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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Ennio Morricone and My Capacity To Hold Grudges

I have talked about this with my confessor more than once - I keep score.

I keep it with those I love, I keep it with those I hate am trying to learn to love because Christ demands it of me.

It's a really corrosive trait for ones relationships, and it colors my opinions in really unhealthy ways, for I also keep track of the score regarding people I don't even know.

I had a beef with Tom Hanks for taking home the Oscar that rightfully belonged to Anthony Hopkins for Remains of the Day long before he made those obscene and hateful movies where he played a "symbologist." Hopkins' Mr Stevens was an achievement on the order of Maria Falconetti's Joan, but besides being the kind of flashy play-acting the Academy loves, Hanks' work was in the service of a cause Hollywood loves, the lionization of those suffering with the consequences, unjust or otherwise, of sexual license, so, of course he won.
Oddly, the same year saw another of my Top Ten Oscar Things-That-Make-You-Say-WHAAAAAAA?

Michael Nyman's brilliant, BRILLIANT score for The Piano? not even nominated.

It was almost the plot of the film, a parallel screenplay in another medium.
It was a character in the film.
(No grudge on my part against John Williams who won the award for score, since Nyman received no nomination.)

Ennio Morricone's Mission score lost to Herbie Hancock's for Round Midnight, and that inequity has ticked me off for thirty years.
Anyway, because I don't watch the Oscars, other than the opening if I think the host has promise, (Chris Rock's monologue was spot on,) I did not learn until just now that the great Morricone has finally received a competitive Oscar, (he did have an honorary.)
It's for a film I shall probably not see, (Tarentino movies can be too skeevy,) but I feel a great deal of ....some emotion that sits between joy and relief?
That kind of "all shall be well, and all shall..." satisfaction that the world is going back toward being in balance.
And that's my problem in a nutshell.
I think things should be in balance.
I remember things. I remember slights, I remember favors.

I keep score, I take inventory, I measure things on a scale of my own devising and find people either wanting or in desert of more.
Even when although I perceive some trespass but magnanimously forgo revenge or even calling attention to What I'm Letting You Get Away With?
I'm still keeping score, that's right.
And I reward myself by giving myself over to feelings of smug superiority.

Now, I say "I remember," but I must be honest, the one matter I manage to forget as I sneak my thumb onto the scale?
God offers boundless mercy against my minute goodnesses,  prefect benevolence to my trivial good turns, abundance for my puny deeds.
Balance things out? you, Scelata?
Don't make me laugh.
But God has no thumb on the scale, and for that I am grateful.

Morricone has a way with the oboe, huh?
And this was, no, is beautiful.
Although his music is neo-romantic, it functions, as I believe movies scores most often should, in the way classical, as opposed to romantic art does - not to provoke and manipulate the viewer's emotions but to evoke the emotions one already has, to put one in touch with what is already there, to remind one of what hopefully lurks just below the surface, to resonate with memories of ones better self.

1 comment:

Mr. C said...

Speaking of romance and affect, you didn't mention one of the most spectacular scores among many, that of CINEMA PARADISO (I'm also tempted to cite ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.) If those melodies and aching harmonies fail to bring a tear to the eye and a deep yearning, that one is not fully human. Even amoeba are moved to tears....bada boom.