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Author Topic: Pale Rider (1985)  (Read 39705 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #120 on: March 19, 2012, 03:40:30 AM »

So FOD should never have come into existence? Cool

I'm talking, also, about the (at the time) zeitgeist that existed for the Western, and the visual cinematic language of the traditional AW that we the audience here in the US all knew, and that Leone learned and spectacular-ized.  Leone's Westerns basically looked correct (it also helped having Eastwood a direct link to the AW). And Leone emphasized style and soundtrack which made them unique and those two cards trumped the typical staple American Western character actor who spouted "genuine frontier gibberish".

Today, without the zeitgeist, without Almeria's landscapes,  and without Eastwood and other traditional AW actors providing a linkage with cinematic memory I would say that FOD may not be able to come into existence.  

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« Reply #121 on: March 19, 2012, 04:45:20 AM »

I'm talking, also, about the (at the time) zeitgeist that existed for the Western, and the visual cinematic language of the traditional AW that we the audience here in the US all knew, and that Leone learned and spectacular-ized.  Leone's Westerns basically looked correct (it also helped having Eastwood a direct link to the AW). And Leone emphasized style and soundtrack which made them unique and those two cards trumped the typical staple American Western character actor who spouted "genuine frontier gibberish".

Today, without the zeitgeist, without Almeria's landscapes,  and without Eastwood and other traditional AW actors providing a linkage with cinematic memory I would say that FOD may not be able to come into existence. 

 Shocked  Shocked Shocked You're talking after the fact. Leone's westerns looked correct?  Oh my God, what you're talking about?  At the time they looked as uncorrect as can be, have you forgotten it? Read the reviews in Garfield book, written in 1980 (not in 1964) and see how correct Leone was (and probably is still by some) perceived.   Eastwood a link? You didn't even realize it was him when you saw him on FAFDM! 

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« Reply #122 on: March 19, 2012, 10:06:02 AM »

Not too violently I hope. I wear glasses.
What's your disgreement about my clever and in depth analysis about True Grit?

Your criticisms don't seem to make much sense. You say it's partly like a Coen Bros. film and partly like No Country for Old Men? How does that compute? You may be right but not in the way you think.

If you like I find True Grit a traditional Western with Coen Bros. stylings sprinkled on top. I said most of what I had to say about the film in its thread.

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« Reply #123 on: March 19, 2012, 10:10:25 AM »

Today, without the zeitgeist, without Almeria's landscapes,  and without Eastwood and other traditional AW actors providing a linkage with cinematic memory I would say that FOD may not be able to come into existence.  

Not sure how that computes. How many Westerns prior to the Spaghettis were shot in Almeria? A few war films/epics/peplums were but that's not the cinematic language you're talking about. Leone's European sensibilities and stylings certainly weren't "a linkage with cinematic memory" to the average Western viewer. Homage isn't enough of a link or else contemporary Westerns should be exempt from this criticism.

I hate to agree with Titoli but I think he's right on this one.

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« Reply #124 on: March 19, 2012, 12:46:26 PM »

Shocked  Shocked Shocked You're talking after the fact. Leone's westerns looked correct?  Oh my God, what you're talking about?  At the time they looked as uncorrect as can be, have you forgotten it? Read the reviews in Garfield book, written in 1980 (not in 1964) and see how correct Leone was (and probably is still by some) perceived.   Eastwood a link? You didn't even realize it was him when you saw him on FAFDM! 

Looked correct as in Almeria rambalas does look like Mexico/New Mexico, the FOD and FAFDM sets looked like a Western border town. Indio and the gang looked like Mexicans

Not glaringly different As opposed to say Corbucci's "The Specialist" which with its setting in the Alps looked off and, or say a film like Bad Company which looks like the Dead End Kids out West, or any (for me anyway) Western that shows the ocean like One-Eyed Jacks or Hannie Caulder for instance

No I didn't recognize Eastwood, but the first SW I saw was FAFDM and I did recognize Van Cleef and at least Van Cleef provided that cinematic memory link I mentioned.

