:45 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre & The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre

The School of Cinematic Arts and
Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative
Invite you and a guest to attend

A Tribute to Maurice Jarre

A look back at the legacy of three-time Academy Award-winning composer Maurice Jarre, one of the cinema's most prolific and accomplished artists. There will be film screenings, a gallery exhibit and a panel discussion highlighting his music and his influence on composers today.

12 pm - 10:45 pm on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
& The Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre





Schedule of Events

  • 12 pm - 2 pm: The Year of Living Dangerously (Ray Stark Family Theatre)
  • 2:30 pm - 4:45 pm: Ghost (Ray Stark Family Theatre)
  • 5 pm - 6 pm: Panel discussion about the work and legacy of Maurice Jarre (Ray Stark Family Theatre), featuring Jon Burlingame (USC Thornton School of Music Professor, Film Music Historian & Scholar), John Debney (Composer, The Passion of the Christ), Pearl Kaufman (Pianist, Assistant Musical Director, Doctor Zhivago) and Shawn Murphy (Scoring Mixer, Schindler's List). Moderated by Kenneth Hall (USC School of Cinematic Arts Professor, Music Editor, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial).
  • 6 pm - 7pm: Catered Reception in the George Lucas Building lobby (All guests MUST attend the panel discussion in order to get a meal ticket for the reception)
  • 7 pm - 10:45 pm: Lawrence of Arabia (Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre)

During the festival, there will be an ongoing exhibit in the George Lucas Building lobby that will present a look at Jarre's accomplishments in film music through his compositions, photos and personal memorabilia.

About Maurice Jarre (Reprinted from Time Magazine)

Woodwinds murmur and percussion rattles portentously as the sun inches over the horizon. As the sun rises the clanging music ascends as well, then crescendos in burly romantic strains, mimicking the luscious contours of the Arabian desert. Lawrence has come to Arabia; the music announces the beginning of a lifelong communion between a man and the endless sand.

In the frosty wastes of Stalin's Russia, a thousand balalaikas chorus in a dreamy waltz. "Lara's Theme" promises that "Somewhere, my love, there will be songs to sing." Not here, not yet, but for Yuri Zhivago and his elusive darling, the music holds both the ache of separation and the hope of ecstatic reunion.

Scalding sun; fields of snow. Maurice Jarre created memorable anthems for these two extremes in his first films for David Lean: the 1962 Lawrence of Arabia and the 1965 Doctor Zhivago. The French composer wrote the scores for more than 150 features, but he'll always be associated with Lean, as much as Bernard Herrmann is with Alfred Hitchcock or John Williams with Steven Spielberg. The director devises the images; the composer gives them emotional heft. Both the pictures and their accompanying sounds lodge indelibly in moviegoers' memories.

Born in Lyon in 1924, Jarre was no child prodigy; he was in his late teens before he decided to study music. In Paris after the war he hooked up with two exceptional impresarios of French theater: Jean-Louis Barrault and Jean Vilar. For Vilar he wrote incidental music for modern readings of classical plays. In 1951, Georges Franju, a director of spare, uncompromising documentaries, hired Jarre to score his film essay on wounded veterans, the 1951 Hôtel des Invalides. In the next dozen years they would collaborate on two more shorts and five sepulchral features, including Head Against the Walls and Eyes Without a Face. Franju's images were so haunting they needed no assertive music to drive their points home; Jarre's scores were subtle and looming, the shiver in the shadows. By the time of their last film together, Judex in 1963, Jarre had won his first Oscar, for Lawrence.

Jarre had been commuting between French films and Hollywood-financed ones for a few years before Lawrence. He graduated from short films (for Alain Resnais and Jacques Demy as well as Franju) to international employment with the 1960 doppleganger mystery The Crack in the Mirror; perhaps writer-producer Darryl F. Zanuck had been impressed by Jarre's scores for the early Franju features. Zanuck used him for two other Fox films, The Big Gamble and his D-Day superproduction The Longest Day. But it was not this work that led Jarre to Lawrence; it was his music for Serge Bourguignon's Sundays and Cybele, the tender story of a emotionally shattered veteran and a 12-year-old girl, for which the composer created some of his swooniest, most ear-grabbing strains.

