by Casey Dewey
I must confess, I'm a bit of a movie soundtrack geek. The first album I ever bought with my own hard-earned allowance was the A View to a Kill soundtrack, the James Bond movie with Duran Duran performing the theme song. I was a junior Duranie, I had to have it.
Beyond the theme song was the film score, composed by the legendary John Barry. I fell in love with the tone and mood of the music, and afterwards my ears perked open every time I watched any movie, always taking note of the score and how it matched the action on screen. A soundtrack aficionado was born.
I love soundtracks so much I have a show on 91.3 KXCI dedicated to them.
Imagine my delight when I found out the Loft Cinema is having a spaghetti western triple feature this Saturday, Feb. 2. Not just any spaghetti western triple feature, this is the Holy Trinity of spaghetti westerns, the "Man with No Name" trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. All three of them are directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood and with music by the king-daddy film composer of all time, Ennio Morricone.
The award-winning maestro has well over 500 credits to his name, but it's the innovative spaghetti western scores he'll always be most well known for. Taking the "kitchen sink" approach to the films, Morricone threw in gunshots, whip cracks, whistles, music boxes, shouts, church bells, horror movie organs and surf guitar along with a sparse orchestra. The music, rather than being listless background fodder or cues for stock horse chases, gets first billing in the films. Morricone's score is always in the forefront, punctuating action or ratcheting up tension. Who can forget the scene in the graveyard at the end of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach and Eastwood in a Mexican standoff while "The Ecstasy of Gold" builds up the momentum to dizzying heights? It's no surprise that Leone actually directed the films to Morricone's scores, choreographing the actors every move to the whims of the music.
While I'm super excited to watch these great films on the big screen, I'm even more excited to simply listen.
The triple feature kicks off appropriately at High Noon. Ticket prices, individual show times and other information can be found at the Loft Cinema's website.