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Keeping Score

| August 25, 2016 | Parties

Iconic film composer John Williams receives the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award at the Dolby Theatre.

THE PARTY There was no shortage of star power at the annual AFI Gala, which honored the life and career of John Williams—a five-time Oscar winner (and 50-time Oscar nominee) and the first composer to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award. Williams’ music, from Jaws and E.T. to Star Wars and Jurassic Park, set a nostalgic tone, as even the most recognizable faces in the high-profile crowd clamored to get a moment with the man of the hour.

THE GUESTS Only a talent of Williams’ caliber could bring out the likes of J.J. Abrams, Bryce Dallas Howard, Seth MacFarlane, Drew Barrymore and Kobe Bryant to toast the composer. Williams sat close to longtime friend and collaborator George Lucas, while Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks were among the presenters who shared their favorite memories working with the luminary.

THE HIGHLIGHTS Comedian-turned-impromptu conductor Will Ferrell came dressed for the occasion, donning a tuxedo and white gloves, as he recruited guests like Cloris Leachman and Idina Menzel for a Williams singalong. L.A. Phil maestro Gustavo Dudamel led members of the American Youth Symphony through a soaring selection from the Schindler’s List score, while Harrison Ford joked about how he’ll never be able to escape the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. —Shontel Horne; Kobe Bryant and Vince Gilligan photos by Frazer Harrison, Gustavo Dudamel and Steven Spielberg photos by Mike Windle, Idina Menzel photo by Mark Davis; Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks photos by Kevin Winter


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