David Puttnam, holder of 10 Oscars and 25 BAFTAS, hasn’t made a film since 1998, but remains a masterful presence over the genre, especially when it comes to music, as he demonstrated last night to a rapt audience at The Apex.
And he’s also a supreme talent-spotter, as his many successful celluloid collaborations - see above - over the years have proved. So it is perhaps a tad ironic or, to quote the great man: ‘wonderful’ that he found some right under his nose in the lithe form of his son Sacha, a lyrical pianist and himself a music arranger.
They began to work together on stage only recently after a family friend remarked: “Hey, David, you shot and he scores!”
That was one of the many gentle and modest anecdotes Lord Puttnam told before introducing his son to play pieces from his films using his own arrangements, but capturing the majesty of them as stills were projected onto the back of the stage. He was ably supported by violinist Rosemary Hinton.
The unique concept all made for an enthralling and enchanting evening with a good measure of intimacy and openness, which clearly entranced the audience from the opening of Love Theme from Midnight Express and the closing Killing Fields theme, written by Mike Oldfield, a score Puttnam reckons the composer of Tubular Bells did not get enough credit for.
In between we were swept along by the usual favourites, from Chariots of Fire and Local Hero, along with surprises like Nessum Dorma, which is in Killing Fields and, according to Puttnam led to the formation of the Three Tenors.
It was links and stories like that which held the evening together and left the audience with a useful repertoire of movie trivia.
So if someone this weekend asks you questions like this: Who got rid of the rats on the set of The Mission, and why couldn’t he get rid of the mosquitoes? Or: Which film re-united Jack Wild and Mark Lester from Oliver! Or: Why is the Chariots of Fire theme by Vangelis only played at the opening and closing credits and not in the film itself? Or: What’s the most popular tune used in wedding videos? You can be sure that person was at The Apex on Tuesday night.