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« Reply #125 on: March 19, 2012, 01:12:37 PM »

Not sure how that computes. How many Westerns prior to the Spaghettis were shot in Almeria? A few war films/epics/peplums were but that's not the cinematic language you're talking about. Leone's European sensibilities and stylings certainly weren't "a linkage with cinematic memory" to the average Western viewer. Homage isn't enough of a link or else contemporary Westerns should be exempt from this criticism.

I hate to agree with Titoli but I think he's right on this one.

Very few prior to Leone but there were some.

Almeria's rambalas and deserts look like Mexico/New Mexico, its vegetation of sage and olive is what even far to the North Montana has on its bad lands & plains i.e., sage brush & Russian olive so that landscape look is the cinematic memory link to American Westerns, the towns look like Mexican towns, that is what I'm referring to. Leone wisely didn't set his Westerns on the great plains, and didn't involve Native Americans, he emphasized the faux-look-a-like archetypes he had available.

(I can think of a few SW's where the landscape was way way too green one that pops immediately into mind is Mannanja) 

As soon as Leone set his tales/stories in the Western border towns emphasizing that whole milieu, i.e., telling the tale from the Spanish/Catholic side of the coin there was a linkage of sorts to the occasional AW's that had Mexican Bandits but prior to Leone we only saw it from the Manifest Destiny/Protestant view, but the opposite view was always implied.

An Example is Red River, when John Wayne meets the two Vaqueros who tell him that the land belongs to some far off Patron granted from the King of Spain he guns one of them down, and says that that is too much land for one man. That brief encounter with the Vaqueros implies for me that there is another side to the story, another view. That other view, for me anyway I get in Leone's tales.

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« Reply #126 on: March 19, 2012, 02:14:57 PM »

According to this list Young Guns earned some more Bucks:

http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=western.htm

yeah I just mentioned the quote on Wikipedia without looking at the citation. Perhaps it means that it "became the highest grossing Western of the 1980's" up till that point (Young Guns was released a few years later). But yeah, if that's the case, it's a very misleading statement and if any of y'all are a wikipedia editor you may wanna change it.


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« Reply #127 on: March 19, 2012, 02:32:31 PM »

What the genre needs is a film which renews the genre and is at the same time very successful. But since the 70s there was nothing new in the genre. Every western made since then could have already be done back then.
And many of those westerns of the last 30 years are pretty old fashioned in their approach towards the genre.

Frankly said, I have no clue how to make an original new western which could at the same time appeal to a wide audience.

I wish we'd return to the era of making Westerns, and I am not all that worried about having a brand new kind of Western. Of all the great AW's of the 40's and 50's, how many can you say have great and original stories? Most of my favorite AW's are pretty straightforward movies about a sherrif tring to keep bad guys locked up (Rio Bravo), cavalry and clashes with Indians (Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), a Wyatt Earp story (My Darling Clementine), or a cattle drive (Red River).Or some kind of conflict between landowners (The Big Country), etc. I don't know how much the Western genre lends itself to having many new and original stories, without risking falling into a melodrama with the Western setting almost irrelevant (eg. Duel in the Sun, The Hanging Tree), the former of which I did not like and the latter I did. McCabe &  Mrs. Miller, one of my all-time favorite movies, is a very original Western, but in general I believe that if you want to make a real Western (ie. not just a melodrama in Western garb), I don't know how many really new stories there are to tell.

But I just wanna see some good Westerns; I am fine with unoriginal stories. I wish we could get back to the days where the studios were banging out dozens of Westerns, mostly unoriginal and mediocre -- cuz within the bad bunch, there would be a few good ones. I kind of feel that since Westerns are hardly ever released now, in the rare times they are released (except when it's a remake of an earlier film) they feel it has to be something very different, and are afraid of doing something that looks like a more "standard" 1950's Western. In other words, a new Western today might look like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, but there is no way that a movie like Rio Bravo, The Far Country, or The Big Country would be released today. Since the genre is almost non-existent, I feel like in the rare times that a movie is made, it's felt that it has to be something unique that has never been seen before, and I'd really love just seeing some good Westerns that don't feel like they hav eto necessarily be re-inventing the genre or new in any way, but look like any good Western of the 40's or 50's. The new and original type is certainly welcome also, but not necessary.

