Chiseled Features

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Over at The Chiseler — new blogneys — a new Neg Sparkle for the plague year — plus Jonathan Rosenbaum on Herzog and more.

Here at Shadowplay, RIP Ennio Morricone —

13 Responses to “Chiseled Features”

  1. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Morricone was more prolific than Elmer Bernstein, more powerful than Bernard Herrmann and more omnipotent than anyone. Among his many scores my faves include “Before the Revolution,” “Partner,” Once Upon a Time in the West,” “Once Upon a Time in America” and “White Dog.”

  2. Tony M. Williams Says:

    Fully seconded, David E. What a legacy he has left for us. And NPR also mentioned his NUOVA CONSONANTA (sic?) work this morning

  3. That’s good — Morricone’s importance extends beyond just cinema, into pop, classical and experimental.

  4. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Just Listen!

  5. JEFF GEE Says:

    “Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion” is a staggeringly great score, and relatively unheralded.

  6. Tony M. Williams Says:

    Yes, superb but you must remember that those of us who recognized his artistry earlier in England were dismissed by the critical establishment. I refer primarily to Laurence Staig who wrote obituaries for THE INDEPENDENT UK over 25 years ago but has shamefully been ignored by most newspapers.

  7. Sudarshan Ramani Says:

    I saw Good Bad and Ugly on TV as a young kid, and Morricone was the first composer I became a fan of. I remember hearing Ecstacy of Gold and thinking this song is too good for this scene and movie. Nothing against GBU, since I liked the movie, but it was about something grander, sadder, and more mysterious than what the scene was about. I mean Ecstacy of Gold is kind of despairing in its wail and dirge like start, which doesn’t suggest any happiness about finding gold.

    My favorite Morricone score is The Great SIlence but there are so many other worthies to choose from.

  8. Tony M. Williams Says:

    Leone was an extreme ironist and his use of “The Ecstasy of Gold” in view of the wasteful context of the Civil War that the restored scenes eloquently reveal. Many of these were missing form original UK and US theatrical prints.

    As David E. and other obituary notices reveal, Il Maestro was a very diverse talent, one whose originality is unique, someone avoiding the Hollywood trap, and happy to speak in his own language.

  9. That restoration is quite problematic: they threw out ALL the original sound effects and their replacements don’t sound the same. And you can hear the age in Eastwood and Wallach’s voices. I personally prefer the longest previous UK/US release version, though I’m glad to have the deleted scenes as either extras, or part of the complete Italian cut.

    And I don’t recall the added scenes having that much to do with the war. We see more of Tuco torturing Blondie in the desert, and learn more about how Angel Eyes is tracking the gold. Is there more about the war?

  10. Tony M. Williams Says:

    Yes, when Angel Eyes is tracking the duo, he also witnesses Civil War devastation in one scene parallel to the monastery sequence when Blondie and Tuco first arrive. Though I do grant you that aspects of the restoration are problematic. The pursuit for the gold in the midst of Civil war carnage represents Leone’s approximation of Celine absurdity.i

  11. Jeff Gee Says:

    The collection “Crime & Dissonance,” compiled by Mike Patton for his Ipocec label around 15 years ago, has tons of weird & wonderful stuff including cues from horror movies & giallos.

  12. The movie I felt most like revisiting was 1900, which also has work relevance at the moment, but unfortunately Fiona bailed on that last time we tried, considerably freaked out, not even reaching the moment where Donald Sutherland murders a cat with his head.

    So I watched the beginning and end of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, then half of Bugsy. I think 90% of the maestro’s best work was for Italian movies, though.

  13. Re TGTB&TU, Leone compared it thematically to Monsieur Verdoux — the evil of his main characters is reduced to nothing against the destruction of war.

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