In a career spanning forty-five years, the incomparable Ennio Morricone (Italian, b. 1928) has composed over four hundred 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 Joffé’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 Il Federale and subsequently worked with some of the world’s most celebrated filmmakers. MoMA’s salute to Morricone celebrates his first concert at Radio City Music Hall on February 3 (where he will conduct music from his films). In addition, later this month the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present Morricone with an honorary award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” The exhibition includes films by Don Siegel (Two Mules for Sister Sara), Oliver Stone (U Turn), and the recently deceased Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers). Other Morricone films will be shown at Film Forum throughout February.
Organized by Laurence Kardish, Senior Curator, Department of Film; and Antonio Monda, Professor of Italian Cinema, New York University.