Saturday, September 7, 2013


Today is a great day. Why? It's Italian film legend Dario Argento's birthday, for one. It also is the same day that you'll get to find out about the soundtrack for The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears, one of the films at the Toronto International Film Festival's Vanguard Programme.

One of the coolest things about Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani's new film is that they use a lot of well-known Italian soundtrack music. What's even cooler is that they listen to this music when they're writing, so having it in the movie is just an extension of their unique vision.

Here is some of the music from the soundtrack to The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears and background about the composers and the original films in which the music appeared.

Composer Ennio Morricone probably needs no introduction, as his career is nothing short of legendary, but here's a few titles to chew on: Once Upon a Time in the West, For a Few Dollars More, La Cage Aux Folles, Revolver, The Battle of Algiers, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (directed by Dario Argento! Happy Birthday!), The Thing, and The Mission.

There are a couple of Morricone pieces on the soundtrack to The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears as well. From the wonderfully titled Lacorta notte delle bambole di vetro a.k.a. The Short Night of the Glass Dolls, his chilling "Il bisturi" is not the kind of music you'd want to wake up to in the middle of the night, especially if you have glass dolls in your room.

"Erotico Mistico" pretty much sounds exactly like what you'd think from the title: drumbeats, Gregorian chant-like singing, and lots of breathy sighing. It's from the 1971 film Maddalena, which tells the story of what happens when a lonely lady meets a lusty priest.

Another imaginatively titled giallo, All The Colours of the Dark, stars the stunning Edwige Fenech (The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh) and the not-too-shabby-himself Ivan Rassimov. Bruno Nicolai's score includes "Magico incontro."

Nicolai, who was a friend of Morricone and composed many scores with him, also provided music for Jess Franco films like Count Dracula and Marquis de Sade: Justine as well as 1979's Caligula. Yes, that Caligula.

Wikipedia claims that Guido and Maurizio de Angelis were some of the most prolific Italian musicians in the 1970s, and a glance at their profile on Discogs bears this out. In fact, they even had to use an alternate name "to avoid over-saturating the market." This alternate name was Oliver Onions (I couldn't even make up something this good. Under this moniker, they composed the insanely catchy "Zorro Is Back" theme from the 1975 film version with Alain Delon!)

Here is "Il racket (riprese 1)" from the soundtrack to 1976's Il grande racket, directed by Italian cult film legend Enzo G. Castellari and starring another Italian cult film legend, the awesome Fabio Testi.

Riz Ortolani, who was a jazz composer in the 1950s, was also popular back in the day for his scores for films like House on the Edge of the Park and Cannibal Holocaust, both from 1980. "Cosi Dolce . . . Cosi Perversa" ("So sweet . . . so perverse") is the title theme from the 1967 Umberto Lenzi movie of the same name, starring such legends as Carroll Baker and Jean-Louis Trintignant. Hot!

In 1970, there was an Italian/German film version of The Picture of Dorian Gray called Il Dio Chiatomo, directed by Massimo Dallamano, who lensed A Fistful of Dollars and A Few Dollars More. Carlo Pes and Giuseppe de Luca composed the score, including "Rito a Los Angeles," which borrows the guitar riff from Iron Butterfly's "In a Gadda Da Vida" but adds terrific drums. (It was later used in the soundtrack to Ocean's Twelve.)

Nico Fidenco's "My Boundless" originally appeared in Confessions of Emanuelle from 1977 (not to be confused with the other Emmanuelle, who was French). Jonathan Ruskin's synopsis on IMDB is classic:
Famous undercover journalist Emanuelle teams with her friend Cora Norman to uncover a white slave ring that traffics in women kidnapped from various locales around the world. Her investigations leave plenty of time, however, for globe-trotting and bed-hopping. As each lead turns up bad, Emanuelle begins to wonder if she can ever put an end to this horrible slavery ring. 

Won't it be fun to look for this music in The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears? I think so, anyway! Be sure not to miss the film when it screens at the Festival.

Wednesday, Sept 11th, 6:00 PM THE BLOOR HOT DOCS CINEMA
Thursday, Sept 12th, 9:30 PM SCOTIABANK 3
Saturday, Sept 14th, 12:30 PM SCOTIABANK 8

1 comment:

  1. I watched the movie last night and was looking exactly for this. Thanks for the post!