Last week, news broke that legendary film score composer Ennio Morricone expressed discontent with the way in which Quentin Tarantino used his music in Django Unchained. During a discussion with college students in Rome, he apparently said that he wouldn’t like to work with the Oscar-winning director “again, on anything.” But Morricone — whose work for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly made our 40 Movie Soundtracks That Changed Alternative Music list — claims his words were taken out of context.
In a statement delivered to Entertainment Weekly, he characterized the quotes as “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.” He emphasized that he has great respect for Tarantino and that he’s been pleased with the director’s choice to include his music in films. He also explained that he couldn’t enjoy Django simply because of the excess amount of blood.
He also elaborated on his earlier comment about the “incoherence” of Tarantino’s soundtracks, saying he feels that by repurposing works composed for other films, the Kill Bill director (and noted style collagist) risks losing consistency in the overall product. To wit, 2009’s Inglorious Bastards used Morricone songs from three different movies released across a nine-year span. This is hardly a shocking stance for a guy who scores flicks for a living — and has been for over five decades.
Read Morricone’s full statement:
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.