Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Duck, You Sucker => Topic started by: Kiddo on March 27, 2003, 05:31:09 PM

Title: Literary reference
Post by: Kiddo on March 27, 2003, 05:31:09 PM
After Steiger's amazing speech where he slams Coburn for being a book-revolutionary and knowing nothing of the reality of the matter there is a close up of a book.  What't the title of the book?

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: TBPJMR on March 28, 2003, 04:55:44 AM
As already specified in some other post of this board, the title of the book is "Patriotism" by Bakunin. Someone said that Bakunin never wrote a book with such a title, but I'm not so informed about the matter...

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: shorty larsen on March 28, 2003, 01:39:23 PM
Yes, Bakunin never wrote a book called "Patriotism".

The book belongs to him, without any doubt, but it's the compilation title (do you say this in english?) of many of his writings, a compilation made for the UK and the US.

Now, to me the question is why Leone put on Coburn's hands a book of Bakunin and not a book of Marx for example, and why a book called "Patriotism".

Sean is, or was, a revolutionary, and in the case of Ireland, Sean was a nationalist revolutionnary. But it's not the same case in Mexico. The mexican revolution was not against another country like the irish one. So why is he reading this book?

And why Bakunin and not Marx? The marxist philosophy gives big importance to nationalism too. So why Bakunin and not Marx? I think because Sean is disapointed by the typical kind of european revolution of the XIX century and beginnings of XXth, and he turns to anarchism, but even anarchism is unable to face Rod Steigers speach.

There's not one single philosophy capable of facing Steiger's speach.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: Sackett on June 25, 2003, 05:05:43 PM
You are so right.  Nothing stands against Juan's speech to Sean.  As someone famous once said, "The man with the arguement is always at the mercy of the man with the experience."  As far as the Mexican Rev. goes, I believe was an attempt to  oust European powers and influences.  That is probably why it is not called the Mexican Civil War even though you had Mexican factions fighting.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: aaronson on July 01, 2003, 04:13:57 AM

And why Bakunin and not Marx? The marxist philosophy gives big importance to nationalism too. So why Bakunin and not Marx? I think because Sean is disapointed by the typical kind of european revolution of the XIX century and beginnings of XXth, and he turns to anarchism, but even anarchism is unable to face Rod Steigers speach.

There's not one single philosophy capable of facing Steiger's speach.

Shorty, I'm very impressed and I would be delighted to speak about Marx and Bakounin...  and Leone's heroes who are closer to Nietsche than working class struggle.
Leone world is clearly devide beetween supermen and ...others: small and fat Indian women, old and thin coward grandfathers, hungried chinese workers..

Except few good,bad or ugly magic heroes meeting
together in a wahalla stone circle the rest of the world is componed by loosers.  

Is Leone fascist ?  

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: KERMIT on July 02, 2003, 12:47:59 AM
leone  a facist ?  i was pondering how the 3 main characters ie. blondie, AE, tuco are head & sholders above all the other actors in GB&U. i don't think it has to do w/ fascism. senssationalism come to mind.
mel brooks touched on this in blazing saddles.

before death, leone had seen the sword & sandal epics, the spag. trilogy, OUATITW,OUATIA.  he seemed to want to experience everything he could in order to create more interresting characters & movies.

the battle of stalingrad. nobody has even come close to making a movie about this piece of history.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: aaronson on July 02, 2003, 02:34:18 AM

the battle of stalingrad. nobody has even come close to making a movie about this piece of history.

Kermit keep cool , in fact Karl Marx and Bakunin played also in GBU: remember the guys with long hair and long beard riding with the Confederate Army leaving the town  ... I'm sure the third was Friedrich Engels.

( It was Leningrad project, not Stalingrad ,Professor KERM)  

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: shorty larsen on December 08, 2003, 02:58:34 PM

Many things come to my mind.

Mac: from my point of view, Mexican revolution was an attempt to oust out european powers and influence. I agree, but not completely. Mexican revolution was, first of all, against the rich mexican society who ruled the country. Don't forget that there were 2 leaders in mexican revolution: Pancho Villa, who was a cattle thief, and Emiliano Zapata, who had indian origins and wanted more justice and equality for the indians of the south of the country. The recent "Movimiento Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional" in Chiapas, Mexico, takes the influence of Emiliano Zapata and speaks in the name of the indians of Chiapas. I think it was more a social revolution against rich mexican society than a revolution against foreigner powers.

Aaronson: my friend, if you are really interested, we could talk about Marx or anarchism for hours. But regarding Leone's fascism, I really don't know if Tuco is a nietzschean supermen, with all his defects, or Franck, or James Woods Caracter. I think that, as Nietzsche did, Leone says that good or evil are the same thing, or, that good or evil has no consequences and nobody knows who is good or bad, or ugly. Who is the bad, who is the good and who is the ugly in the movie? We don't know. But if you take Tuco or Juan (Rod Steiger), they are to me bandits like you find thousand in the north of Mexico or the south of US. They seem common persons to me, with all their problems and "sins".

