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Recent Headlines
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-De Palma hopes to
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-De Palma doc
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Poster is here

-Raising Cain Blu-ray
due June 28, 2016,
extras 'in progress'

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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Sunday, December 13, 2015
NEW CD - DONAGGIO, SONGS FOR MOVIES
NEW ORCHESTRAL RECORDINGS INCLUDE "I NEVER DREAMED..." FROM 'CARRIE', "SALLY & JACK"
Quartet Records and Music Box Records are both taking pre-orders for a new Pino Donaggio CD collection being released this week, Canzoni per il Cinema ("Songs for Movies"). The CD contains new orchestral arrangements of Donaggio songs, chosen by the composer himself, including songs from Carrie and Blow Out. Donaggio and film music author Gergely Hubai also provide liner notes in a "lavishly designed 20-page full-color booklet." Here's the rest of the description, as listed on the websites:
For over 55 years, legendary composer Pino Donaggio has been in the forefront of the Italian popular music scene; 40+ years of his career have spanned an impressive line of film scores as well. This orchestral album, Canzoni per il Cinema, is a testament to the composer’s versatility, featuring some of his most popular songs for cinema in brand-new orchestral arrangements.

Recorded with The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maurizio Abeni, the program—personally selected by Donaggio—focuses on two different types of compositions: it naturally includes some of Donaggio’s most beloved theme songs written for movies (Don’t Look Now, Carrie, Blow Out, Trauma, Cin cin, etc.), but it also includes some of his pre-film-scoring hits that were subsequently used in various films (immortal songs such as “Io che non vivo,” “Come sinfonia” or “Una casa in cima al mondo”). The selection thus comprises not only fan favorites, but also some lesser-known pieces that merit a second look in the decades-spanning career of Pino Donaggio.


Posted by Geoff at 11:38 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015
DONAGGIO & ARGENTO ON DE PALMA, 'RAISING CAIN'
COMPOSER RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM ARGENTO IN ROME


Pino Donaggio received a lifetime achievement award, presented to him by Dario Argento, as part of last week's La Chioma di Berenice in Rome, which honor the imagination and skills of craftsmen and artists of the Italian and international cinema: hairdressers, makeup artists, costume designers, set designers and music composers. Donaggio was interviewed by LoudVision's Donato D'Elia. The latter also separately interviewed Argento.

D'Elia was especially interested to ask both Donaggio and Argento about Brian De Palma's Raising Cain. "I speak about it with pleasure," Donaggio tells D'Elia. "My score is more atonal, more studied, and I'm also very attached to this work. De Palma, especially in our first collaborations, almost forced me to be close to the canon of Herrmann, with small variations and steps that maybe the untrained ear could not perceive, but then little by little I would always try to detach myself and to customize the job. In Raising Cain now the process had reached maturity, so I could afford to go back to a more classical score without overdoing those connotations, which can forcibly seem most derivative. But even in our latest collaboration, Passion, in the finale we return once again closer to that musical world."

ARGENTO: "BRIAN IS A FRIEND; I TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT"
Meanwhile, D'Elia was curious to hear Argento speak about the final shot of Raising Cain, which D'Elia tells Argento seems to "copy verbatim a famous sequence" from Argento's Tenebre. D'Elia asks Argento if he has ever confronted De Palma about the scene. "No, we never confronted the question," replies Argento, "but there was also no need, Brian is a friend. In his films he often cites Hitchcock, and this time also mentioned me, and I take it as a compliment."

DONAGGIO: "I TRIED TO CREATE A PECULIAR STYLE OF MY OWN"
Delving deeper into Donaggio's style, D'Elia tells the composer, "There is, in my opinion, a peculiar feature: the keyboard parts to introduce a serene, almost dreamlike atmosphere, and then precipitate tension with the arrival, in fact, of the strings. Am I correct in my impressions?"

"Yes, of course," Donaggio replies, "it is a process that I used from the start even, just to break away from Herrmann and exploit my knowledge as a pop arranger who had matured in the first part of my career. Herrmann communicated suspense right away, but I was trying to lighten and then give after the coup of suspense, so to speak. I saw people jump on their chairs at screenings of Carrie, because of these changes in tone: one of these was George Lucas, when Brian showed the film to him and a few others in a preview screening. I tried to create a peculiar style of my own, and I think I succeeded. As I said before, I used my Italian, come from the opera, the singing in the works already as a boy, twelve years of conservatory."

