The “In Memoriam” montage is the most gutting part of any awards show, each name of a passing talent a sock to the gut. Since last year’s Oscars, there have been many major losses to the industry, from actors to filmmakers, from major motion picture figures to those from other mediums who dabbled, meaningfully, in the movies. The montage tends comes late in the ceremony, before the biggest awards are handed out, when things are about to get serious. And nothing gets more serious than a rundown of culture’s irreplaceable losses.
The tone was set by music by film composer John Williams — an appropriately somber choice to remember such dearly departed figures as Burt Reynolds, Margot Kidder, Penny Marshall, Stan Lee, Neil Simon, and Albert Finney.
The “In Memoriam” montage goes reliably broad and wide, giving mention to people from all parts of the industry, from title designers to publicists to set designers. Everyone’s given equal placing, be they composer Michel Legrand, stop motion animator Will Vinton, character actress Barbara Harris, character actor James Karen or screenwriter William Goldman.
Other people mentioned included legendary filmmakers Bernardo Berolucci, Milos Forman, Claude Lanzmann, Vittorio Taviani, Ermanno Olmi, Niciolas Roeg, and Gloria Katz; Anne V. Coates, who most famously cut Lawrence of Arabia; cinematographer Robby Müller; and actors Tab Hunter and Bruno Ganz.
Missing, for what it’s worth, were director Stanley Donen, news of whose passing only broke the day before the Oscars; avant-garde filmmaker, critic, and Anthology Film Archives honcho Jonas Mekas; and actress and filmmaker Sondra Locke.