Another amusing thing in Giu la Testa. One of Juan Sons has a very particular "look" if you remember, very familiar to Che Guevara. Do you remember?

I don't think Leoone was a fascist. Not at all.

On the contrary, I think with the episode of Bakunin's book shows what Leone really thinks. Leone hated intellectuals. And Sean is the kind of intellectuals that reads books in order to make revolutions. Juan shows him that the books, that the theories, that Marx, Engels or Bakunin haven't nothing to do with reality, with children starving to death in Mexico, with men getting killed in a revolution in the name of the "theory". I think Leone is on Juan's side.

Don't forget that Italy was and is the most influenced country in Europe by comunism and ananrchism.

Now we know that the CIA was forced to take actions in Italy in the fifties because the comunist party would win the elections.

Malatesta, a great anarchist writer, was italian. And even Mussolini started as socialist!!!!!

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: COLONNA on December 12, 2003, 08:03:36 AM
Shorty Larsen, thanks for your interesting contribution. I'm sure that my father Aaronson (R.I.P.) would have been very glad to read it.

But depressed by the cruelty of Il Buono he suicided , eating hundred milk chocolate bars and hearing Georges W Bush speeches.Both too strong for this old man

My father was a pure anti-fascist , fighting in the street in 68 and selling Newspapers at the factories gates.
I'm sure that when he declared Sergio Leone a  fascist it was a big provocation.


Some facts: Mussolini took the power in 1922  till 1943 and his influence over Italian people was very deep  .

He strongly developped  Movie Industry (Cinecitta) where Sergio's father, Sergio's mother had a carreer. Sergio himself was educated and worked in this peculiar cultural area: Macist, Roman warriors..,White Phone.

It's impossible that a young kid could totally escape from that. It's not a critic... it's a fact.

It was also impossible for him to escape from the revolutionary ideas influence in Italy, France  Japan and California during 60s and 70's.

But if many friends of him were strongly involved in the communist movement (Bertolucci, Elio Petri ,Bellochio and also many Spagh Directors and GM Volonte) ,Sergio never showed  his preferences.

John Millius and Bertolucci talk about that , very quickly,  in the new DVD

...But Sergio employed two blacklisted in OUATIW, was more interested by Leningrad than Soldier Ryan and worked with Bertolucci ....

Some scenes :  
The way old thin men, women, Indians, fat cleaners , jewels sellers are treated  is amazing.Sergio often declared that he was fascinated by traditional puppet (Puppi ..?) But the world seems for him divided between Giant Puppets who are very good fighter, "the old race" and the rest .....the guys like me who put belt and straps.  

Its normal that Clint Eastwood,  Republican and individualistic be successfull in this world....    

   About Sean's book , remember that Marx and Bakunin  were together in the same International and Bolshevik Government built a statue in Moscow as a tribute to Bakunin.The anarchist/marxist gap is currently stronger (after Makhno, Spanish war and others events),  than during 19th century.
 Sean as an IRA fighter reads Bakunin, may be why De Valera was not yet published and Marx not well translated ?

Last idea: the title " Once Upon a time : The Revolution" is a french distributor choice.The original title GLT or DYS shows that Sergio is more interested by the "Picaresque" side of this story than by the problem of the revolution

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: shorty larsen on December 12, 2003, 02:41:16 PM
Dear Colonna, I don't understand what you mean when you say that Aaronson was your father and he passed away. Is it true? It would be important to me to know the truth.

You say he was in the streets in 68, do you mean in Paris? Are you both french?

Regarding the movie and the revolutionnary ideas.

We have to be careful when we talk about fascism because it is political regime extremely hard to define. What is exactly fascism? Fascism is a lot of things at the same time. But first of all, it is a "populist" movement. By "populist" I want to mean a political movement who says ("who says", but maybe who don't) that he is acting in the name of the people, of the mass, and fof its interests. When you talk to many italians that lived in the 20's and 30's, the don't really know what fascism was or the real intentions of Mussolini to create a totalitarian regime. The old italian people only knows and only remember that there was some guy in power that did some things for the "people". In general "populist" governments or regimes are like this. And italian fascism was like this. Sergio grew up in this "culture", "fascist culture" if you want. But, has he a realistic vision of what fascism was? Or he only remembered that fascism was a "populis" regime, "for the people", etc, etc, etc?

Another thing. Marx and Bakunin were in the Same International only for a couple of days. There is a legendary episode in the First International, in wich Marx and Bakunin had argued and Bakunin has leave the international, and all the anarchists left with him. Bakunin was the first thinker to attack Marx and marxism because it was, after all, an authoritarian ideology, and anarchism is against any kind of power or authority.

Don't forget that in Russia, the bolchevik governement killed the Marines of Kronstadt, who were anarchist because they were the first in Russia to see that bolchevism was not what it seemed.

Last thing: I think that by 1917 Marx was well known in the whole world, and very well translated in many languages.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: shorty larsen on January 23, 2004, 01:51:37 PM
I saw the movie, one more time, today.

