Category Archives: Music

My chaotic encounter with composer Ennio Morricone

By Ray Bennett  LONDON – The late Ennio Morricone was a giant in film music but the Italian composer could be a difficult man as I found out when I went to interview him in London. He was in town … Continue reading

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When Kenny Rogers welcomed me to Los Angeles

By Ray Bennett We flew into LAX from Toronto, checked into the Sportsmen’s Lodge in the Valley, went directly to the then open-air Universal Amphitheater and were led to seats in the front row just as the biggest entertainer in … Continue reading

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BAFTA to keep theatrical eligibility and add casting prize

By Ray Bennett LONDON – BAFTA announced today that, following what it calls a “broad consultation”, eligibility rules regarding the theatrical release required for a film to qualify for the EE British Academy Film Awards will not change for 2020. … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Natalie Portman in ‘Vox Lux’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Just as in ‘Jackie’ two years ago, Natalie Portman gives a scintillating performance of a driven and complicated woman in a not very successful picture. Director and screenwriter Brady Corbet’s ‘Vox Lux’, which opens today … Continue reading

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Argentina’s Daniel Tarrab takes time to tango

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Argentinian composer Daniel Tarrab, who has had a long and successful career writing film scores, has released an album of jazz-influenced tango pieces titled ‘Otra Mirada (Another Look)’ on Silva Screen Records.

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Tomboy Barbara Mandrell loved to be called sexy

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Barbara Mandrell, who turned 70 on Christmas Day, was country when country wasn’t cool but in 1981, when she was 32, she loved it when I told her I thought she was a knockout. “Well, … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 75: Part Two – Film composer

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turned 75 on Nov. 28, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told … Continue reading

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Randy Newman at 75: Part One – songwriter

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Randy Newman, who turns 75 today, has Academy Awards, Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards and he is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s also a very funny man. He told me that … Continue reading

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Recalling … giggling over lunch with the great Cleo Laine

By Ray Bennett LONDON – It was lunchtime at the Hotel Pontchartrain  in Detroit and things were getting a bit silly. Cleo Laine was talking about Kurt Weill and the Berliner Ensemble when someone mentioned Monty Python and soon she … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Enjoyment of Bradley Cooper’s reimagined ‘A Star is Born’ depends almost entirely on having a taste for the singing of Lady Gaga. Her many fans will surely love it. For those less enamoured, probably not. … Continue reading

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