Until last year I was still on stage. He only directed his own compositions, and although no teacher was alien to him, he was always unaware of influences on his work. Ennio Morricone, who died at dawn on Monday at the age of 91, included sounds that no one had heard before: whistles, bells, electric guitars or simple everyday noises. If a filmmaker wanted to flee from the traditional, he should visit his studio in Rome. This was done by Pasolini, Polanski, De Palma, Bertolucci, Roland Joffé, Oliver Stone, Tornatore, Tarantino and, before anyone else, Sergio Leone, king of spaghetti western.
Author of more than 500 soundtracks, between films and series, it is impossible to determine the best of his compositions. However, from a well-intentioned subjectivity, we ask local creators to share what the ‘sountrack’ of their lives meant.
Although the singer Susana Baca surrenders with “El Bueno, el malo y el feo” and “1900”, she is “Cinema Paradiso” (1989), the chosen one, as well as for most of those consulted. And without fear of falling into a cliché, actress Alejandra Guerra confesses that she must have seen Giuseppe Tornatore’s film about 20 times at age 15. Her colleague, Urpi Gibbons, agrees with her: “The music of“ Cinema Paradiso ”has an indescribable melancholy, which brings smiles with tears from the beginning, with joy and hardness at the same time”. The playwrights Alfonso Santistevan and Alonso Alegría share the same opinion.
Part of the management team of La Combi Arte Rodante, an alternative broadcast platform for cinema, Teresa Castillo also chooses this film, especially the scene of censored kisses. “The music in that scene makes it unique and special,” he says.
Two novelists, Teresa Ruiz Rosas and Gustavo Rodriguez, also favor this film. “I do not know if he would have cried the same with the scenes of Toto with Elena and Alfredo if another musician had been in charge,” says the author of “Madrugada.”
The good, the bad and the ugly
For photographer Ana María McCarthy, her first contact with Morricone’s music was with spaghetti westerns. And for this reason he shoots “The good, the bad and the ugly” (1966) as a good part of the interviewees. Writer Tilsa Otta never liked westerns, but the film played by Clint Eastwood is the exception. “And I think the soundtrack had to do,” he says. “Morricone built a pop duel, crosshairs, horse trots, keen senses and vibrant expectations. Like Elvis in a version of Warhol holding the gun, “he says.
Leone’s film is also chosen by the critic Emilio Bustamante and the filmmaker Álvaro Velarde, as well as the writer Micaela Chirif: “Every time I listen to it I am transported to two places: the wild landscapes of the ‘spaghetti’ western and the home kitchen where we saw them every week on channel 7, ”he says. The journalist Fietta Jarque adds that “The good, the bad and the ugly” gave the western a modern twist on its epic and changed the axis of the drama.
Three writers and a dancer choose the soundtrack composed by Morricone for “La Misión”, a film directed by Roland Joffé in 1986. For Fernando Ampuero, among dozens of formidable pieces, he often remembers the suite “Gabriel’s Oboe”. Along with “Man with a Harmonica” from “Once Upon a Time in the West”, these are beautiful melodies for a funeral. “But, of course, not for these times when they give you a black bag and bye,” he regrets. And although Rafo León warns that “The Mission” is a difficult film because there is a risk of being interpreted under the gaze of Jesuit paternalism or racist Eurocentrism, his ‘soundtrack’ is a masterpiece. “With subtle subtlety, he works with European, Native American, Christian religious, and spiritual sounds from around the universe,” he says.
“After seeing Jeremy Irons and Robert de Niro in” The Mission, “I spent years wanting to be a Jesuit missionary,” confesses Santiago Roncagliolo. “He wanted to explore new lands, do good to oppressed peoples and fight with a sword against imperial soldiers. My epic fantasy was soundproof. One day I realized that, after each evocation, I was stuck with “Gabriel’s oboe”. It is a simple tune, not at all dark, full of hope. And above all, it is a hymn to art and its ability to connect human souls, however far away they are, “he explains.
