The Museum of Modern Art in New York City will be showcasing a series of films featuring Ennio Morricone's music, coinciding with the maestro's concert at the Radio City Music Hall. The series will run from February 1-7, 2007. For more information, visit the Museum of Modern Art Website
In a career spanning forty-five years, the incomparable Ennio Morricone (b. 1928, Rome) has composed over 400 film and television scores, ranging from music for the mournful and violent features of Sergio Leone (Once Upon a time in the West; Once Upon a Time in America) to the memorable pieces, both orchestral and choral, for Roland Joffe's The Mission. Morricone, who studied musical composition at the National Academy of Saint Cecilia in Rome, completed his first film score in 1961 for Luciano Salce's La Federale and subsequently worked with some of the world's most celebrated filmmakers. MoMA's salute to Morricone, on the occasion of his first concert at Radio City Music Hall on February 3 where he will conduct music from his films, also includes films by Don Siegel (Two Mules for Sister Sara), Oliver Stone (U Turn), and the recently deceased Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers).
Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film; and Antonio Monda. Thanks to Massimo Gallota Productions, Paramount Pictures, Rialto, and Martin Scorsese.
The Mission. 1986. Great Britain. Directed by Roland Joffe. Screenplay by Robert Bolt. With Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons. In the lush landscape of 1750 South America a Jesuit priest and a reformed slave trader attempt to save the native people from genocide. Morricone's score captures both the sublimity of the religious experience and the inexorable march of destruction in the name of civilization. 125 min. Introduced by Morricone. Thursday, February 1, 6:00 (T1); Friday, February 2, 8:30 (T2)
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers). 1960. Italy/Algeria. Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. Screenplay by Pontecorvo, Fernando Solinas. With Brahim Hadjadj, Yacef Saadi. A realistic recreation by those, like Saadi, who participated in the guerrilla struggle to wrest from the French independence for Algeria, the film effectively, without recourse to newsreel or documentary footage, recounts insurgency and military reaction in mid-1950s Algiers. Morricone's score propels the action. In Arabic, French; English subtitles. 125 min. Thursday, February 1, 8:30. T1
U Turn. 1997. USA. Directed by Oliver Stone. Screenplay by John Ridley. With Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez. A delicious film noir in which a guy on the lam lands in a small Southern town, gets involved with a femme fatale, and finds himself in the thick of double-crosses. Morricone's twangy quirky score contributes to the general, and virtually comic, sense of disorientation. 125 min. Friday, February 2, 6:00 (T2); Monday, February 5, 8:30 (T1)
Two Mules for Sister Sara. 1970. USA. Directed by Don Siegel. Screenplay by Albert Maltz, based on a story by Budd Boetticher. With Shirley MacLaine, Clint Eastwood. Morricone's score, at times dramatic and at other times playful, helps distinguish a two character road movie in which a mercenary and a nun, siding with the revolutionaries, cross Mexico while simultaneously hiding from and provoking the French. 114 min. Saturday, February 3, 2:00; Monday, February 5, 6:00. T1
C'era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West). 1968. Italy/USA. Directed by Sergio Leone. Screenplay by Leone, Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Donati. With Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale. The Western as Grand Opera. 165 min. Saturday, February 3, 4:30. T1
Once Upon a Time in America. 1984. USA/Italy. Directed by Sergio Leone. Screenplay by Leone, et al., based on the novel The Hoods by Harry Grey. With Robert De Niro, James Woods. Leone's multilayered adaptation of an American gangster's autobiography about the rise from a New York ghetto to the head of a crime syndicate was severely cut and re-edited upon its original release in the U.S., and its reception was muted. Restoration has established this elegiac work as one of Leone's and Morricone's masterworks. 229 min. Sunday, February 4, 2:00; Wednesday, February 7, 6:15. T1