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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pino Donaggio was honored with a Time Machine Award at the Sitges Film Festival earlier this month. The composer also introduced the festival screening of Brian De Palma's Passion, which marked that film's premiere in Spain. De Palma a la Mod reader Gonzalo López was there, and sent along the following notes from a Q&A Donaggio participated in the day before the Passion screening:

- De Palma considers him the ideal composer for horror / giallo
- He said that De Palma's films are very mathematical and cold without his music and that's why he uses erotic and warm themes in the music.
- Sometimes they use temp tracks but Donaggio is not a big fan of this technique, but sometimes it is the best way they have to comunicate since De Palma is not a musician and Donaggio doesn't speak very good English.
- His favourite film composer is Bernard Herrmann.
- The references in Passion's score to Dressed To Kill, Body Double and Raising Cain were intentional and agreed between Brian and him as part of the metalingüistical tone of the film.
- He would have loved to score The Fury, he said that William's score is genious but it sounds too American while the film seems European.
- He starts working once the movie is edited but he can work from the script.
- He and De Palma were going to be reunited with Toyer but the project fell apart.

(Thanks to Gonzalo! Check out his terrific two-minute short, M is for Myth, which he has submitted to the contest to potentially be included in the ABCs of Death Part 2.)

El Periódico interviewed Donaggio at Sitges, where he talked a bit about almost working on De Palma's unrealized project, Toyer: "Before Passion, I had been called for another movie. Its title was Toyer and was a very good story. As [De Palma] wanted to shoot it in Venice, he thought I should do the music, but in the end the project was not made for economic reasons. Luckily, afterwards I was called on for Passion. I'm always called on when the film being prepared is one of his special blends of melancholy, suspense, and eroticism."

When it is mentioned that De Palma says Donaggio is perfect for such a combination, the composer replies, "Yeah, well , I too would have liked to compose for something like Carlito."

Regarding De Palma sharing temp tracks with him, Donaggio tells El Periódico, "He often uses music as a reference and sometimes I have to take ideas from the head. I say, 'Come on, Brian, this music is ugly.' And he says, 'Yes, you're right.'"

The interviewer suggests to Donaggio that the crisis music of Noomi Rapace's character in Passion sounds like the music at the beginning of Jean Luc Godard's Contempt, and he replies, "I do not remember, maybe. Since he is living in Paris, De Palma has become very French, and I think his style changed. Before he was looking at Hitchcock movies. Now he just looks at French cinema. The first part of Passion is a normal French film. Halfway through it becomes De Palma. He told me that the next one is political and will only use two pieces of classical music. I do not know." When the interviewer comments that that seems "strange," Donaggio continues, "Yes, quite. He always covers the film with music ... Well, we are expectant to change."

There is also a video interview with Donaggio from a few weeks ago posted on Vimeo by Twiworld Cinema. That interview, which is subtitled in English, is about a documentary that Donaggio recently scored called The Neorealism. We weren't just... Bicycle thieves.

Posted by Geoff at 12:14 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:16 AM CDT
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