According to them, the choreographer Pachi Valle Riestra highlights “La Misión” for its multiple layers. “For example in the song“ On Earth As It Is In Heaven ”the drums complement the voices so well. I used it a lot for my classes in the late 1990s.
Less remembered by the respondents, but equally essential, they highlight “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984) by Sergio Leone, which the critic Chacho León considers to be the most versatile and emotional work in Morricone’s entire film career. “It never sounded so good, and with an insurmountable nostalgic charge, a composition that was not his, but whose orchestration makes it totally his:” Amapola, “the romantic song of Cuban origin.” Also a film critic, Alberto Servat chooses the film starring James Woods and Robert de Niro. “A composer like him was able to influence the film in such a way that a mediocrity like ‘Cinema Paradiso’ remains in everyone’s memory as if it were a great work. And it’s just for the music, ”he clarifies.
For their part, Eduardo Tokeshi and Jorge Chiarella chose Guiliano Montaldo’s “The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti” (1971). Indeed, the painter chooses, without a doubt, the melody of “Here’s to You”. “It is a song that begins as a classic response, and gradually becomes a popular epic song. It is impossible not to break, “he says. “The song performed by Joan Báez allows an extraordinary fusion with the drama of these two unforgettable characters. Sticky, sensitive, consistent with the story, emotional inside and outside the film. Unforgettable ”, adds the theater director.
Eduardo Adrianzén is clear about the composition that should sound at his funeral: it is the soundtrack of “Novecento” (1976) by Bernardo Bertolucci. The actor and theater director Alberto Ísola agrees to highlight it. “It is a film that I really liked at the time, and that I still like. It has become the background theme for an entire era. I used it in the editing of “Vladimir” by Alfonso Santisteban because it seemed the most appropriate, “he explains.
And as a solo mention, the critic Claudio Cordero adds “Los intocables” (1987) by Brian de Palma, and he has a very personal reason for his choice: it was the first Morricone score he heard. “I remember repeating the introduction that is heard in the presentation credits, because the music was too impressive. Before there is a scene, you were ready to see something big, “he recalls.
Although with difficulty, all the summoned were able to choose their favorite Morricone. Only the plastic artist Rosamar Corcuera declared herself incapable of choosing. She prefers to remember a phrase from the teacher written in her last letter, where she says: “I hope you understand how much I have loved you.”
“Those of us who have appreciated his music know this,” says the artist. “I cannot imagine” Cinema Paraíso “,” La Misión “,” El Pianista “,” Malena “, the classic westerns, among other films, without the magic and genius of their symphonies. Love has never been better portrayed or elevated to its maximum beauty in the cinema than in her company ”, she adds.
Paradise cinema (★★★★★★★★)
Susana Baca (cantante)
Alejandra Guerra (Actress)
Urpi Gibbons (Actriz)
Alfonso Santistevan (Playwright, actor)
Alonso Alegría (Playwright).
Teresa Castillo (cultural manager)
Teresa Ruiz Rosas (Novelist)
Gustavo Rodriguez (Novelist).
The good, the bad and the ugly (★★★★★★)
Ana María McCarthy (Photographer)
Tilsa Otta (Writer)
Emilio Bustamante (critic)
Álvaro Velarde (Filmmaker)
Micaela Chirif (writer)
Fietta Jarque (journalist)
“The mission” (★★★★)
Fernando Ampuero (Writer)
Rafo León (Writer)
Santiago Roncagliolo (Writer)
Pachi Valle Riestra (dancer)
“Once upon a Time in America” (★★)
Isaac León Frías (critic)
Alberto Servat (critic)
“The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti” (★★)
Eduardo Tokeshi (pintor)
Jorge Chiarella (theater director)
Twentieth century (★★)
Eduardo Adrianzén (Screenwriter)
Alberto Ísola (Director and actor)
The Untouchables (★)
Claudio Cordero (Critic)
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