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TREMENDOUS USE OF SOUND

by Martinus
Ennio Morricone about the opening sequence in ‘Once Upon a Time In The West:’ Morricone had also composed in advance a theme for the opening sequence, the long wait by the three pistoleri at Cattle Corner Station. (…) While he was planning the sequence, Leone decided the music that had been written was not right; he would use a complex mix of amplified ‘natural’ sounds instead. Morricone recalls: ‘There was something very important that I’d told Sergio. I had been, some time before, to a concert in Florence where a man came on to the stage and began, in complete silence, to take a stepladder and make it creak and squeak – which went on like… Read more

Ennio Morricone about the opening sequence in ‘Once Upon a Time In The West:’

Morricone had also composed in advance a theme for the opening sequence, the long wait by the three pistoleri at Cattle Corner Station. (…) While he was planning the sequence, Leone decided the music that had been written was not right; he would use a complex mix of amplified ‘natural’ sounds instead.

Morricone recalls: ‘There was something very important that I’d told Sergio. I had been, some time before, to a concert in Florence where a man came on to the stage and began, in complete silence, to take a stepladder and make it creak and squeak – which went on like this for several minutes, and the audience had no idea what it was supposed to mean. But in the silence, the squeakingt of this stepladder became something else. And the philosophical argument behind the experiment was that a sound, any sound at all from everyday life, isolated from its contex and isolated by silence, becomes something different that is not part of its real nature … I recounted this experience to Sergio, who already had these things in his blood, in his own ideas about silence. He made those extraordinary first ten minutes of Once Upon a Time from that idea. In my opinion, that was one of the best things Sergio did in this film.

Excerpt from “SERGIO LEONE: Something To Do With Dead” by Christopher Frayling

The scream of the woman/train in ‘The 39 Steps’ :

The chopping of the ceiling fan/helicopter in ‘Apocalypse Now’.

The knife scene from ‘Blackmail’:

The strange industrial atmospheres in ‘Eraserhead’:

The use of wind by Tarkovsky in ‘Zerkalo’:

Opening scene Otto e mezzo:

The mysterious quality of “Rosebud”:

(Work in progress – suggestions welcome)

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