Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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The Demise of Father Rattigan

It's annoying when a score I really like gets nominated for an Oscar. I know it won't win - the two Lord of the Rings wins for Howard Shore being an obvious exception in recent memory - but at least the other nominees are actual scores this year. My personal favorite of the nominees is Marco Beltrami's 3:10 To Yuma, but I expect it will either lose out to Michael Giacchino's Ratatouille because it is Disney or Alberto Iglesias' The Kite Runner because a lot of the dialogue is in a foreign language film and the Academy is like that for some reason. I'm not commenting on the music itself as the quality of a film score has little to do with its chances of winning an Oscar... and I'll be honest, this is a pretty decent batch considering what's been coming out of late. Notice, though, that when Gustavo Santaolalla is absent from the list, it isn't as easy a call. Strange.

When I got home I found a boatload of Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western scores that I had ordered. This really hit the spot as I have been freebasing the music from Duck, You Sucker since I watched the film a few days ago, and these made a nice dovetailing from 3:10 To Yuma, which is what I'd been listening on the way home. I have to admit that much of Morricone's Spaghetti Western music far outside of the Sergio Leone films (when I say 'far,' I mean removed enough that there isn't a direct connection; My Name is Nobody for example) is relatively new to me, but it has been turning out to be an extremely entertaining ride.

Burt Reynolds in the title role of Navajo Joe

The sound of the Spaghetti Western has made such an indelible mark on the genre as a whole that it takes hearing new Morricone Spaghetti Western music to almost allow one to recapture how outrageous they all must have sounded to people when they first came out. These scores are fucking weird, but they make up for that with their intensity and often surprising beauty. The sharp contrast between the harsh and the lyrical is nothing new in Morricone, but he was such an inventive composer that one never knows what musical vocabulary those extremes are going to be manifesting themselves in. Yes, there is the orchestra, choir and soloists, his trademark whistling and electric guitars... but after that, you have to be ready for anything! Shouting, burps and various musique concrète effects somehow manage to cohere. I don't know how he did it, but there it is.

These FSM restorations of Navajo Joe forces out the vinyl sourced GDM release, while Guns of San Sebastian means I can finally retire the foul-sounding Sony release, which had Dominic Frontiere's Hang 'Em High on it (and a track from Lalo Schifrin's Kelly's Heroes that lampooned the Spaghetti Western sound).
Tags: cinema, dominic frontiere, ennio morricone, film music, howard shore, lalo schifrin, marco beltrami, michael giacchino, sergio leone

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