Producer Sam Spiegel saw, and heard, the movie, and thought Jarre could be helpful in finding an aural complement to Lean's sand-swept tribute to T.E. Lawrence. As Stephen M. Silverman tells it in his excellent Lean biography, Spiegel had originally wanted Lawrence to have three composers: Jarre would do the dramatic music, while Aram Khachaturian scored the Arab scenes and Benjamin Britten the English. When those two estimable gents proved unavailable, Spiegel corralled Richard Rodgers into writing an Arabian motif and a "love theme" — for an all-male movie. Sanity eventually prevailed: the not-so-well-known Frenchman composed the whole score for Lawrence, and for the three Lean films that followed.

However Arabic or Russian the orchestrations, Jarre's music fit the plangent mood of French postwar pop: the mordant, worldly-wise chansons of Gilbert Bécaud, Marguerite Monnot, Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour. The simple melodies follow a clear ascending or descending line, and sound either inevitable or predictable, depending on the extent of the listener's fondness for the form. Jarre didn't write pop songs, exactly; "Lara's Theme" was his one Top 40 hit. But the sound was marketable in movies, and after Lawrence, Jarre's tinny, tinkly, discordant music was in high demand by directors searching for a creepy undertone.

He lent it to William Wyler's The Collector, Volker Schlöndorff's The Tin Drum, George Miller's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Paul Mazursky's Enemies; A Love Story and Jerry Zucker's Ghost. He could churn out military music in a minor key, like a sarcastic Sousa; that's what you hear under the espionage chicanery in Alfred Hitchcock's Topaz, ornamenting the anti-Nazi smuggling in John Frankenheimer's The Train and underlining the grand folly of two British soldiers' Afghanistan caper in John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King. At times Jarre mocked his own mocking tone, as when he connived with Zucker in the spy parody Top Secret!

For a while it was hard to find a movie for which Jarre didn't contribute the score. He put his name to more than 50 films in the '60s, another 36 in the '70s, 46 in the '80s. He enjoyed a 50-year career, including three Oscars (for Lawrence, Zhivago and Lean's last film, A Passage to India), because he knew that film music is not the star of a movie; it is the secret supporting player that brings out the tension, the yearning, the drama. And because, back in 1962, when he was a little-known composer auditioning for a famous director and his imperious producer, David Lean said to Spiegel, "Sam, this chap here should do the work." Movie lovers and music lovers should be happy that Jarre got the job.

About the Films

The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
Directed by Peter Weir, MGM/UA, 115 minutes

Mel Gibson stars in this period political thriller directed by Peter Weir. Set in Indonesia during the 1965 coup against President Sukarno, the film stars Gibson as Guy Hamilton, an Australian wire-service reporter covering the scene. Whenever Hamilton becomes too glib or indifferent for his own good, he is brought back to earth by his "conscience," photographer Billy Kwan (played in male drag by diminutive actress Linda Hunt, who won an Academy Award for her performance). As all of Jakarta sinks into disarray, Hamilton pursues a romance with British attaché Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver). Filmed on location in the Philippines and Australia, the film was financed by MGM, in the first such American-Australian financial collaboration.

Ghost (1990)
Directed by Jerry Zucker, Paramount Pictures, 127 minutes

Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) are a very happy couple and deeply in love. Walking back to their new apartment after a night out at the theatre, they encounter a thief in a dark alley and Sam is murdered. He finds himself trapped as a ghost and realizes that his death was no accident – he must warn Molly about the danger that she is in. But as a ghost he cannot be seen or heard by the living, and so he tries to communicate with Molly through Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a psychic who didn't even realize that her powers were real. Maurice Jarre was nomintaed for an Academy Award for his original score.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Directed by David Lean, Columbia Pictures, 216 minutes

