Ever since I’ve started watching movies and realised I might be a cinephile, westerns were not really a thing I grew up on, so I wasn’t necessarily gravitating towards them. But I kept hearing about these “spaghetti” westerns and mainly about a trilogy, which can be known under two different names – “The Man with No Name” trilogy, or “For a Few Dollars More” trilogy. I prefer the first one title, but you know what they say, “A rose by any other name…” I’d also hear the same two things – the direction/technique is amazing and the music is legendary.

So I’ve watched them all, and yes, they have managed to convert me. This is where I realised I need to give any genre a fair shot, this is where I’ve gained so much respect and admiration for Sergio Leone (who’s still, to this day, in my TOP 10 directors of all time) and maybe even a slightly greater one for the maestro, who’s unfortunately not with us anymore – Ennio Morricone. The man, who ever since I’ve discovered him, hasn’t left my TOP 2 of my favourite movie composers of all time.

If you are looking for some Wikipedia like article, where I’d sum up his life, you can stop reading, this is not one of these, as I am pretty sure other people are better equipped to sum up this giant’s life better than me. The reason I am writing this is… is because even though celebrities die and some deaths influence you more than others (anyone remembers 2016?) this one hurts just a tiny bit more than usual. As I truly feel like world just got a bit dimmer after today. So I need to write it out. Please excuse me, if this feels different.

One thing that makes me slightly “happy” about him passing away, that he’s left a legacy, that… is just so damn impressive, let’s face it. If I’ve managed to leave just a 10% mark on the world he’s had, I’d be pleased beyond my wildest dreams. He truly seems like he’s lived a fulfilled life, where his music, his inventive genius and Italian spirit (refusing to move to Hollywood on several occasions, despite the fact he’s had several offers, some of them included a villa!) will live on for generations to come.

The reason his death affected me more than most of celebrities I admire, has probably something to do with the fact, that he was a proper composer and (I don’t used this word lightly) musical genius. The thing is – I know how all the movie roles work. I know what a director does, what a screenwriter, a camera man or even a producer does. And I think, given the opportunity, I could at least try and attempt to do these jobs. Badly, most of the time, not going to lie. But I’ve always had an extra level of admiration for composers, as I can’t imagine what they must feel and see in their heads, to come up with something as beautiful as they do, literally out of thin air. If I were to over generalise, camera man shots what’s in front of them, the director runs the show, producer gets the money and has the final say on everything and I again, to a certain degree, even though I might be horrible at these jobs (and let’s face it, I would be) I COULD imagine doing those. I still, for the life of me, can’t imagine composing something as powerful as what Ennio composed for literally his entire life. It baffles me, it “scares” me, but it impresses me the most. I was always fascinated with things I couldn’t imagine doing, and composing music… anyone, who can do that, my hat if off to you.

When people used to bring up the whole “how is it Leo doesn’t have an Oscar yet!?” before he finally won one for The Revenant (2015), I’ve always felt that there was a much bigger “crime” happening in Hollywood for longer than Leo was even alive – how come Ennio didn’t have at least 2 Oscars before Leo was even born?! (He was born in 1974, saved you a google search, thank me later.) And I know the Oscars are not the all telling device of how great or not somebody is, it’s all about politics, money etc., but it always felt wrong knowing he didn’t have one. Well, he did get the honorary one in 2007, but still… at least, that’s what I though until 2016.

I still remember watching the ceremony life, and while I was happy for Leo as that was the same night he won his (so far) first one, I was more excited about Ennio and his (late, but still well deserved) Oscar for The Hateful Eight. And for a moment, everything felt right with the world.

I remember seeing him touring the world with an orchestra, playing his “best of” hits from the movies and TV shows and always wanting to attend it live. And now I am a bit sad, because this won’t happen anymore. But thinking about the other way, I can’t really complain too much, as:

  1. We live in a world, where his music is widely available to almost everyone, so even though he isn’t here anymore, we all get to enjoy the joy, the brilliance, the genius of it.
  2. Out of all the millions of years the Earth has been around, we all have managed to exist in the same time frame as this genius. I don’t know about you, but that fact makes me genuinely happy.

So, don’t cry for Ennio, but celebrate his life, by listening to him, or rather, what he excelled in… his music. I’m writing this review and on the background, I have this playing. I strongly recommend you do the same.

The Best of Ennio Morricone

Grazie, Maestro!