Here is the dialogue that makes Sean to throw Bakunin's book:

Juan sits down on a map of Mexico.

" - It's your country you're lying down all over ther.

- It's not my country. My country is me and my family.

- Your country is also Huerta and the governor and the landlords, and Gunther Ruiz and his locusts... And this little revolution we're having here.

- Revolution? Don't try to tell me about revolutions and how they start. The people that read teh books go to the people that don't read the books. They say "the time has come to have a change". I know what I'm talking about when I'm talking about revolutions. The people who read  the books go to the people who can't read the books and say "we have to have a change". So the poor people make the change. And then the people that read the books sit around the polished tables and they talk and talk and talk, and eat and eat and eat. But what happened to the poor people? They're dead!!! That's your revolution. So please, don't tell me about revolutions... And what happens afterwards? The same thing starts all over again!

That's the dialogue.

Who, between us, can name a single "revolution" in wich the process described by Juan does not happen?

The funny thing to me, is that Leone and his co-writers didn't seem to have read Bakunin's book, because Bakunin says exactly the same thing. That's why he broke up with Marx. Anarchisms condamns any form of revolution "directed", for example, by people that read books.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: COLONNA on January 26, 2004, 08:55:00 AM
Marx: The emancipation of the workers will be made by the workers themselves

Wolinski ( a french comic designer): revolution will be made not by people who desire it but by people who need it

Mao: revolution is not  a  smart dinner.. it is a violent act by what one class overthrows an other one  

Juan opinion is classicaly conservative: Don't move ,tomorrow will be worse !

But Juan is not a worker, he is not a peon but a thief.For a fistful of Dollars he could be a  killer for Mexican  landlords or US Investors. For a few Dollars more he could be a Counter-Revolution  Leader.

Juan is far from Zapata, Pancho Villa and Adelita.

Sean is  far from John Reed .

Both have a long way to dialectic and class struggle.


Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: shorty larsen on January 27, 2004, 02:35:56 PM
I think Juan's opinion is not classicaly conservtive in that way.

The speech by Juan is exactly the same speech than almost every poor inhabitant in Latin America.

Latin America and his people had seen revolutions, contre-revolutions and "coups d'état" going on since 1810.

The mass of the people, "the people that can't read books", is tired by all this. After 2 centurys of "revolutions" and 'coups d'état" the people that can't read the books knows that there is, in every country of Latin America, different groups who wants the power, and who gets the power, and it's been going for 2 centurys now. And as Juan said it, the poor people is dead, while the groups in the power are rich.

The famous Che Guevara was doublecrossed by a campesino, a peasant, in Bolivia, and Guevara had the oportunity to ask him why he doublecroussed him. The peasant said something very similar to Juan. "The army came to my village and killed my brother and stole us our food. Then you came to my village and killed "by accident" my sister and stoled our food. We only want to live our lives, you and the others come here to steel our food and kill us". The mass, the people that can't read the books, knows perfectly well, like Juan knows, that "revolutions" had never changed their situation: misery. Not only that, but in addition they are killed in the process.

Juan was a thief, but also Pancho Villa, who was a cattle thief before coming into a revolutionnary leader.

A revolution has a leader, or some leaders. And if the revolution wins, the leader or the leaders have the power, not the "people that can't read the books". That's all. The people that can't read the books, after the revolution, starves in the same way that before, or even worst (like in China or Russia after the agrarian revolution).

What Bakunin and anarchism says, is that no revolution at all could be a revolution "for the people", if it have a leader, or some leaders. When a revolution is not spontanous, the leaders became dictators the first day before the revolution.

Title: Re:Literary reference
Post by: General Sibley on January 27, 2004, 03:37:30 PM
Those are some excellent points Shorty.

I never really liked this movie because it just seemed very awkward and ungraceful for a Leone movie.  You get so accustomed to his sure hand, but this movie doesn’t feel anything like his others.  Even Fistful of Dollars seems more tightly constructed.

But what you say puts it into perspective.  I think Leone wanted to make a film that was sympathetic to the cause of the peons and campesinos.   But look at his other films – in every movie the little guy is the butt of the joke, getting shoved around by the bad guy with the gun.  Even the sheriffs are powerless, their badges ripped off and flung in the dirt.  You could tell that Leone was fascinated by how the big man, the Superman, makes his own rules and runs the show.  Even the way he composed his frames made them larger than life.  Growing up under Mussolini probably was a big influence.

Maybe he felt obligated to make this film to show his colleagues that he sympathized with the Left. But his message, like Bakunin, seems to be that revolution is meaningless for the little guy.  I never get the sense that his heart was in it like any of his other movies.  I think it shows in the end result, which is pretty muddled compared to his other work.  Mick Jagger was also getting pressure to be more political around the same time, and use his power to influence events.  His response was, “Tell me what can a poor boy do, ‘cept to sing in a rock n’ roll band”…Leave me alone, let me make my movies.