GORE IN THE STORE
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.
Featuring Ennio Morricone, Bruce Springsteen, Bernardo Bertolucci, Quentin Tarantino, Clint Eastwood, John Williams, Dario Argento, Hans Zimmer, Quincy Jones, Terence Malick + more
Documentary, IT/UK, 156 minutes,
Released in Cinemas in the UK on 22nd April by Dogwoof
When Quentin Tarantino spoke about composer Ennio Morricone after working alongside the Italian on THE HATEFUL EIGHT, he descried him as a great in the realm of Mozart and Beethoven. It is hardly a bold claim given not only the body and quality of Morricone’s work, and this extensive documentary on the man certainly provides many arguments for him to be considered as such.
Largely filmed prior to his death in 2020, ENNIO is essentially a long interview with Morricone, intercut with many talking heads from the world of music and film. Charting his entire career from his roots as a trumpet player in Italy to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest names who– like Spielberg and Scorsese – was overlooked by the Oscars for many years.
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (who directed the Morricone scored CINEMA PARADISO) it paints the composer as a very serious individual who was deeply connected to the music he created, going into great depth of his method, talent, and influence on cinema. Whilst his operatic western scores are now ingrained in culture, they were ground-breaking at the time as Morricone pushed boundaries and tapped into the zeitgeist. As David Puttnam states, even if you have trouble with the notion of God, Morricone’s scores are almost spiritual and can transcend the listener into feeling like there is something greater.
The documentaries length of 156 minutes may be off-putting to some, but it is not only necessary considering just how much work Morricone completed in his 91 years (he has over 500 credits on the IMDB) but to allow the viewer to truly revel in the work. Tornatore quite brilliantly intercuts between the interviews, Morricone conducting and the films themselves, demonstrating some truly superb sound and visual editing to link the man with his work. Amongst all that there is much to take away and learn – he nearly didn’t score THE MISSION whilst one of his few regrets was not working on A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
As you would expect from Dogwoof, this is rich in detail and passion although such is the strange enigma of Morricone as a person, there are areas left unexplored. His personal life is only touched on whilst his children (including son Andrea with whom he collaborated) does not muster a mention.
Yet this feels oddly fitting that in such a comprehensive look into Morricone. For as his many remarkable scores live on through cinema, the man himself will pass into legend, and ENNIO tells us enough about him whilst leaving enough mystery to enable that to happen.