The fifth World Soundtrack Awards — held Saturday as part of the Flanders Intl. Film Festival — celebrated the old school, as pioneering songwriting duo Leiber & Stoller were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award while Angelo Badalamenti was named composer of the year for his score for “A Very Long Engagement.”
Ill health prevented Jerry Leiber from attending the awards ceremony, allowing Mike Stoller to genially quip: “Jerry’s very unhappy to not be here tonight — but he’s going to be more unhappy that I have this!”
Award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice, who presented the award, paid tribute to the duo’s enduring achievement: “You have boldly and beautifully created music that will last forever,” he said, labeling Leiber “a genius of our time.”
Leiber performed Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?,” which appeared in Martin Scorsese pic “After Hours,” backed by the Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Dirk Brosse. Before an aud at Ghent’s Bijloke Concert Hall, orch also accompanied Brazilian composer Gustavo Santaolalla on a selection of his works — including the debut perf of his score for Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain” — and performed a suite of compositions by Rachel Portman, including her latest for Roman Polanski’s “Oliver Twist.”
Badalamenti bested John Williams, Howard Shore, Thomas Newman and John Powell to claim composer of the year kudos. However, Williams exerted his heavyweight status by winning score for his work on Spielberg hit “War of the Worlds.”
Discovery of the year was Michael Giacchino, for his exuberant score for Disney’s “The Incredibles,” while song kudos went to veteran rockers Dave Stewart and Mick Jagger for “Old Habits Die Hard,” from the remake of “Alfie.”
Other highlights of the 32nd edition included British director Mike Leigh receiving the Joseph Plateau Lifetime Achievement Award from Imelda Staunton, star of his “Vera Drake,” and the fest unspooling of David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence,” attended by Cronenberg and star Viggo Mortensen.