Italy remembers Ennio Morricone with new film

Tornatore's tribute to Morricone hits Italian cinemas.

A new movie dedicated to the much-loved Italian composer Ennio Morricone goes on general release in cinemas around Italy on 17 February.

Ennio: The Maestro is the title given to the 'docufilm' by its director Giuseppe Tornatore, a long-time collaborator of Morricone who died in Rome aged 91 on 6 July 2020.

Morricone composed soundtracks for all of Tornatore's movies since the Oscar-winning 1988 classic Cinema Paradiso, winning several awards for his music on The Legend of 1900.

Ennio is centred around an 11-day interview with Morricone, featuring clips of films he set to music as well as his arrangements for pop songs.

The film has input from numerous actors and directors, who share their memories of Morricone, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Marco Bellocchio, Carlo Verdone, Roland Joffé and Dario Argento.

Big names from the English-speaking world of cinema also make an appearance, including Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone, as well as musicians including Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez and Gianni Morandi.

In a recent interview with news agency ANSA, Tornatore said Morricone believed that a soundtrack had to strike the right balance with a movie, "so that the music and images do not overshadow each other".

Morricone, who lived in Rome his entire life, wrote the soundtracks for over 500 films and television series, starting with the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Giuseppe Tornatore and Ennio Morricone

He was nominated for an Oscar five times and in 2007 he received an Honorary Academy Award for his contribution to film music.

In 2016 he won an Oscar for best original score for his soundtrack to Tarantino's movie The Hateful Eight.

When he died, there was a huge outpouring grief in Italy, with the president Sergio Mattarella hailing the composer as an "eminent and brilliant artist."

Morricone wrote his own obituary, and his privately-held funeral was accompanied by music from The Mission, the soundtrack he composed for the 1986 film to which the maestro was particularly attached.

Italy went on to celebrate Morricone with a special edition €5 coin, and Rome renamed the Auditorium Parco della Musica in honour of one of the city's most famous sons.