Picturehouse Re-Discover: Morricone at FACT

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
© 1966 United Artists - MGM

Picturehouse Re-Discover: Morricone at FACT, City Centre 29 May — 10 July 2022 Tickets from £8.00 — Book now

Over a career spanning more than six decades, the late Italian composer Ennio Morricone produced more than 400 scores for film and television. Considered one of the greatest in his profession, il maestro produced some of the most iconic and influential scores in cinema history, helping define the sound of spaghetti westerns with his work for director Sergio Leone, and propelling a range of European and Hollywood genre films to new heights through his music.

Now, Picturehouse at FACT are highlighting his contribution to cinema with a season of eight films programmed to demonstrate his enduring genius. The season features the much-loved masterpieces alongside some lesser seen gems, but it is bookended by two classics from the composer’s long running collaboration with Leone. First up, Clint Eastwood stars as The Man with No Name in 1966’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly on Sunday 29 May — his legend buoyed by just a few instantly recongnisable notes from Morricone. Running all the way until Sunday 17 July, the season concludes with 1968’s Once Upon a Time in the West, a film dubbed ‘the ultimate western’, which also boasts some of the composer’s most intense and celebrated work.

Considered one of the greatest in his profession, il maestro produced some of the most iconic and influential scores in cinema history

In between there are films from Morricone’s work in America, including films by some of Hollywood’s great auteurs. The score to Terence Malick’s Days of Heaven (Sun 5 June) is a perfect showcase for the musician’s more tender side, as his lush, sweeping effort matches the visual poetry on display in this tale of a farm laborer who convinces his lover to marry their rich boss. Different again is his score for John Carpenter’s seminal science fiction horror The Thing (Sun 19 June). Carpenter is known for scoring most of his films himself, but this thumping, synth-heavy collaboration is everything you could want from a meeting between the two — even if its production was a famously awkward one.

Staying in Hollywood, Morricone lent a touch of the epic to Brian De Palma for his 1987 prohibition-era gangster saga, The Untouchables which screens on Sunday 10 July. Lively and propulsive, Morricone features period music from jazz legend Duke Ellington on this Grammy-nominated soundtrack as policeman Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) gathers a rag-tag crew of officers to tackle Chicago gangleader, Al Capone (Robert De Niro). The season steps away from Morricone’s most famed scores too. Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 The Battle of Algiers (Sun 12 June) is a newsreel-style telling of a prominent moment of the Algerian War against the French government. Commonly associated with Italian neorealism, this political film saw the composer collaborate with the director, a close friend.

Days of Heaven

Rounding out the programme are a couple more films from Italy. Elio Petri’s 1970 An Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion is an Oscar-winning thriller with a Kafkaesque plot that sees a Roman policeman (Gian Maria Volontè) investigate a crime that he himself committed. We’ve mentioned the close association between Morricone and Leone, but Picturehouse have added another 1968 spaghetti western in the form of Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence (Sun 3 July).

This bleak, cynical vision of the American West follows a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who stands between a band of bloodthirsty bounty hunters and a group of persecuted outlaws on a snowbound frontier. Acclaimed for its cinematography and Morricone’s haunting soundtrack work, the film is yet another demonstration of the composer’s skill and versatility.

Picturehouse Re-Discover: Morricone at FACT, City Centre 29 May — 10 July 2022 Tickets from £8.00 Book now

Where to go near Picturehouse Re-Discover: Morricone at FACT

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Garden Cafe FACT

FACT Liverpool gets back to its coffee-with-creativity roots thanks to a foliage-full new café.

Liverpool
Restaurant
Food From Nowhere

Food From Nowhere is a weekly vegan cafe held in the basement space of much-loved radical bookshop News From Nowhere. It’s open every Saturday from midday to 5pm.

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Bold Street Coffee

A super cool cafe at the top of Bold Street, Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool serves a range of specialist coffee, cakes and sandwiches.

Liverpool
Restaurant
Maray

Much-loved Liverpool restaurant, specialising in forward-thinking small plate dishes.

City Centre
Café or Coffee Shop
LEAF on Bold Street

Keeping Bold Street a hub of creativity, LEAF is more than a tearoom, it’s also a bar and thriving event space with a packed schedule of upcoming happenings.

City Centre
Music venue
Arts Club Liverpool

Based in Liverpool’s old Royal Institute of Arts and Science building, Liverpool Arts Club is a great spot to catch small touring acts.

Photo of wooden tables and a green leather sofa
City Centre
Restaurant
Bretta & Co

Comprising of a deli and a small restaurant, Bretta & Co looks minimalist, modern and tasteful – the kind of place that puts you in mind of lazy brunches and ladies who lunch.

What's on: Cinema

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.