Monday, 6 July 2020

Rest in Peace Ennio Morricone

We lost today not one of the greatest film composers of all time, but I would simply say the greatest film composer. Morricone's work was part of what marked the transition towards more dynamic scores that would be intertwined with specific moments within scenes, while also offering amplification of the general feeling or emotion of a film. His work was never simplified into a specific era rather he managed to transition from each decade naturally, both in new compositions from himself and recognition of his greatness through repeated use of his unforgettable themes. As with any great composer there was a distinct quality within his work, when one hears so many of his greatest tunes one instantly knows they're listening to Morricone,. The range within that itself though was tremendous and able to explore so much. Although notable is that when called upon it Morricone could cloak his approach to find variations showing there may have been no limit within his ability. Morricone's music on its own is enough to elicit such a striking range of feeling and emotion, intertwined within cinema though he enabled to achieve some of the greatest heights within cinema.

Whether this be epic:





Or maybe just transcendence:

And that is only scratching the surface of the many gifts left by this master of an indispensable cinematic art form that stands on its own.


Luke Higham said...

I kinda felt you'd be doing a proper tribute to the 'GOAT' of all film composers.

Louis: Your thoughts on Andrei Rublev's direction, cinematography, production design, makeup and the 'bell' scene.

Thoughts on Georges Delerue.

Calvin Law said...

Beautiful tribute Louis. Watched Paradiso tonight in his honour and that score just hits the emotional sweet spot so beautifully.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Andrei Rublev's Costume Design as well.

Mitchell Murray said...

Rest in peace, Ennio Morricone. Your voice will continue to live on through your beautiful compositions.


I really liked the post Louis!
It's a great tribute to the great eternal maestro.


Matt Mustin said...

Hamilton is apparently not actually eligible for Oscars after all, and I actually kind of agree with that decision.

Emi Grant said...

Great tribute, Louis. I shall only try to educate myself further within the works of Morricone. I wonder, out of curiosity, have you ever before given a list of your favorite compositions from him? I'd imagine some of the ones mentioned here would make it.

Aidan Pittman said...

A great tribute to one of the greats. I've sadly only seen/listened to his Tarantino collaborations, but his iconic music is impossible to not recognize and love.

Bryan L. said...

Emi: He gave a Top 20 on this page.


Emi Grant said...

Bryan: Thanks.

By the way, I don't know if you guys have, but I just stumbled upon The Washington Post's headline regarding these news. I have to say I'm very pissed off right now.

Luke Higham said...

Emi: Oh Jesus. For shame.

Louis Morgan said...


Where does one begin with Tarkovsky's direction? The overall effect of it is something few films achieve to begin with in crafting this experience that feels so potently empathetic. Again it isn't a singular element I think one can name in which Tarkovsky achieves this effect, but I suppose just the mastery of his elements, though on a level few other filmmakers have ever achieved. This as again I'll mention just the way he films water, the immaculate detail in the sound and the imagery of it, it's something so ordinary, yet extraordinary in the way he makes you sense and feel the moment, rather than just look at it. This is his scope throughout which achieves a masterful combination between an epic scale within this, but also so intimate all the same. The sequences each are incredible in terms of that scope that he achieves, yet makes every moment of them so deeply personal by the detail within the scope. Stunning doesn't quite match what it is that Tarkovsky achieves.

The cinematography by Vadim Yusov is an extension of that vision. This in his sort of piercing clarity of the cinematography. This in it grants an appropriate bleakness so to speak, yet is beautiful to look at within the hardship it depicts. The lighting and composition of shots, worthy of an artist of Rublev's intention, that again crafts that personal, yet pointed view. This crafting as though you are witnessing the shots just as you are also granted a most glorious view of them.

The production and costume design go hand in hand entirely, and both are extremely impressive in how matter of fact, yet I'm quite sure great detail was put into both. This as each feel just period appropriate, with the sense of wear and dirt within each, yet both are so dynamic within that one would have to assume great dedication was brought to both. Almost invisible in the sense that they are great, yet to the point one almost assumes the greatness is a given.

The makeup is similar in that one barely notices it, and there is the brilliance of it. The characters change and age, yet they just do, and there is never a second thought to it. Amazing makeup in that regard.

The Bell scene is a singular example of Tarkovsky's brilliance in that just the way he slowly builds up the sound of the bell as it slowly rings is so incredible, and again immersive in this way that is almost indescribable. This though as connected with the scale he presents of all who see it, and we see it within that glorious context, before the personal one of the bell makers essential gambit. Again showing us the sort of grandeur within a personal connect, that is extraordinary.

Let's save Delerue for later.

Calvin, Brazinterma, Emi, Aidan:

Thank you.


I watched the 186 minute cut that Tarkovsky apparently preferred.


