Regardless of whether you love or hate Quentin Tarantino (there are valid reasons for both), there’s one thing you can always count on when it comes to his films: music.
Tarantino’s use of music is an integral part of his creative process. Much of what’s best in his movies has to do at least as much with what we listen as with what we see. Take for example the “Misirlou” scene from Pulp Fiction or the lap dance scene from Death Proof.
His cooperation with celebrated composer Ennio Morricone has only helped to further enhance the powerful audiovisual effect of Tarantino’s movies. In his latest film Django Unchained one can hear a variety of music genres, however the Maestro’s touch is a crucial one. Tarantino could have hardly wished for someone better to work on the score of his American epic western, other than the man who composed the music for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.
In case you already watched Django and were intrigued by its theme, I would like to point you to a 1971 Italian film by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi called Goodbye Uncle Tom (original title: Addio Zio Tom). If you thought Django was somewhat shocking, then brace yourselves! And, by the way, you may well be familiar with the film’s theme song (originally written by Riz Ortolani), as it was also used by Nicolas Winding in his recent film Drive.
Loan and re-contextualization of pre-existing material have been, after all, commonplaces for the creative process in all art. Tarantino’s mash-up approach of mixing a wide range of very different elements in his films is no exception: combined with his eclectic choice of music, it constitutes the quintessence of his art.
Mimis, nice article but a correction: I don’t really think Ennio contributed to this soundtrack.He offered three songs, but there was no collaboration..
He did offer some existing songs for the soundtrack, but -If I’m not mistaken- Morricone also composed the song “Ancora Qui” specifically for Tarantino’s Django:
And a beautiful song it is 🙂
an update on this relationship..
Cheers, interesting stuff! I’m guessing no more Morricone in the next Tarantino movie then…