This sweeping, historical epic covers the Allies' Middle Eastern campaign during World War I as seen through the eyes of the enigmatic T. E. Lawrence, played by Peter O'Toole. After a prologue showing us Lawrence's ultimate fate, we flash back to Cairo in 1917. A bored general staffer, Lawrence talks his way into a transfer to Arabia. Once in the desert, he befriends Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish (Omar Sharif) and draws up plans to aid the Arabs in their rebellion against the Turks. No one is ever able to discern Lawrence's motives in this matter: Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness) dismisses him as yet another "desert-loving Englishman," and his British superiors assume that he's either arrogant or mad. Using a combination of diplomacy and bribery, Lawrence unites the rival Arab factions of Feisal and Auda Abu Tayi (Anthony Quinn). After successfully completing his mission, Lawrence becomes an unwitting pawn of the Allies who decide to keep using Lawrence to secure Arab cooperation against the Imperial Powers. Screenwriters Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson used T. E. Lawrence's own self-published memoir, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as their principal source, although some of the characters are composites, and many of the historical incidents are of unconfirmed origin. The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Maurice Jarre won an Academy Award for his original score.


About the Panelists

KENNETH HALL (Moderator) has edited and completed over 950 films and TV productions. He has been associated with several Oscar-winning and nominated pictures including: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Amityville Horror, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Patton, Under Fire, Poltergeist, Gremlins, Hoosiers, Basic Instinct, L.A. Confidential and Mulan.

Hall received two Gold Records for E.T. and Mulan and was nominated for the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award for First Knight, L.A. Confidential, Executive Decision, Mr. Baseball, The Ghost & the Darkness, Star Trek: First Contact and Mulan.

Hall has worked with some of the most respected and talented film composers in the world including: John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Alex North, Henry Mancini, John Barry, Bill Conti, Maurice Jarre, Lalo Schifrin, Marvin Hamlisch, Lionel Newman and Miklos Rozsa. When time permits, Hall continues to work in the industry.

JON BURLINGAME is the nation’s leading writer on the subject of music for films and television. He writes regularly for Daily Variety and the Los Angeles Times, and has written for such other publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, Premiere, Emmy and The Hollywood Reporter.

He is the author of three books: Sound and Vision: 60 Years of Motion Picture Soundtracks (Billboard Books, 2000), a look at film composers and movie soundtracks through the years; TV’s Biggest Hits (Schirmer Books, 1996), a history of American television scoring; and For the Record (Recording Musicians Association, 1997), about Hollywood studio musicians. He has also contributed chapters in other books: on Leonard Bernstein in On the Waterfront (Cambridge University Press, 2003), on John Williams in Boston Pops: America’s Orchestra (2000) and on Elmer Bernstein in Moving Music: Conversations With Renowned Film Composers (2003).

Burlingame teaches film-music history at the University of Southern California and has lectured on music for films and TV in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and Switzerland. He has made appearances on, or contributed music commentaries to, many DVDs, including King Kong (on the music of Max Steiner), The Magnificent Seven (Elmer Bernstein), The Sand Pebbles (Jerry Goldsmith), The Pink Panther (Henry Mancini), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Ennio Morricone), Captain From Castile (Alfred Newman), The High and the Mighty (Dimitri Tiomkin) and others.

Burlingame has annotated dozens of soundtrack albums, including those with music by John Williams, John Barry, Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith, Alfred Newman, Ennio Morricone and others. He has also written program notes for film-music concerts in locations as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has often appeared on radio and television, including segments on NPR, the BBC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and Bravo. He also wrote a five-part series on movie music, The Score (hosted by Phil Ramone) for the Trio cable network. And he has recently written, produced and hosted several specials on great film composers for Los Angeles classical radio station KUSC-FM.

JOHN DEBNEY is an Academy Award-nominated film composer hailed as one of the most prolific and successful composers in Hollywood. Debney has over 100 scores to his credit, ranging from the critically acclaimed Cutthroat Island soundtrack to certified Gold soundtrack, The Passion of the Christ. His unique ability to create memorable music across a variety of genres, along with his reputation for being remarkably collaborative, have made him the first choice of top level producers and directors. Debney continues to be celebrated for adapting to any assignment by combining his classical training with a myriad of musical styles and techniques, including contemporary beats and ancient instrumentation.