I'll actually disagree with it (partially as this year's looking like the most barren since 43), as precedent had been set through Whitmore's nomination for Give 'Em Hell Harry and to a lesser extent the Olivier Othello. I'd agree if it had entirely been shot static, with the purpose to be just a document, however given there was clearly thought in presenting it in a cinematic sense, it should be eligible as long as the output was related to that intention (the categories I mentioned previously).

Anonymous said...

Louis what would be your cast for a purely cinematic Hamilton if you could only keep one original cast member?

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: OK, yeah, that's a good point.

Anonymous said...

And if you had to use "name" actors.

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Wonderful tribute, often we think of Ennio as being involved primarily with westerns, I actually had no idea that he was responsible for the theme for The Thing.

One thing that is amazing about that theme is that it sounds like a heartbeat, but not a human heartbeat, like a paranoid sound that makes it seem like a fake heartbeat that is pretending to be human, its such clever fitting stuff.

Mitchell Murray said...

RatedRStar: Very well said in regards to "The Thing" soundtrack.

Also, one a bit of a random note, I just watched "Scream 2" for the first time in several years. And honestly, my enjoyment of the film has only been bolstered, since it is that rare horror sequel that's above than some mere cash grab; It actually continues the original story in a interesting, effective enough way, which still having that same "tongue in cheek" tone. Yes, it is 90's horror incarnate, and that does hurt the movie at points, but it also plays into it's charm more often than not.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

It'll be interesting to see who Louis chooses for Best Director, especially between Leone and Tarkovsky.

Luke Higham said...

Tahmeed: With all due respect to Leone, I'd love to see a change but I figure Louis will stick with him.

Calvin Law said...

I watched Yi Yi and I really hope Louis ends up loving it when he gets to 2000, plus depending on the strength of the year, Issey Ogata could definitely be worth a review.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: It's honestly not a very strong year.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin & Matt: I have:

Donald Sutherland in Panic could be good as well though I'd rather let Louis determine that.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: I keep veering between Lead and Supporting for Considine. He has a lot of screentime but I guess only one scene is really from his POV. Who do you have for Lead lineup? Wu Nien-jien is really good too but I’m not sure if review worthy, it’s a director’s film largely.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Probably best to play it safe and have him in Supporting.

Song Kang-Ho/Lee Byung-Hun - Joint Security Area
Sol Kyung-Gu - Peppermint Candy
Denis Lavant - Beau Travail
John Cusack - High Fidelity
Gael García Bernal/Emilio Echevarría - Amores Perros

I have Wu as an alternative, as well as Colin Farrell in Tigerland.

Maciej said...

RIP Ennio Morricone, truly one of the greatest.

Louis Morgan said...


Eh given most have proven their ability onscreen, particularly Daveed Diggs, I say I'd be fine with keeping them all, except for cast someone else for Philip Hamilton but keep Ramos as John Laurens. Although if forced for one major recasting, I'd say bring in Oscar Isaac as Alexander Hamilton, as watching the whole film again, Miranda's later scenes emoting is probably the weakest performance wise element in it (though I do think overall he still gives a good performance.)

Anonymous said...

Louis: Thoughts on the editing and sound design of The Birds?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Did anyone from the Hamilton cast go up on rewatch for you.

Mitchell Murray said...

Just curious: Does anybody here watch those GQ videos on youtube, where an expert breaks down a certain topic from films/TV?

I think my favourites of those were Les Stroud explaining survivalist techniques, Chris Hatfield explaining space travel/physics, and Jocko Willink/James Laporta explaining the US military.

Emi Grant said...

Mitchell: I do every now and then, though I think I frequent the videos from Wired more. I'm particularly fond of Lucy Lang breaking down courtroom scenes, Jonna Mendez breaking down spy scenes. Oh, and of course CM Punk breaking down wrestling scenes.

Aidan Pittman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Morgan said...


The Birds's editing is terrific work in Hitchcock in some ways working within the elements that he had touched in Psycho, and in a way heavily influenced what would be considered horror. This with the jump cuts to something horrible, or just the quick cuts in general in creating a sense of chaos. Although unlike a bad modern horror film this is balanced with scenes where the eeriness is created through deliberate gradual pacing.

The sound design is brilliance altogether in creating the horror of the film in using so often silence where the horror of bird calls becomes penetrating. This particularly in the growth of crows in the school scene or of course the final sequence in reaching the car that so much is owed to the sound design. It is dynamic in it grants the sort of bluntness within the sound editing and the essential horror found within how immersive the work is.


Well considering the cast, which may be eligible afterall as Variety jumped the gun a bit, since they quoted a rule that is connected to the documentary branch not general categories. Anyway on re-watch I'd move Jackson up to a 4, Goldsberry and Odom (who is definitely co-lead in a Salieri/Judas way) to 4.5's, though I'd move Miranda down to a 3.5.