Ennio15¦ Blu-ray, DVD
You know when a film’s soundtrack takes a hold of you when you take it home with you, having it live in your head on repeat.
Someone’s body of work that has often captivated an audience is Ennio Morricone, so much so that it’s no wonder he’s often referred to as ‘maestro’.
This documentary, made by Giuseppe Tornatore, who has worked with the late Italian composer on a number of his films including Cinema Paradiso, The Legend of 1900 and Malena, is clearly a labour of love.
One of the elements that lets many biographical documentaries down is the contribution from its main subject, but not so here; Morricone features heavily here, which gives a weighty insight from the man himself throughout.
He recalls how he wanted to be a doctor when he was young, but was told by his father that he was going to play the trumpet instead, which he did for many years. He also talks about his work with experimental music, even setting up his own group in his early years whilst studying.
And although it’s a genuine pleasure to hear this legend of film scores talk about his life, Tornatore had no problems getting some impressive talking heads to also contribute, which include the likes of peers John Williams, Quincy Jones and Hans Zimmer, directors Oliver Stone, Terence Malick, Bernardo Bertolucci, as well as self-confessed fans like Bruce Springsteen and Metallica’s James Hetfield.
It’s certainly an impressive CV he has, going all the way back to his early work with Sergio Leone and his scores for his Spaghetti westerns that have become anthems of cinema. He was also incredibly prolific, composing over 500 scores for films throughout his career. in fact in 1969 alone he had 21 films released featuring his scores.
It’s a film brimming with nothing but love and respect for the man, as well as a theme of passion: not only from the man himself towards his work, but also from those who were fortunate enough to work with him.
And with it being over two and a half hours in duration, it certainly resonates on an epic scale, like many of his scores.
But as well as a fond look back at a truly gifted composer’s life, it serves as a reminder of how important the soundtrack to a film is, and in the right hands, giving the incredible ability of enhancing a fairly average film into something far better, and a great film into something truly extraordinary. And someone who did that with remarkable ease was the maestro himself, time and time again.