Just two months ago famed composer Ennio Morricone presented Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino with a lifetime achievement award in Rome. But last week, American outlets picked up on a small story in the Italian press where Morricone had allegedly told a group of students at Rome’s LUISS University that he did not care to work with Tarantino again, and that he was unhappy with how he used his song “Ancora Qui” in Django Unchained.
Known for his Spaghetti Western scores for Sergio Leone, and his work on films such as Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Morricone has gained modern prominence through Quentin Tarantino’s reappropriation of his songs in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds, and Django Unchained. Everyone was quick to jump on a portion of Morricone’s lecture, but Morricone was addressing a group of television and film students in Italy. He was not crafting remarks intended for a national audience – and certainly not trying wage a media war of words with Tarantino. Not only that, he says his remarks were taken out of context.
Click past the jump to find out what Morricone really meant.
In a statement to EW, Morricone wrote:
What I read about my statements on Quentin Tarantino is a partial writing of my thoughts which has deprived the true meaning of what I said, isolating a part from the rest. In this way my statement sounds shocking, penalizing me and bothering me a lot.
I have a great respect for Tarantino, as I have stated several times, I am glad he chooses my music, a sign of artistic brotherhood and I am happy to have met him in Rome recently. In my opinion, the fact that Tarantino chooses different pieces of music from a work in a film makes the pieces not to be always consistent with the entire work.
The risk for me, when I compose, is not to be consistent with the film work and my desire is that the director accepts my consistency.
Tarantino proposed me to work for Inglorious Basterds, which I consider a masterpiece, but I could only had two months to work since I had to compose the soundtrack for “Baaria” directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and it was not possible.
Regarding Django, the thing is that I cannot see too much blood in a movie due to my character, is how I feel and impress me especially with a film that is made very well and where the blood is well shot. But this has nothing to do with my respect for that Tarantino which remains great.
This is consistent with what Morricone has said in the past. In an interview with The Quietus in 2010, he said that Tarantino’s reappropriation of his songs for Inglorious Bastereds wasn’t a problem. “Actually, I was really happy with what he did and I thought it really worked well. The thing is that as what he did was take the different scores from different films and put them all together…what I think he did was just to put them in the right place and used them in the right way,” Morricone told the interviewer. In Inglorious Basterds, Tarantino used “Dopo La Condanna” (from 1966’s The Big Gundown), “Un Amico” (from 1973’s Revolver) and “Rabbia E Tarantella” (from 1974’s Allonsafan).
Morricone went on to explain: “if you are talking about coherence, it was not really there in terms of ideas and conversation because those things are different and taken from different ideas and films. But I think it really worked well though.”
This is not a fight. It’s hype and misinterpretation.