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Documentary Features Live Action Movies Music

Ennio: The Maestro (Ennio)

Director – Giuseppe Tornatore – 2021 – Italy – Cert. 15 – 156m

****

Documentary Ennio: The Maestro looks at the career of Italian film composer Ennio Morricone – out in cinemas on Friday, April 22nd

It’s difficult to know where to start with Ennio Morricone, whose career in film music covers some 70 years. Tornatore adopts the chronological approach, starting with his early life. The composer’s father was a trumpeter who pushed young Ennio to learn that same instrument, leading to entry into Rome’s Santa Cecilia Conservatory where he studied both trumpet and composition. His father had raised him with a strong work ethic – using the trumpet to feed your family – and much of his early work was as a trumpeter on movie soundtrack sessions, including Othello (Orson Welles, 1951).

His wife secured him a brief stint at TV channel RAI where she was working, but on being told that he wouldn’t be able to perform anything recorded there anywhere else, Morricone quit almost immediately. Inspired by seeing experimental composer John Cage perform live, he formed the Nuovo Consonanza Improvisation Group to experiment with what he called “traumatic sounds”. This approach would inform a number of his later soundtracks.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Detour

Director – Christopher Smith – 2016 – UK – Cert. 15 – 97m

****1/2

Should I stay or should I go? Smart thriller wherein a man’s life is literally split in two as he chooses between an ill-advised road trip to Vegas or staying at home with his hated stepfather – now on DVD and VoD

Opening with a lengthy, single locked off camera shot title sequence of a woman pole dancing, this then switches to law student Harper (Tye Sheridan – Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg, 2018) visiting his comatose mother in hospital. He’s convinced his stepfather is cheating on her using out of town business trips as a cover. Hitting a bar to drown his sorrows, he overhears a conversation in which Johnny Ray (Emory Cohen – Brooklyn, John Crowley, 2015) explains how his girlfriend Cherry shot a man who cut her face. Johnny Ray berates Harper for eavesdropping and drags him to the pole dancing joint where Cherry works and whisky gets Harper talking.

Brief echoes of Strangers On A Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951) are played up in the film’s trailer (at the bottom of this review) as Johnny Ray offers to take care of his stepdad at a price.… Read the rest