Tony Munroe passed away this morning at the too young age of 47. He was a partner in the firm Triage Motion Picture Services. He and his company restored such films as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Woman in The Window, A Fistfull of Dollars, All That Jazz, Sweet Smell Of Success, Flashdance, It’s A Gift, Once Upon A Time In The West, Duck You Sucker, Tom Jones, etc. etc. Too many to mention. I first met Tony back in 1991, I was editing a short film, Tony was working for an optical company. He had just learned about optical printing and this was his first film job. I heard about a custom Black and White Lab in the Valley called Cinetech, I hired them to handle the printing of the film. The owner met Tony and hired him to work at his lab. That’s where Tony learned the ins and outs of film restoration. A few years later he partnered up with Paul Rutan and they founded Triage. I helped them move into their HQ on Larchmont. Tony was a great writer, a guitar player, a wonderful guy that everyone will miss. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Sue, his son Calvin, his dad and everybody that knew him and loved him.
My great friend Daniele Luppi has collaborated with Danger Mouse to produce an album of cinematic music entitled ROME. Inspired by their love of Spaghetti Western Soundtracks they recorded in Rome at the same studio (Forum) used by Morricone, Bacalov, Umiliani, etc. during the Golden Age of Italian Cinema. They also worked with some of the same musicians that played on the classic soundtracks. They were joined in this labor of love by two magnificent contemporary artists, Norah Jones and Jack White. Incredible. And it was recorded in all analog glory on magnetic tape! I’m getting the record, vinyl that is, I can’t wait. As some of you may know Daniele composed the score for my film One Night With You so I’m very familiar with his work. Here’s a little movie about the project.
I just watched A Bout De Souffle on TCM and I noticed something that struck me as one of the most interesting moments in the film. Jean Seberg is at the airport at a press conference for an author who has just published a book. The author is played by Jean Pierre Melville, the great director and hero to the New Wave. Seberg tries to ask him a question but is overpowered by the other reporters shouting their questions. Finally she breaks through and asks “What is your greatest ambition?” Melville looks at her through his cool aviator shades and after a beat says “To become immortal, then die.” Godard plays some film noir music on the soundtrack and Seberg breaks the fourth wall, looks directly into the camera as we dissolve to another scene. What a brilliant moment, it is the essence of filmmaking, films will live on far beyond their makers, expressing their thoughts for generations after the artist is dead. That is what Melville/Godard is saying and in a poetic way. Beautiful.