EIFF scores winning retro

Festival unveils strand dedicated to pioneering film composers

by Amber Wilkinson

Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin
Scarlett Johansson in Under The Skin
Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced it will host a retrospective entitled The Big Score, which will explore innovation in film scoring as part of next year's festival.

The section will include an in-depth focus on score pioneers Mica Levi ([film id= 34720]Monos[/film], Under The Skin) and Delia Derbyshire (The Legend Of Hell House), a dynamic tribute to Ennio Morricone and an journey through jazz cinema.

Levi’s first score, for Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin (2013), earned her the Best Composer accolade at the European Film Awards in 2014 and a nomination for the BAFTA award for Best Film Music in 2015. Her second, Pablo Larraín’s Jackie (2016), saw her nominated for Best Original Score at the 89th Academy Awards.

Films include will include Michael Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime (2017), Pablo Larraín’s Jackie (2016) and Jonathan Glazer’s Glasgow-set Under The Skin (2013).

Senior Programmer and curator of The Big Score programme, Niall Greig Fulton said: “From her exciting, innovative work on Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin through to her extraordinary score for London Film Festival award winner Monos by Alejandro Landes, cutting edge composer Mica Levi continues to go from strength to strength. This dynamic collection of films charts her stunning artistic achievements in cinema to date.”

Derbyshire, meanwhile, is famous for her electronic arrangement of the theme from Doctor Who and her work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the Sixties, which has influenced countless artists including Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers.

Films include Tony Richardson’s Hamlet (1969), Joseph Despins’ and William Dumaresq’s Duffer (1972) and Alan Gibson’s Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972). In addition to this, there will be two programmes of shorts featuring documentaries and a selection of rarely seen experimental films scored by Derbyshire.

Fulton said: “Mixing late-night cult classics, fascinating documentaries and rarely seen experimental collaborations, this timely look at the life and work of the great Delia Derbyshire is a must for all fans of electronic music.”

Although best known for his ground-breaking work with director Sergio Leone, the Morricone strand will focus on his other artistic collaborations.

Fulton added: “Having conquered an astonishing variety of styles and genres, Ennio Morricone is responsible for some of the most innovative and iconic scores ever recorded. This exciting selection of films takes us from his ground-breaking work on cult spaghetti westerns and giallo thrillers in the Sixties and Seventies through to his Oscar-nominated scores for classics such as Days of Heaven, The Mission and The Untouchables in the 80s.”

Films include a 4K restoration of Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle Of Algiers (1966), Mario Bava’s Danger: Diabolik (1968), Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence (1968), Dario Argento’s The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970), Terence Malik’s Days Of Heaven (1978), John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987) and a 4K restoration of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988).

Finally, The Big Score: All That Jazz will feature scores from musicians including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington, Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Herrmann and Quincy Jones.

Films include Louis Malle’s Lift To The Scaffold (1958), Orson Welles’s Touch Of Evil (1958), Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), a restored 35mm print of Shirley Clarke’s The Cool World (1963), Gilles Groulx’s Le chat dans le sac (1964), Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood (1967), Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Peter Yates’ Bullitt (1968) and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1986).

Fulton added: “Jazz is famously an innovative, atmospheric art form and over the years it’s been employed many times to truly memorable effect in cinema. This is a golden opportunity to see some of the finest of those films the way they should be seen - on the big screen.”

As a precursor to The Big Score, EIFF and Filmhouse will present Countdown to The Big Score, a special retrospective screening once a month, running from January through to June. The full programme for Countdown to The Big Score will be released next month, with tickets for the festival, which runs from June 17 to 28, going on sale in May.

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