Saturday, September 2, 2023

Ennio Morricone: Essential Scores from a Movie Maestro

 Oct 6 – Nov 25, 2023 – Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

“Ennio Morricone was more than one of the world’s great soundtrack composers—he was one of the world’s great composers, period. He was one of those musicians who could make an unforgettable melody with just a small fistful of notes.” – John Zorn

A jaunty electric guitar riff. A wailing harmonica. A powerful vocal crescendo. The unique elements of an effective film score make it instantly recognizable, sometimes even more so than a famous actor's face. Such is the case for many of the over 500 original film and television scores written by Italian composer Ennio Morricone (1928–2020), the so-called Maestro of film music, who, according to composer John Zorn, “was always open to trying new sounds, new instruments, new combinations—rarely drawing from the same well twice.” 

Ennio Morricone developed his ear at a young age as cultivated by his musician father, who encouraged his studies on the trumpet. Though he started his career in television, providing music for Italy’s first-ever broadcast in 1954 on through contemporary productions, Morricone is best remembered for his film scores, most specifically his collaborations with Dario Argento, Sergio Leone, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Elio Petri, and Giuseppe Tornatore in his native Italy, and Brian De Palma, Terrence Malick, and Quentin Tarantino in Hollywood. Over a career spanning eight decades, Morricone’s influence on cinema music will be felt for generations to come. This series offers an overview of many iconic scores from across the Maestro's multifaceted career.

From director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso), Ennio celebrates the life and legacy of the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who passed away on July 6, 2020. Through interviews with directors, screenwriters, musicians, songwriters, critics, and collaborators, Tornatore’s documentary retraces the life and works of cinema’s most popular and prolific 20th century composer—who wrote over 500 scores for film and television and sold over 70 million records—from his cinema debut with Sergio Leone, to winning an Academy Award for The Hateful Eight (2015) in 2016. Screening as a culmination to our New Italian Cinema program, Ennio also coincides with the beginning of our limited series Ennio Morricone: Essential Scores from a Movie Maestro, screening October 6 through November 25, 2023. 

Ennio October 4, 2023, 8:00 p.m.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo) October 6, 2023, 7:30 p.m.

Once upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il west) October 27, 203, 7:30 p.m.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

6067 Wilshire Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90036

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