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Interview: Composer Desplat on The King’s Speech

The King's Speech soundtrackToday, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite movie composers, Alexandre Desplat, about 2010’s best movie, The King’s Speech. We discussed several of his scores for some of the most well-made motion pictures of the last ten years, including The Queen, Casanova, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He is bright, thoughtful, and very focused and, in a tender moment, he disclosed the recent loss of his father, which I thought he handled remarkably well. Here is this morning’s interview, which I must say I enjoyed almost as much as the movie and Desplat’s music, which I thoroughly recommend as his best work yet. Click on the soundtrack image in the interview to buy the compact disc and enjoy reading.

Dr. Dean Edell Retires

Dr. Dean Edell, whom I met and interviewed in 2001, recently announced that he has retired from talk radio. His voice of reason, which generally favored facts, science and free choice in medicine, will be seriously missed. Read my interview with Dr. Dean about his book Eat, Drink and Be Merry and his thoughts on health and medicine as it appeared here, in the nation’s first newspaper, the Hartford Courant. I wish him all the best and hope he continues to speak out for rational science and medicine.

Writer and Marine Martin Russ, 1931-2010

Martin Russ

I am sad to say that United States Marine and writer Martin Russ (Breakout, The Last Parallel, Showdown Semester: Advice from a Writing Professor), whom I met and interviewed about his experiences during the Korean War, died on Monday at his home in Napa Valley, according to the New York Times, which linked to my interview with Mr. Russ in its obituary.

The interview is one of my most memorable experiences.

I had wanted to honor the memory of those (including my father) who fought in the Korean War for the war’s 50th anniversary and I sought an interview with the author of some of the most respected and bestselling accounts of the war. After I persuaded him that my intentions were honorable, he agreed to meet. I traveled to his home in northern California, where we met and talked for hours. He was honest and straightforward about war, General MacArthur and a forecast that Communist North Korea would once again invade South Korea (as they had in 1950). Martin Russ, a writer who was deep and thoughtful, was 79. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, three children and two grandchildren.

Interview with Robert Osborne on Liza Minnelli

I recently talked with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host Robert Osborne about his exclusive interview with Liza Minnelli about her parents, director Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland for his Private Screenings series. Read my interview with Robert Osborne here. His is an excellent conversation with the incredibly talented and intelligent Liza that is well worth watching. The one-hour program premieres at 10 pm on Saturday, Dec. 11, preceded by Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) at 8 pm, and is slated with related films (check TCM’s schedule), such as Cabaret, through Dec. 15.

Alan Menken on Disney’s Tangled

I had an interesting conversation yesterday with composer Alan Menken about Walt Disney’s new animated feature, Tangled. I posted the interview here: Alan Menken interview. Though I embarrassed myself by asking about a song on the soundtrack which Menken did not write, (“Something I Want”, which plays over the end credits), I appreciated the opportunity to briefly talk with the composer and co-writer of one of my favorite Disney animated musicals, The Little Mermaid, about his new soundtrack. Tangled opens for a Thanksgiving release on Wednesday, Nov. 24.