Saturday, 14 August 2010

A Fistful of "Spaghetti Western" Studies

BFI Researcher's Tales: Sir Christopher Frayling on Spaghetti Westerns 
(Frayling is author of Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans From Karl May to Sergio Leone [London: I.B.Tauris, 1981, 1998]; Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death [London: Faber and Faber, 2000]; and
Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy [London: Thames and Hudson, 2005]).

It was the spaghetti Westerns… that first eliminated the morality-play dimension and turned the Western into pure violent reverie [...] What made these [...] popular was that they stripped the Western form of its cultural burden of morality. They discarded its civility along with its hypocrisy. In a sense, they liberated the form: what the Western hero stood for was left out, and what he embodied (strength and gun power) was retained. Abroad, that was probably what he had represented all along.
Pauline Kael, Killing Time, in Karl French (ed.), Screen Violence (London: Bloomsbury, 1974), pp. 171-178: 172.

Today, to accompany its list of links to openly accessible scholarly studies of the Spaghetti (or Italian, or Euro) Western, and related topics, the normally garrulous Film Studies For Free was going to treat its readers to an improbable, digital impersonation of  Clint Eastwood's performance as the Man With No Name in what is often called "The Dollars Trilogy" directed by Sergio Leone.

Sadly, no dice: while it looks good in a poncho, not only does FSFF fall short in performing moral ambiguity, but it's also fairly hopeless when it comes to capturing taciturnity. 


Do please enjoy the links, anyway. Grazie.

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