When D'Elia mentions that Donaggio's "Telescope" from De Palma's Body Double "became a big disco hit in the eighties," Donaggio replies, "It was the only piece that was always requested in record stores. That was an idea of Brian, immerse the film in those plasticky sounds, with synthesizers: everything worked properly, I think."


Posted by Geoff at 12:48 AM CST
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Saturday, December 21, 2013
DONAGGIO INTERVIEW FROM ITALY
"DE PALMA TRUSTS ME SO MUCH, HE ONLY LISTENS TO MY WORK IN THE HALL WITH THE ORCHESTRA"
Il Giornale's Antonio Lodetti caught up with Pino Donaggio in Venice, where the composer discussed his beginnings, as well as upcoming projects. Along the way, of course, he discussed his work with De Palma. Here is an excerpt from the article, translated with the help of Google Translator:
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Such destiny struck one morning when, on board a steamer at 6 am, back from a concert, he was noticed by a young producer. "He said I had the face to write music on a film of parapsychology, maybe he smoked too much. However, the film was starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, I composed the score, and director Nicolas Roeg was delighted. Thus was born the soundtrack to Don't Look Now, which came out in Italy as A Venezia... un dicembre rosso shocking, and in England it was awarded as the soundtrack of the year." So, fate again, he arrived for a meeting with Brian De Palma. "It was just after the death of Bernard Herrmann, the composer of his confidence, but Brian had listened to the music of [Don't Look Now] on the disc of the same name , which he had bought in England, and I wanted at all costs to work with him. Thus was born the winning combination of Carrie. We understood each other on the fly, even if I lived in his house and, not knowing the language, we understood gestures. But there was a translator for the job and he was happy with what I wrote. I’m called on for the suspense films, in fact last year I set to music his Passion. He trusts me so much that only listens to my work in the hall with the orchestra, the finished work."
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Donaggio tells Lodetti that he is working on a fictional movie about Enzo Ferrari with Robert De Niro, and also an adaptation of Giulio Andreotti's The Listener, to be directed by Carlo Lizzani. That latter project has Al Pacino attached to star.

Posted by Geoff at 1:37 PM CST
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Thursday, October 24, 2013
DONAGGIO INTRODUCES 'PASSION' AT SITGES
AND RECEIVES TIME MACHINE AWARD


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.)

DONAGGIO: "DE PALMA TOLD ME HIS NEXT FILM WILL ONLY USE TWO PIECES OF CLASSICAL MUSIC"
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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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
VIDEO: DONAGGIO @ GHENT PRESS CONFERENCE



Posted by Geoff at 6:29 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 21, 2012
DONAGGIO HANDED LIFETIME AWARD BY STOLLER
VIDEO - DONAGGIO: "DE PALMA & I NEVER QUARRELED, SINCE I SPOKE NO ENGLISH AND HE NO ITALIAN"


In the image above, legendary songwriter Mike Stoller hands the Lifetime Achievement Award to Pino Donaggio at last night's World Soundtrack Awards and Concert ceremony. There is a video brief at De Redactie which shows Donaggio receiving the award, along with a snippet of the concert in which some of the composer's themes were performed while images from the films played on a giant screen behind the musicians (see image below). In the video, Donaggio says, "The collaboration with De Palma has always run very smoothly. We have never quarreled, since I spoke no English and he no Italian. We found each other in music. That was the most important: the music."


Posted by Geoff at 8:58 PM CDT
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Friday, April 27, 2012
DONAGGIO TO RECEIVE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
AT 12TH WORLD SOUNDTRACK AWARDS IN OCTOBER
Variety reports that Pino Donaggio will receive the 12th Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's World Soundtrack Awards, an event which takes place on the closing night (October 20) of Belgium's Ghent Film Festival. The festival runs October 9-20. A selection of Donaggio's music will be performed at the event by the Brussels Philharmonic, conducted by Dirk Brosse, accompanied by film clips. During the event, composer James Newton Howard will also be honored with a concert in which he will conduct the Brussels Philharmonic along with Brosse. Donaggio is best known for the many scores he has composed for the films of Brian De Palma, beginning with Carrie in 1976, and continuing this year with Passion.

Posted by Geoff at 12:44 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 5:20 PM CDT
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