Scoring violence : the importance of Riz Ortolani's music in Don't Torture A Duckling (1972)and Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

O'BRIEN, Shelley (2014). Scoring violence : the importance of Riz Ortolani's music in Don't Torture A Duckling (1972)and Cannibal Holocaust (1980). In: Italian Horror Cinema: An International Film Conference, Luton, 9-10 May 2014. (Unpublished)

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Lucio Fulci and Ruggero Deodato have created some of the most violent and disturbing images in Italian horror cinema, and both directors have achieved a certain level of notoriety due to this focus on gruesome excess. A good deal has been written about Fulci's work generally, and Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust has been the subject of scholarly analysis as well as being vilified by the majority of the international press. However, one aspect of their films which is rarely mentioned is the way that music is used quite specifically to heighten the impact of their savage set-pieces, as well as to provide continuity and coherent underscoring of the films' themes and imagery as a whole. Music score often has a significant role to play in Italian horror (for example, the work of Ennio Morricone, Fabio Frizzi, and Goblin) but its importance seems to have been unfairly neglected. This paper, therefore, will focus on Riz Ortolani's scoring of Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling and Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust. It will explain how Ortolani utilises a range of musical devices, orchestration, and instrumentation, to complement fully the psychological and physiological impact created by the imagery. For example, in Fulci's film, the juxtaposition of a beautiful melody being sung by Ornella Vanoni as the village "witch" is brutally beaten to death on screen, or the haunting and melancholic main theme used in Deodato's film contrasted with violent actions and horrific images. Ortolani has composed scores for numerous Italian genre pictures (including Deodato's inspiration - Mondo Cane, 1962), but these scores are particularly notable in terms of the crucial role they play in enhancing the unsettling effects generated by these two films.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Departments - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Humanities
Depositing User: Shelley O'Brien
Date Deposited: 11 May 2017 10:33
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 15:47

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