It seems this weekend is Ennio Morricone weekend in NYC, since he’s playing his first-ever U.S. concert at Radio City Music Hall on Saturday evening and will then be receiving an honorary Oscar for his entire career at the end of the month. I’m still trying to score a ticket, but even if I can’t make it I’ll be enjoying his company on Saturday anyway, at a screening of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST at MOMA that’s scheduled to end before the show begins. MOMA is doing a brief Morricone retrospective to go with the Film Forum’s more comprehensive Morricone retrospective that also begins this weekend and lasts for about three weeks. (This Sunday will also host a day long Morricone retrospective with me and my friends where we will screen some of the worst movies Morricone scored, such as ORCA and EXORCIST II. Wish us luck.) While I’d much rather see these films at MOMA’s large screen, Film Forum is a decent substitute, I suppose. The films selected make for an excellent cross-section and include some rare screenings of INVESTIGATION OF A CITIZEN ABOVE SUSPICION, DANGER: DIABOLIK, THE BURGLARS, A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY, FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, MACHINE GUN MCCAIN (highly recommended, by the way) and Sam Fuller’s WHITE DOG, along with all the usual suspects (the Leone films, THE UNTOUCHABLES, ect.) It’s pointless of me to do a list of favorite Morricone scores (although I will say that I want the Claudia Cardinale theme from ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST to play at my funeral), since so many of them are truly great, but this weekend’s beginning to a month of Morricone is going to be the start of something really, really, really awesome and I can’t wait.