After earning his B.A. in Music Composition from the California Institute of Arts, Debney scored diverse television projects, including Sea Quest DSV, for which he won an Emmy for Best Main Title. In 1993, he secured his first studio feature film, the Disney comedy Hocus Pocus starring Bette Midler. Debney established himself as a formidable film composer across a wide range of genres through repeated work with several noted directors, including Garry Marshall on The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Raising Helen; Robert Rodriguez on Spy Kids, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, Sin City and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D; Jon Favreau on Elf and Zathura; Tom Shadyac on Liar Liar, Dragonfly and Bruce Almighty; and the executive producer of The Passion of the Christ, Stephen McEveety, reunited with Debney for the dramatic film based on the New York Times bestseller, The Stoning of Soraya M.

In 2004, Debney blended symphonic orchestra, a wide range of world instruments, and the beauty of the human voice to create his landmark score for The Passion of the Christ. The Passion of the Christ soundtrack became a worldwide success, earning him an Academy Award nomination, a Gold record and a Dove award. The following spring, Debney premiered "The Passion of the Christ Symphony" in Rome, Italy. The internationally televised performance featured an 83-person choir and a 96-piece orchestra, and included special guest vocalist Lisbeth Scott and woodwind soloist Pedro Eustache.

In 2005, Debney became the youngest recipient of ASCAP's prestigious Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award. Debney broke new ground scoring his first videogame, Lair, in 2007.  His Lair music was nominated for a BAFTA and was awarded Best Videogame Score by The International Film Music Critics Association.  Last year, Debney was honored with a Career Achievement Award at the Burbank International Film Festival. Recently, Daily Variety profiled Debney in an 11-page feature recognizing him as "The Billion Dollar Composer" for having scored films that have grossed nearly four billion dollars.

PEARL KAUFMAN is a renowned pianist who was a musical director and piano soloist for Maurice Jarre as well as many other film composers including Henry Mancini, John Williams, and Elmer Bernstein. She has performed and recorded with Igor Stravinksy and was musical director and soloist for the Academy Award-nominated Five Easy Pieces. Pearl received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, with honors, from the University of Southern California. Her performances have been featured in over 250 films including Doctor Zhivago, The Great Race, and Animal House.

SHAWN MURPHY (Scoring Mixer) has recorded and mixed over three hundred-fifty feature films during a thirty year career in film. With degrees from San Francisco State University (B.A.) and Stanford University (M.F.A.) Mr. Murphy has worked variously in Live Sound Production and Mixing, Radio, Television, and Theatrical Lighting, Sound and Technical Direction.  Additionally, Mr. Murphy acts as consultant for the Boston Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras in the areas of audio recording, production and reinforcement. He has received an Academy Award (for Jurassic Park), Grammy Award and Emmy Award for his work in sound production and recording. His credits include Glory, Edward Scissorhands, Cape Fear, Schindler's List, Apollo 13, Twister, Men in Black, Minority Report and The Bourne Ultimatum, among many others.

Check-In & Reservations

This festival is free of charge and open to the public. Check-in will begin at 11:30 am in front of the theater. You must bring a photo ID and printed confirmation of your reservation to the check-in desk. Meal tickets will be distributed to guests for the reception at the beginning of the panel discussion at 5pm.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Free street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative

Visions and Voices is a university-wide arts and humanities initiative that is unparalleled in higher education. The initiative was established by USC President C. L. Max Nikias during his tenure as provost in order to fulfill the goals set forth in USC's strategic plan; to communicate USC's core values to students; and to affirm the human spirit. Emphasizing the university's commitment to interdisciplinary approaches, the initiative features a spectacular array of events conceived and organized by faculty and schools throughout the university. The series includes theatrical productions, music and dance performances, conferences, lectures, film screenings and many other special events both on and off campus. Each program invites students to dialogue and interact with artists, writers, professors and special guests. These interactions provide a dynamic experience of the arts and humanities and encourage active exploration of USC's core values, including freedom of inquiry and expression, team spirit, appreciation of diversity, commitment to serving one's community, entrepreneurial spirit, informed risk-taking, ethical conduct and the search for truth.

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Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Phone: 213.740.2330