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Oscar Winner Michel Legrand Scores Orson Welles’ Final Film (EXCLUSIVE)

French composer and multiple Oscar- and Grammy-winner Michel Legrand is scoring Orson Welles’ final film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” Variety has learned.

This will mark Legrand’s second Welles project. The veteran composer, whose work includes “Yentl,” “Summer of ’42,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” scored Welles’ last completed film, “F for Fake,” in 1974. Welles died in 1985.

Legrand, 86, has been secretly working on the film since December. Orchestral recording began on Monday in Belgium and will continue with a jazz ensemble later this week in Paris.

The composer calls it “one of the most exciting and delicate scores” he has written in his 60 years of working in movies. “I asked myself constantly, ‘How would Orson have reacted?’ The very subject of the film touched me: the idea of the passage of time, the renewal of inspiration. I am proud to be the link between these two Welles films. I take it as a gift from Orson, through the clouds.”

Said producer Frank Marshall: “After working with Michel on ‘F for Fake’ and wanting a jazz-based score, Orson always spoke about him doing the music for ‘Wind.’  So it is wonderful to have this three-time Academy Award winner on board, and a thrill to sit and spot the music with Michel, who, at 86 years old, still has tremendous energy, creativity and a twinkle in his eye.”

Legrand is responsible for some of the most memorable film music of the past 60 years. Seven of his 13 Oscar nominations are for songs, many of which have gone on to become standards: “I Will Wait for You,” “The Windmills of Your Mind,” “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?,” “Pieces of Dreams,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” and two from “Yentl,” “Papa, Can You Hear Me?” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel.”

His other scores include “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” “Ice Station Zebra,” “The Go-Between,” “Lady Sings the Blues” and “The Three Musketeers.” His five Grammys include one for his television score for “Brian’s Song” and two for his 1975 jazz album “Images.”

The long-awaited “Wind” was in production off and on from 1970 to 1976; it stars Welles’ directing colleagues John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich. Bogdanovich has consulted on the edit, working with Marshall and producer Filip Jan Rymsza to complete the film per Welles’ original vision.

Netflix is expected to stream the film at some point in the future, probably later this year.

 

 

 

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