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A Musical Tribute to Italian Genre Movies of the ‘60s and ‘70s

I thought I would try something a little different around here. You may have noticed in my writing here that I’m quite fond of Italian genre movies of the ’60s and ’70s — spaghetti westerns, commedia all’italiana, and especially giallo films (horror being my preferred genre, after all).

Of course a big part of those movies’ appeal is their distinctive musical scores. You may not know this, but in addition to being a writer, I’m also a musician. Sometimes when I’m just fiddling around on my guitar or keyboard, I’ll write my own themes in those styles just for fun. So I decided to flesh out three of those themes into full recordings, and I came up with imaginary movies to accompany them, posters and all (which I made haphazardly with my minimal photoshopping skills).

So I thought it would be a fun change of pace to share these themes with you as well as the posters and synopses for the fake movies I made up for them.

The three imaginary films as depicted in the posters were all directed by my alter ego Gianpaolo Cirelli (a more Italianized version of my actual name). They are:


L’ombra con il cuore del fuoco (The Shadow with the Heart of Fire)

I imagine this as a spaghetti western from 1968 that critics of the time dismissed as “a ponderous, acid-fueled slog punctuated by far too many scenes of nihilistic violence.”



Una tigre blu che dorme in un corridoio di diamanti (A Blue Tiger Sleeping in a Diamond Corridor)

I imagine this as a giallo from 1973 that critics of the time dismissed as “a nonsensical barrage of too-vivid colours and naked bodies being subjected to the sort of lurid, torture-as-spectacle ridiculousness that the Americans wisely rid their comics of years ago.”


Cacio e pepe e Anna (Cheese and Pepper and Anna)”

This one I imagine as a commedia all’italiana from 1961 that critics of the time dismissed as “an utterly inconsequential piece of fluff that spends most of its run time ogling at its admittedly sumptuous subjects—the women and the food both—and almost none of it giving us a reason to become invested other than for the pure aesthetic pleasantness of it all.”

And now for the themes I wrote for them! Check them out in the video below. Thanks for indulging me in this silly little project. I’ll be back with a more substantial article very soon!



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