Q3 2017

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30 CINEMONTAGE / Q3 2017 by Peter Tonguette I n 1998, when re-recording mixers Rick Alexander and Richard D. Rogers first met with director John Frankenheimer about working on Ronin, there were many subjects that could have been discussed. The director might have laid out his vision for the action thriller, which starred Robert De Niro and Jean Reno as mercenaries whose task is to obtain a metal case on behalf of assorted bad guys. Meanwhile, the mixers — both of whom had collaborated previously with Frankenheimer — could have asked about the sound world the director sought to create. Such conversations would have to wait. Instead, during their first meeting, the trio discussed a subject of common interest, and one especially relevant to Ronin, which boasts some of the fastest and most furious chases in a film not called The French Connection (1971). "Our initial meeting was not even about the movie; it was all about the car stuff," Alexander says. "Rich Rogers is a car guy. I'm a car guy. I have hot rods. I got my truck driver's license in 1976, and I did that for a short while." Frankenheimer, too, was a car guy. In addition to such classics as The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seconds (1966), among the director's most memorable projects was Grand Prix (1966), which placed audience members on board Formula One racecars. In this case, art imitated life. A noted enthusiast of all things automotive, Frankenheimer, who died in 2002, may be the only filmmaker to be eulogized not only in Variety but also Car and Driver. Upon his death, the latter magazine noted, "His Beverly Hills garage was packed with such goodies as a fiercely customized Mercedes Benz 600SL roadster that had been originally built for the sultan of Brunei." In fact, following their first meeting about Ronin, Frankenheimer offered Alexander and Rogers a spin in that very car. "We were out in CONTINUED ON PAGE 31 MY MOST MEMORABLE FILM Rick Alexander on 'Ronin' Ronin. United Artists/ Photofest Rick Alexander.

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