Many documentaries are made by people who care deeply about the subject matter and far too little about the visual quality and appeal of the film. In this case, a very long documentary about the life and work of brilliant film music composer Ennio Morricone, having a great director like Giuseppe Tornatore (who made the masterpiece Cinema Paradiso (1988), which was beautifully scored by Morricone) is a boon. Together with his editor, Tornatore crafts a frequently engaging portrait of the composer, with multiple movie clips from his long career, magnificent examples of his music and interviews with many famous filmmakers. Morricone himself is also a wonderful, emotional presence as he talks about his past and inspirations, even if we don’t learn much about his personal life.
2022-Italy-Belgium-The Netherlands-Japan. 150 min. Color-B/W. Widescreen. Produced by Gabriele Costa, Peter De Maegd, San Fu Maltha, Gianni Russo. Written and directed by Guiseppe Tornatore. Editing: Massimo Quaglia.
Trivia: Alternative titles: Ennio: The Maestro and The Glance of Music. Some interviews are archive footage, others were interviewed for the film, including Quentin Tarantino, Dario Argento and Barry Levinson.
Last word: “It was kind of episodic. We would work on it. We would do interviews for a few days. Then we would stop and think about who we would interview. Only the editing was done in one shot. It made it possible for me to make choices on who to interview next, also based on what the others had said.” (Tornatore, Variety)