He shoots. He kills. He creates delicate jazz music for movies. Filmmaker Clint Eastwood was honored for his latter endeavors during performing rights group ASCAP’s annual awards ceremony for film and TV composers Wednesday.
Eastwood was presented with the Opus Award for his ”singular contribution of music to film,” only the fourth time the prize has been handed out. In accepting, Eastwood described himself as “just a part-time guy,” and jokingly wondered what might have become had he listened to his mother and paid more attention to his childhood piano lessons.
The multifaceted Hollywood veteran then tried his hand as a scat singer, accompanying a rendition of Woody Herman’s “Lemon Drop” performed by local combo Jack Sheldon and his Big Band.
Eastwood, a noted jazz buff who once also admitted to appreciating the vocal stylings of the Olsen Twins, composed the music for such recent films as “Mystic River,” “True Crime,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “A Perfect World” and ”Unforgiven,” in addition to directing them.
Also during the black-tie event at the Beverly Hilton, ASCAP bestowed its Henry Mancini Award for lifetime achievement on Howard Shore, the Oscar-winning composer of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Shore, who got his break playing with the ”Saturday Night Live” house band, also worked on such films as ”Gangs of New York,” “Seven,” Ed Wood” and many of the projects of fellow Canadian David Cronenberg.
ASCAP will honor its pop music writers and publishers at a ceremony May 18, also at the Beverly Hilton. Rock band Metallica and singer/songerwiter Jackson Browne will be on hand to receive special honors.