There was once a time where I wasn’t into movies. Believe it or not. That all changed when I watched The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. When I first heard Ennio Morricone’s score. The first odd and jangling notes pierced my ears. It wasn’t like any film score or any music I’d ever heard before. Whistles, whips, coyotes howling, choirs chanting incomprehensibly, and electric guitars. I would hear Morricone’s music every time I revisited that film (so 3-4 times a year or more). Soon, I started to watch more films of Sergio Leone and Morricone, naturally, was his composer. I was exposed to more and more of his work.
Now when I say Ennio Morricone is my favorite musician, I don’t mean my favorite film composer. I mean Ennio Morricone is my favorite musical artist of all time. Ennio Morricone’s soundscape and body of work is synonymous with the movies for me. Without a doubt I can say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without Morricone. His music gave me life and made me happy in times where I wasn’t the happiest. His music gave me a passion I had never had before. It inspired me to write and create and make movies of my own. When I submitted my first film to NYU, it was filled with his music from the old spaghetti westerns I had watched again and again as a kid. The movies that made me love movies. The music that made me love movies. There is nothing more important to me than movies. Ennio Morricone put that love into something I could listen to. Something audible. Each time I heard one of his scores, I was reminded of that love he gave me.
There are none as prolific and with such a wide body of work. From his contributions to the Giallo and exploitation cinema of Italy, to The Battle of Algiers, Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Leone, Sergio Sollima, John Carpenter’s The Thing, Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Cinema Paradiso, The Mission, Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, and The Hateful Eight. [Editor’s Note: Never forget the greatest film ever made] This man injected a heart beat and more to every film he worked on. He made every scene and every film better for having his music. His death hurts me in ways I cannot explain. I know I have his music to listen to but it breaks my heart to know he is no longer on this earth. It’s one less genius. One less true master. One less hero for me to look up to.
A poster for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly hangs on the wall directly next to my bed. I’ll take eternal comfort knowing the first words I see when I wake up in the morning are “Music by Ennio Morricone”.
Rest In Peace Maestro