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Messages - Austin

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:Big Themes
« on: March 04, 2004, 06:27:44 AM »
Not had time to consider this seriously, but Dante's Inferno is circled by the River Acheron, which cannot be crossed by those in eternal limbo (having done nothing with their lives - good nor bad). Only by paying Charon the ferryman may a  soul cross....................

so, stretching the argument to breaking point (and eating up some time at work) - the battle for the Bridge shows the Civil War as futile, not just politically, but spiritually. Union, Confederate, it makes no difference - all are in soulless limbo and can't cross, while those whose lives have made a difference (the good, the bad and the ugly) cross pretty damn easily and enter the realm of the dead (the Cemetary). Tuco then undergoes his Purgatory on the cross before being  released by Blondie's 'god'.

Phew i need a rest........and a drink.

Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968)
« on: February 10, 2004, 02:39:37 AM »
Franco Solinas's script is full of Marxist undertones, but 'A Bullet for the General' can also be enjoyed on a purely plot-based level. Volonte is magnificent as a gold-hungry bandido, and Klaus Kinski is his usual exuberant self (this time hurling grenades in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost - oh, and the Revolution).

If you, like me, are interested in the Mexican Revolution, this film is the one for you. It's full of thoughtful studies of the realities of coups d'etat, like the difficulty of forming post-revolutionary governments in a largely illiterate society, and the essentially mercenary nature of many people's 'principles'.

It also has some truly great scenes - the hold up of the train by Cuncho's gang right at the start draws you straight in, and shows you some brutal realities of the Revolution right from the off. Also, the narrative subtly shows revolutionary convictions awaken in Volonte's bandit as the film progresses.

I'd say it is believable (if you look closely enough you can spot some pertinent CIA references), but I'm not going to spoil the plot, because it's worth watching. The attention to historical detail strikes me as being similar to Leone's now you mention it - the larger picture may not narrate exactly what 'happened', but the little details place you firmly in the Mexican Revolution (anti Diaz graffiti, peon village pageants).

Anyway I'm rambling now - not everyone's cup of tea, but for me up there with Leone.

General Discussion / Re:Leone Film Survivor
« on: February 09, 2004, 07:05:35 AM »
I counted 2 votes for OUATITW to win and 1 for GBU! Am I missing something?

Trivia Games / Re:Tuco and 80's Music
« on: February 09, 2004, 06:50:46 AM »
don't know about that one, but I'm sure Bomb the Bass's 'Beat Dis' had a sample of GBU's main theme???

Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968)
« on: February 09, 2004, 06:47:35 AM »
I have yet to see The Great Silence, but I am intrigued to do so. Is it on sale in the UK anyone?

'A Bullet for the General' is one of my favourite Spaghetti Westerns, Leone included. That and 'The Big Gundown' are fantastically serious studies of Western politics, with a bit for the genre fans thrown in (Volonte in 'Bullet', Van Cleef and a delightfully evil Austrian gunslinger in 'Gundown'). Django I found very very weird - but a great watch.

General Discussion / Re:Leone Film Survivor
« on: January 24, 2004, 09:37:03 AM »
By definition everyone on this board loves both of these films I would have thought, so it comes down to gut feeling. OUATITW has always been my favourite Leone film, and perhaps my favourite film of all time, so as much as it pains me..... GBU gets my vote for the chop  :'(

Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Desert Island Films
« on: January 23, 2004, 07:53:35 AM »
Hmm that's a good diverse films eh?
Well, in no particular order:

Star Wars
This is Spinal Tap
Rear Window
12 Angry Men
Easy Rider
The Life of Brian

General Discussion / Re:My thesis URL
« on: January 20, 2004, 07:18:49 AM »
Gee shucks ::)

Just don't expect my next undertaking to be so intelligible! :P

Yeah I saw that on Film 4 too. I was pleasantly surprised, since I'd been led to believe that all the Django spin-offs were crap (though I think they just stole the name for this one). There was a really cool horror/film noir feel to this film. More please film 4!!!

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:Convincing others
« on: January 19, 2004, 07:15:39 AM »
Hey Austin.  Did you ever convince your girlfriend to watch GBU?  :D  

I'm trying, I'm trying. That one is harder, because the title is so famous that people have been put off by ingrained prejudices against it. Loads of people I've met think GBU is a cheaply made Hollywood cowboys and Indians flick!!! I'm not even joking. >:( :-X

General Discussion / Re:My thesis URL
« on: January 19, 2004, 02:26:03 AM »
Good spot Piribiriboing. That was a typo, but one I should have seen myself. I shall remedy it. Actually that dissertation was examined in 2001, and it fell short of a distinction by one per cent  >:( Maybe that's why  ;)........

but seriously, i'd rather have mis-typed a date that is beside the point than some central one like the Civil War.

Oh and I studied Eirikr the Red's expeditions as part of my first degree's Old Icelandic component - very interesting. Those Minnesota Vikings have a bit of history to 'em!

Trivia Games / Re:Brett McBain
« on: January 16, 2004, 04:52:46 AM »
Frank Wolff appeared in God Forgives - I Don't with Spencer and Hill. I think he's a villain in that?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re:Convincing others
« on: January 16, 2004, 04:09:17 AM »
I totally agree. Some very astute comments there Jayson. The attitude that film is a culturally inferior art form is one I come up against every day. Yesterday I had a well respected English Literature professor tell me that he objects to the notion of film theory because film is essentially just wallpaper for the hoi poloi to be distracted for a couple of hours. My first degree was in English, but I became more interested in film precisely because of these sorts of attitudes. Such an infant art form, so much fertile ground for fresh research.

Anyway, sorry I'm rambling now (and preaching to the converted).

Briefly back to the original topic - as the OUATITW DVD arrived from Amazon in November, my girlfriend said "I'm not watching that with you - I hate Westerns." My reply of "this is no ordinary Western - you'll see" persuaded her to see "only the first half hour." I think you can guess the rest  ::) Suffice to say she changed her mind  ;D

General Discussion / Re:My thesis URL
« on: January 16, 2004, 03:43:06 AM »
Thanks for the positive comments. Very encouraging. If I ever finish this goddam PhD I'll have to get it properly published, but it's nice to have a website to get work 'out there' at long last!

Oh by the way deMaie - if you're interested in Leone/Peckinpah comparisons, Lee Clark Mitchell's Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film has got a lot of good material on this, even if he veers off into Freudianism a little too much for my taste.

General Discussion / My thesis URL
« on: January 14, 2004, 09:55:25 AM »
OK a few people expressed an interest in reading my M.A. thesis on Leone, and I at last worked out how to get it on the web, so here it is:

If you can be bothered ploughing your way through it I'd be interested to hear your comments. It was written two and a half years ago so not everything there is still my opinion (since subsequent research has informed me more). Anyway it's there if you're interested.


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