With “Django Unchained” galloping its way to over $400 million worldwide, winning Quentin Tarantino another Oscar (leading to one of the most self-serving acceptance speeches of the year), it’s hard to argue that the director has never been hotter. With critical acclaim and a core mainstream audience, the dude can do whatever he wants at this point, but it looks like he’s lost the cooperation of one major figure and influence on his work: Ennio Morricone.
The legendary composer featured prominently on the soundtrack to ‘Django’ with a handful of cuts from his catalog of movie work, along with “Ancora Qui,” a brand new piece written just for the movie. But it seems the experience was not a good one, and Morricone reveals that Tarantino’s methods didn’t inspire the creative space he needed.
“I wouldn’t like to work with him again, on anything,” Morricone candidly told students at Rome’s LUISS University (via THR). “He said last year he wanted to work with me again ever since ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ but I told him I couldn’t, because he didn’t give me enough time. So he just used a song I had written previously.”
But perhaps the biggest bit of burn sauce Morricone pours on Tarantino — long celebrated for combining edgy tunes with provocative images — is about his skill at utilizing music. He “places music in his films without coherence” he said adding that “you can’t do anything with someone like that.” Ouch.
And as for ‘Django’? Morricone isn’t a fan. “To tell the truth, I didn’t care for it,” he said. “Too much blood.”
What this means for Tarantino using Morricone’s music down the line will be fascinating to see. The pair worked together on ‘Basterds’ as well as “Kill Bill,” and Morricone’s signature sound has been prominent over his last few pictures. Granted, the composer might not have too much say as the rights may be controlled by the record companies, depending on the movie and score (and given his massive body of work, it’s probably pretty complicated) but it’s enough to give some pause.
But what do you think? Is Morricone right, does Tarantino sometimes mash up things that shouldn’t belong? Or is he totally out of touch? Moreover, if Tarantino needs to find a new composer to re-contextualize, whose music do you want to see him work with? Weigh in below.