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Soundtrack review: L’attenzione (Pino Donaggio – 1985)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: L’attenzione (Pino Donaggio – 1985)


Directed by Giovanni Soldati based on the novel by Alberto Moravia, “L’attenzione” tells the story of a neglected wife who gets jealous of her philandering husband. By organizing prostitutes for him, she feels that she can be of control of the situation while peeking at the liaisons through a special mirror. But when her daughter gets involved in the affairs, things take a turn for the worse. Quarter Records released the score written by Pino Donaggio.

Imagine my surprise when I get all ready for an Italian romance score and the first few notes have a very profound Asian influence. It was just a wink because “Livia’s theme”, the main theme of the movie, welcomes me like the water of the sea for the first bath of the year. The sound has that comfort and pleasure coming from the feeling that I missed the sensation it gives me and I am happy to live it again. I know the sound is nothing special… just simple lush rhythms of guitar, strings and a drum kit but this is special to me because it brings nostalgia. Back when I was growing up our TV quite often used Morricone or Donaggio melodies for the pauses between the shows or for the moments of break and the sound is etched inside me.

I don’t skip the vocal themes sung by Patty Brard because nostalgia is high there as well: pure 80s disco themes that I could swear were written by Giorgio Moroder. They fit very well in context and feed one of my favorite feelings in the world.

The music doesn’t live that quiet romance zone. The movie is a romantic thriller and the composer delivers just that kind of score. There’s almost nonstop tension but always with a motif in there to make me think of something erotic. The music takes sensual breaks every now with those vocal themes which serve the score very well.

I like the mood “L’attenzione” sets and maintains. I like the musical comfort zone in which these sensual and often gentle melodies drive me. The Italian romance sound is one of my favorites ever and the way the piano is used in a cue like “I ricordi” hits so close to home that I could very well build it a tent in my yard. I dream on this sound and I dream of this sound. If you are nostalgic for this kind of score, the quintessential 80s European movie sound, you will cherish this score. For me it’s quite the gem and I will keep it close.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 42

Album excellence: 50%


L’attenzione [Tema Di Livia]

L’attenzione [Sensual Atmosphere]

I Ricordi

L’attenzione [Tema Di Livia]

I Ricordi [#2]

I Ricordi [#3]

I Ricordi [#4]

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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