Last week when I was looking at this year’s Oscar winning list, I was pleasantly surprised and felt happier for one person than for other winners. He happens to be the oldest ever to win an Oscar in the competitive category. I saw that movie (for which he won the Oscar) in the big screen in January. His work in the movie kept me mesmerized right from the opening scene till the end.
One of his earlier works (for which he will be remembered forever) is one of the reasons I love the genre the movie belongs to. That earlier work of his is so popular and has been used briefly in different variations in some old Indian movies. It was so influential in a way that he and the director were known for defining the movie genre. I am referring to Ennio Morricone who won the Oscar for ‘The Hateful Eight’ in the Best Original Score category.
Ennio and Sergio Leone greatly influenced the Spaghetti Western movies. Those movies are known to be slow with lengthy shots. It seems Sergio intentionally kept many scenes long in his Spaghetti Western movies so that Ennio’s background score could get played completely. Ennio went on to score music for many other movies such as Cinema Paradiso, The Untouchables, Once Up on a time in America, and Wolf.
Tarantino seems to have approached Ennio for scoring music to his earlier films, such as Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds. Though Tarantino had borrowed Ennio’s music for some of his earlier films, it was in Django Unchained that they worked together. After Django Unchained, Ennio seems to have had said that he would not work with Tarantino again. However, they came together for ‘The Hateful Eight’ and Ennio finally got an Oscar.
Just watch the opening scene of ‘The Hateful Eight’ in YouTube. While the camera work is great, the background score takes the movie to a next level. It gives a thrill and indicates some danger is imminent. Watch the scene without music and you will not find much emotion in it.
What impressed me more is Ennio’s ability to continue making music at this age (he’s 87) and reinvent himself in Hollywood. At closer home, we have our own Maestro Illayaraja who just completed his 1000th movie. I hope one day he too gets an Oscar. 🙂
I was delighted to find a stamp related to the Spaghetti Western genre. The Canadian stamp shows some cowboys taming a horse. Old habits die hard! 😉