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Our review of Ennio: Once upon a time… Ennio Morricone


CRITICISM – An unpublished documentary by Giuseppe Tornatore retraces the extraordinary career of the genius of film music.

Maestro Morricone was tired of being constantly questioned about his collaboration with Sergio Leone.

Some filmmakers had had a companionship as nourished with him as the director of

Once upon a time in America


Giuseppe Tornatore was one of them.

In addition to

Cinema Paradiso

, the two men had collaborated on a good number of films, Morricone having even agreed to come out of retirement in order to work with this much younger man.

It is almost logical that the latter signs today the most detailed portrait dedicated to his friend.

Celebrated and recognized during his lifetime, Morricone, a prolific composer (500 soundtracks in half a century) who died just two years ago, sees himself canonized by the film.

The first shots of the documentary establish a proximity that is difficult to obtain with this great silent man.

In confidence, the musician shows himself in private, opens the doors of his office and reveals himself as he had never done before.

We are flabbergasted by this completely atypical course.

Read also

Marco Morricone: “My father lived in another galaxy!”

Son of an average trumpet player, little Ennio had been designated by his father to take up the torch, reluctantly.

On arrival, he will establish himself as one of the most flamboyant Italian composers, after an unusual career.

Little is known on this side of the Alps, but Ennio Morricone was a highly sought-after arranger by the Italian variety of the 50s and 60s.

Science of instrumental cutting

The film unveils some of the audacity he squeezed into seemingly innocuous songs.

From a commercial constraint, he will have made an art.

And this to the great displeasure of his music masters as well as his contemporaries, in search of a more "noble" respectability.

It is undoubtedly in this research that Morricone found himself.

It was there that he perfected his science of instrumental cutting, which signs his most beautiful scores.

Read also

Ennio Morricone: unanimous Italy mourns its “maestro”

The music, like the career of this discreet and modest man, is without blinkers.

This allowed him to work just as well on masterpieces of the seventh art as on comedies like

La Cage aux Folles


We also regret that this vein is not more highlighted in the film, which leans more towards the


, like that of



Deconstruction of harmony

Ennio Morricone talks very well about his music, his working method and his concepts of deconstructing harmony.

The man is accessible, almost pedagogical in his way of evoking his career.

The key collaboration with Leone is of course mentioned, with in particular the testimonies of rockers Bruce Springsteen and those of Metallica.

But perhaps the most touching scene is that of the filming of

Once Upon a Time in America,

in which we see De Niro performing on a set bathed in music.

Read also

Ennio Morricone and Sergio Leone, an outrageous duo

River film,


suffers from some lengths at the end, in particular a concert of praises a little cutesy which one would have passed.

Listening to music has long been enough to convince us of the genius of this prodigious artist.

"Ennio", documentary by Guiseppe Tornatore.

Duration 2h36.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2022-07-05

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