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 Posted:   Jan 15, 2011 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

CINEMA PARADISO
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
Sublime Morricone #16


This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

Just like it is hard to get past a not-so-good film (HORNET'S NEST) and listen to the music, it is sometimes impossible to imagine a masterpiece in any other way than with the score it has. But CINEMA PARADISO was always a patchwork affair. Morricone has always said he took the assignment based on the last scene alone. And what composer in his right mind would pass up an opportunity like the finale of that film! Yet I have seen the uncut version and completely understand why Italy rejected it, making it a box office bomb. It is a long meandering overly sentimental movie. Enter Harvey Weinstein, also known as "Harvey Scissorhands" for the many films he has gutted in his lifetime, however this time his instincts were right on. He left the beginning of the film totally alone and cut an hour from the second half. It plays wonderfully and won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1990. I don't know many fellow projectionists for whom this isn't their favorite film. The story is of a young boy who falls in love with the cinema and the cranky projectionist in a small town in post World War II Italy. The cinema helps him see beyond his small town and he grows up to be a famous film maker and returns for his friend's funeral.
There seems to be a dozen clips of the finale on youtube. But I am not going to present that A) because it would definitely spoil the ending if you have never seen the film and B) this music and Andrea's love theme (unlike other work Andrea has done) sounds similar to previous Morricone themes. But the theme that is totally original and totally the beating heart of this film is "Toto and Alfredo":



The following year it was nominated for every Bafta award (British Oscar) you can think of and won for Best Actor Philippe Noiret (Alfredo), Best supporting actor Salvatore Cascio (Toto), Best foreign language film, best screenplay and....best score.


#1 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0
#2 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74838&forumID=1&archive=0
#3 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74871&forumID=1&archive=0
#4 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74899&forumID=1&archive=0
#5 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74951&forumID=1&archive=0
#6 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74968&forumID=1&archive=0
#7 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75041&forumID=1&archive=0
#8 http://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75065&forumID=1&archive=0
#9 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75088&forumID=1&archive=0
#10 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75103&forumID=1&archive=0
#11 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75147&forumID=1&archive=0
#12 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75194&forumID=1&archive=0
#13 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75252&forumID=1&archive=0
#14 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75297&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2011 - 5:10 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Fabulous choice, Henry and a great youtube clip.

Thanks for this one.

 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2011 - 5:37 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

This is one of those scores that has everything, covering a wide range of style, emotion, texture, mood...it's just a masterpiece in every regard.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 15, 2011 - 8:36 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I agree, David. I've always liked this score and the movie. Guess I saw the shortened version of the movie and really enjoyed it and the music. I never liked listening to Morricone's purely dissonant score, but give this composer credit for composing stunningly beautiful melodies.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 1:46 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

This was the Maestro's score which turned me back onto his music after a period in which I'd decided I had all of his important works. How wrong I was! It also coincided with me finding internet~purchases which opened the European market to me.

I bought the score on recommendations and found I was playing it - time and again. We watched the film a few years ago (the shortened version) but have yet to watch the full-length version. Strangely, this longer version is the one recommended to me.

I do think, however, the score has lost some of its power (to grab) due to the multitude of cover versions available. I upgraded the DRG 17 track release for the GDM 23 track release a few years ago ... and find I never think of playing it now. Perhaps today ...

NP: Love Affair - Ennio Morricone

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 4:38 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

This score is one that I often return to. It has a sense of nostalgia without getting lost in an overly sweet sentimentality. This is absolutely a Morricone masterpiece. If you can get through the finale without a tear, then you've effectively proven yourself to be a Replicant.

I actually have to agree that the shorter version of the film is the more powerful. Both are preserved on the current DVD, so one can easily compare how the film works in both edits, but I find that the last third of the extended version of the film, while built with symmetry to the first part, takes away from the impact of the finale.

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Zambra Alex   (Member)

Great post and clips Morricone.
This score and movie really belongs in everyone's collection.
Deeply emotive ,
Thanks for your valuable contribution.
Alex

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

I love this movie and score. It reminds me why I love the movies.

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Really enjoyed the score own the older expanded GDM cd had often wondered about the shorter version had thought that maybe the expanded version was not making the best of the score and pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that Morricone was not happy with the expanded version.

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 1:11 PM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

My understanding is that Morricone was not very pleased about the expanded edition that has been released (technically the second expansion as the original album was also reissued by DRG at one point with a bonus track that I do not believe appears on the GDM edition), but I have to admit that I like it better than the original album.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   mikael488   (Member)

I also prefer the expanded version. It does after all contain a few gems not found on the original release.

 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

Really enjoyed the score own the older expanded GDM cd had often wondered about the shorter version had thought that maybe the expanded version was not making the best of the score and pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that Morricone was not happy with the expanded version.

I found that the expanded edition really weakens this marvelous score since the additional material is essentially variations of the main themes with varying sound quality.

The original album is perfect.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 16, 2011 - 6:38 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

Thankyou again Morricone, for another good thread. I've heard this score in its 17 track release many times, but never saw the film. I should check it out.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Finally a Morricone score in your series I had heard about, Henry.

Great, classic score all around for a fabulous film. I was fortunate enough to hear Morricone perform the famous theme live as an encore track last year.

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 4:15 AM   
 By:   plindboe   (Member)

Must admit that I would have made some very different choices than the ones highlighted in this series, but "Cinema Paradiso" I can certainly agree on. The three themes are all equally brilliant and the interesting variations make the entire album a fantastic listen.

Peter smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 4:38 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

One of the recent compilation albums (can't remember which) had a marvellous rendition by Gilda Butte, jumping an octave up or down on each note. Probably my favourite version.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 11:51 AM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

Finally a Morricone score in your series I had heard about, Henry.

Similar for me - although I knew the first couple - but that's been the pleasure for me. smile

 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 12:29 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Finally a Morricone score in your series I had heard about, Henry.
.


Nice to have your cultural horizons expanded isn't it ?

Little point in Henry just writing about the Morricone scores that most people are familiar with.

I'm really enjoying this series

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Finally a Morricone score in your series I had heard about, Henry.

Great, classic score all around for a fabulous film. I was fortunate enough to hear Morricone perform the famous theme live as an encore track last year.


That I am jealous of.

Anyway I guess the point is that Morricone, more than any other composer, has more music that goes unheard because they are attached to movies no one has ever heard of. Many of which are better than the scores people have heard. Even here with a well known movie I did not pick the themes most associated with the film like the one John Williams put on his Boston Pops album. Instead I picked the theme that embodies the first half and really the spirit of the whole film better for me. It does not get played enough.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 17, 2011 - 2:23 PM   
 By:   RonBurbella   (Member)

Wonderful choice of film and superlative, nostalgic Morricone score!

So far, it's the one Morricone score in my "office mix" that plays in the waiting room.

Ron (lurking no longer) Burbella

 
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