Ennio Morricone is il maestro of the movies. As bravura as he was prolific (more than 400 scores for film and TV over six decades), the late Italian composer’s work enlivened film music with insidious earworms, innovative instrumentation (think whip cracks and whistling) and an unerring gift to speak directly to the emotions. This Picturehouse Re-Discover season showcases some of his masterpieces and unsung gems, celebrating perhaps the most original, distinctive voice in film music.
The provocative Italian filmmaker Elio Petri’s most internationally acclaimed work is this remarkable, visceral, Oscar-winning thriller. Petri maintains a tricky balance between absurdity and realism in telling the Kafkaesque tale of a Roman police inspector (a commanding Gian Maria Volontè) investigating a heinous crime—which he himself committed. Both a compelling character study and a disturbing commentary on the draconian government crackdowns in Italy in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Petri’s kinetic portrait of surreal bureaucracy is a perversely pleasurable rendering of controlled chaos.