Neil Sinyard
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Death makes a call
Memento Mori (1992)
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Muriel Spark's novel Memento Mori had been published in 1959 and had immediately attracted Jack Clayton's attention as a possible film project, partly because he admired its style and dialogue but particularly because he related to the theme. Death and/or funeral scenes occur frequently in Clayton's work, involving the key characters and always carrying great weight. Even the humour of John Huston's spoof thriller, Beat the Devil, on which Clayton was the associate producer and which has at least an underground reputation as a cult classic, was lost on him. A pupil and protégé of Georges Auric, Georges Delerue had come to Clayton's attention with his score for François Truffaut's Jules et Jim. In May 1988 Clayton was interviewed about Delerue by the Belgian film magazine Soundtrack; in their edition of 21 September 1992, after Delerue's death, they reprinted Clayton's comments.

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