Morricone to receive honorary Oscar

By • December 15, 2006

The legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone will receive an honorary Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony on February 25 next year. This is the second time an honorary Oscar goes to a composer, the first one went to Alex North in 1986. Morricone will receive the award for ”his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.”

Just like Alex North in 1986, Ennio Morricone has never won an Oscar before, despite five nominations (”Days of Heaven”, ”The Mission”, ”The Untouchables”, ”Bugsy” and ”Malena”). Morricone is one of the most popular film composers in the world, a fact that was recognised by the Oscar board: ”The board was responding not just to the remarkable number of scores that Mr Morricone has produced, but to the fact that so many of them are beloved and popular masterpieces,” commented Sid Ganis, president of the Academy, in a statement

Ennio Morricone, who is 78, has scored nearly 400 films but is still best known for his groundbreaking scores to Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. However, the versatility of his film scoring is clearly evident in his broad output: from the intimate (”Lolita”) to the epic (”The Mission”), from harsh (”Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion”) to sentimental (”Cinema Paradiso”), from frightening (”Exorcist II: The Heretic”) to humourous (”When Women Had Tails”) , from minimalism (”The Thing”) to grandeur (”Sahara”). His enormous filmography is focused on strong dramas and psychologically challenging stories – he has worked extensively with some of the most original cinema auteurs, including Sergio Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giuseppe Tornatore, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Dario Argento, Gilo Pontecorvo, Brian de Palma and Marco Bolognini.

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