‘Ennio’ celebrates music for movies

Amazing doc from Giuseppe Tornatore (whose Cinema Paradiso won an Oscar®) about composer Ennio Morricone.

Morricone has scored and composed music for over 500 films, a mind boggling accomplishment in and of itself.

Morricone passed away in 2020 so it’s safe to assume the interviews were conducted pre-pandemic. The 2021 film now available for purchase or streaming.

Flawless editing moves the story at a rapid pace as we go through Morricone’s top films. His mentor, a teacher and composer himself, weights in with insight about the creative process. Other interviewees include directors whose movies Ennio scored and even fellow composers like Hans Zimmer.

Eye-opening comments contributed by helmers as diverse as Terence Malick and Dario Argento give new meaning to long time favorite music as heard in films like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage or Days of Heaven. And you can guarantee talking head observations from Leone and Eastwood are sharp.

Yet some of Ennio’s most masterful work gets overlooked. There’s no mention of the score the legendary The Thing. What’s not overlooked is the reaction to various Oscar® nominations including losing for The Mission to ‘Round Midnight. Ennio has two Oscars, one honorary and one for The Hateful Eight.

The doc tracks Morricone’s output in a linear fashion including early compositions as well as non-film compositions. Morricone himself speaks frankly about his work ethic. We visit with Ennio at his home and also see him conducting various orchestral scores.

With each film examined you get the feeling you want to watch that film next. Which in reality would take you a week to see Days of Heaven, The Mission, 1900, most films by Sergio Leone, The Untouchables, and all the rest.

When you think about it there are just a handful of songs from movies that become pop hits. “The Third Man Theme” comes to mind and so does “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” Certainly the odd “wah wah wah” vocals and whistle refrain from the main theme to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” has earned its spot as a defining song from the late-60s

Ennio is currently available domestically from Music Box Films on disc or streaming across all major platforms.

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