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  • A short documentary on my favorite film composer Ennio Morricone, whom most of you probably know from his ground-breaking work on Sergio Leone's trilogy of spaghetti-westerns w/Squint Eastwood.

    It features the usual talking heads, peers in the industry, biographers, producers & directors, such as Brian DePalma, John Boorman, David Putnam, Gillo Pontecorvo & of course Sergio Leone.

    There wasn't a great deal of new information, I did find out he used to be an arranger before he became famous for composing & that his work on A Fistful of Dollars, particularly the main theme was taken from an already existent popular Italian album he had written & arranged on which Sergio loved & actually hired him on the merit of.

    Prior to A their collaboration on Fistful of Dollars, the traditional way of scoring a film would be to present the finished product of a film (rough-cut) to the composer & he would write something based on what he saw, but w/these two, Leone had the idea to have the music written first & to construct the scenes he would shoot based on the music. That alone created countless copy-cat films & spaghetti-westerns were on their way to worldwide recognition! Probably my favorite score is to The Mission, the Robert DeNiro/Jeremy Irons vehicle which should have easily won the Academy Award but didn't. Morricone was ROBBED I tell ya! This was a fun documentary, it was great seeing the film clips w/some voice-over information being given. It's really not an in depth look at he composer, but worthwhile if you get the opportunity to see it...
  • One does not get an overview of a lifetime and more than 300 works in the film industry in less than one hour, but at the same time one does not need plenty to show us the gift of a genius. This BBC short documentary on the magnifico Italian composer Ennio Morricone is a manageable work that serves its purpose to enlighten audiences about the importance of music on films, how Morricone's geniality and of those around him were highly significant to the art of cinema, and how everything he did affected not just viewers but also marked his career.

    Here, the film composer briefly presented his early beginnings as an arranger then moving to film scores from Sergio Leone's spaghetti western then Hollywood stardom, which brought him to a wide world audience and fans. Along with some of his collaborators (Brian De Palma, John Boorman, producers David Puttnam and Fernando Ghia, and others), Mr. Morricone talks about some of his most successful scores, revealing insights about them, and selecting some of his favorites and/or the ones that were a turning point on his career - such as "The Mission" (1986), always a favorite of mine but I'd never imagine that that brilliant masterpiece was the one responsible for his major acceptance in Hollywood. He got a Golden Globe, a Bafta for it but the Oscar escaped his hands that year (we can all agree he was robbed; and we can never forget that his quintessential score from "Once Upon a Time in America" failed to secure a nomination simply because the producers' campaign papers for Academy consideration weren't sent on time).

    To Morricone fans this film is just a summary, just a little taste to get one or two things they may haven't heard or seen before. Those who know little or almost nothing about the man and his legacy to cinema history it's a nice invitation, easy to follow and very precise in everything it has to show. His compositions, his majestous and intelligent use of music on countless film and from many different genres are all there to be heard, seen and known. He had the right emotions for each particular scene, at times composing the score before the film was actually made and it was to the director to find the better ways to use the score with precision (the chills and melancholy from "Days of Heaven"; the suspense during climatic western sequences; or the reminesce of times and memories in "Once Upon a Time in America", it's impossible to feel indifferent). His ability to generate feelings, sensations and emotions inside viewers is something that few composers have with them. A brilliant career and a fascinating mind. 9/10

    P.S.: Addio Maestro, thanks for the contributions you gave to the world. It's impossible to imagine movies without your presence, quality works and musical poetry.

    Shoutout to the soundtrack of "Frantic", one of Ennio's most underrated, not mentioned and neither had it's poster presented.