Ennio Morricone, 1995

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David Thompson made this 40-minute Ennio Morricone documentary for the BBC in 1995. I taped it at the time but haven’t watched it since so it was good to find again. The highlight is the lengthy interview with the man himself but there are also contributions from Christopher Frayling, Brian de Palma, Bernardo Bertolucci, Gillo Pontecorvo and others.

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5 thoughts on “Ennio Morricone, 1995”

  1. He was one of the best. He fit squares into rectangles. He turned movies into cinema.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SP4UQrT9zd8

    I think this short clip, which has been one of my favorites, shows his inescapable talent of choreographing music and imagery together. Music- that one the surface- would not fit the imagery to the average composer or filmmaker.

  2. For some inexplicable reason, WordPress put your comments in the bin. Sorry about that. And YT isn’t working at the moment so I can’t see the video. Ho hum…

  3. WordPress probably knows where my comments belong best :p

    Ennio said his biggest regret was not being able to do the Clockwork Orange soundtrack, or any Kubrick for that matter. I can only imagine.

    Another one of his best, and at 80+ years old it boggles the mind.( It really gets going at the 1min mark)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pxtNi3dytcY

  4. I didn’t know that about Morricone and Kubrick. I’m so besotted with the complete Wendy Carlos score for A Clockwork Orange that I can’t really imagine the film with any other music, even though some of the Carlos pieces didn’t make it into the film due to the time they took to create. If Moog technology had been slightly more advanced the film might have had an all-electronic score.

    Kubrick had very firm ideas about film music, one of which was that contemporary soundtrack composers have a hard time competing with the great composers of the past (or the present in the case of Ligeti). That’s arguable, of course, but the point is understandable. After Doctor Strangelove his films are mostly scored by pre-existing compositions, whether classical music or what he called “a pop score”. The exceptions are minimal: Timesteps in A Clockwork Orange, a couple more of droney Carlos pieces in The Shining, and his daughter’s Fairlight music in Full Metal Jacket. Morricone would have been ideal for the latter, I think.

    I’ve still not seen The Hateful Eight after losing interest in Tarantino a few years ago. At least he commissioned some original music that time instead of swiping old soundtracks the way he did with Kill Bill.

  5. Yes, Kubrick actually called him up to score Clockwork Orange. Unfortunately this was in the middle of his block of work with Sergio Leone.

    It was actually a conversation that Kubrick had with Leone that made it clear Ennio didn’t have the time. Kubrick admiring Leone, moved on. Ennio states in interviews that was the “film that got away.”

    And although it would be impossible to think of Clockwork Orange without its mythical music, it does make you wonder what Ennio would’ve done with it.

    Tarantino has gone the way of many cult directors. They take themselves too seriously, overthink everything, and then their films just become parities of themselves. It’s what I like to call auteur syndrome. Wes Anderson is starting to get predictable sleepy in the same way. I’m always worried when people watch films trying to connect the directors styles from previous films, rather than wanting to be surprised with something entirely new.

    If you haven’t, you should check out the French film Knife + Heart. It’s a really fun arthouse-horror, an example of brilliant sound/music used in film. (Full disclosure, the director is a lover of mine and I have credits, but still, it’s good)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r6aAJ-dOpGM

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