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« Reply #128 on: March 19, 2012, 02:54:23 PM »

Looked correct as in Almeria rambalas does look like Mexico/New Mexico, the FOD and FAFDM sets looked like a Western border town. Indio and the gang looked like Mexicans

Not glaringly different As opposed to say Corbucci's "The Specialist" which with its setting in the Alps looked off and, or say a film like Bad Company which looks like the Dead End Kids out West, or any (for me anyway) Western that shows the ocean like One-Eyed Jacks or Hannie Caulder for instance

No I didn't recognize Eastwood, but the first SW I saw was FAFDM and I did recognize Van Cleef and at least Van Cleef provided that cinematic memory link I mentioned.

Frayling has frequented said this: The difference the Hollywood Western and the Italian Western are that in the end, the Hollywood Western were Protestant Westerns, while the Italian Westerns were Catholic Westerns.
(I'm paraphrasing; if I find the exact quote I will change it, but it's pretty darn close)

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« Reply #129 on: March 19, 2012, 05:07:28 PM »

I don't have any problem whatsoever with PR; it's not memorable but it's solidly acted and entertaining all around, if in a cliched way. 7/10

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« Reply #130 on: March 19, 2012, 05:09:14 PM »

Frayling has frequented said this: The difference the Hollywood Western and the Italian Western are that in the end, the Hollywood Western were Protestant Westerns, while the Italian Westerns were Catholic Westerns.

Nonsense really, whoever said/wrote it, ain't it?

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« Reply #131 on: March 19, 2012, 05:10:41 PM »

Frayling has frequented said this: The difference the Hollywood Western and the Italian Western are that in the end, the Hollywood Western were Protestant Westerns, while the Italian Westerns were Catholic Westerns.
(I'm paraphrasing; if I find the exact quote I will change it, but it's pretty darn close)

Kindly explain John Ford and Sam Peckinpah then.

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« Reply #132 on: March 19, 2012, 06:17:05 PM »

Looked correct as in Almeria rambalas does look like Mexico/New Mexico, the FOD and FAFDM sets looked like a Western border town. Indio and the gang looked like Mexicans

And how many westerns with a Mexico\New Mexico look and with Mexicans having a leading part did you have prior to that one? None. M7 was shot in a Swiss Alps Mexico (or at least that was what it looked) and the Calvera gang had their counterpart in the good Mexicans with their women and children. In FOD and FFDM there was (almost) nothing of that.  The look of that landscape was nothing like it was until that moment: the first shot of Eastwood and the noose is something absolutely unseen before. And the kid maltreated by Volontè's gang? That can be perceived as a Southern border  town but it is a completely different cinematic landscape.

Quote
Not glaringly different As opposed to say Corbucci's "The Specialist" which with its setting in the Alps looked off and, or say a film like Bad Company which looks like the Dead End Kids out West, or any (for me anyway) Western that shows the ocean like One-Eyed Jacks or Hannie Caulder for instance.

Of course they raised the ante but they were not perceived as disruptive as Leone was because they came some 200 SW later. Actually I well remembered  (I wrote this here repeatedly) going to the theaters looking for SW because of their outrageousness: AW was too tame after Leone. I expected to find over the top action in SW: and they had to deliver. But that was because Leone had shown the way.  I am 100% sure that me and my father weren't alone in this preference.

Quote
No I didn't recognize Eastwood, but the first SW I saw was FAFDM and I did recognize Van Cleef and at least Van Cleef provided that cinematic memory link I mentioned.
[/quote]

I think you were among the blessed hundred in USA who were able at the time to tell who Van Cleef was.

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« Reply #133 on: March 19, 2012, 06:37:22 PM »

I found the exact Frayling quote; I'm transcribing an extended version of it to give it some context. Here goes:


"When these movies came out, they were treated as ersatz American movies, you know, carbon copy Westerns, Westerns which were trying to ape Hollywood. I don't believe that. These are Italian movies; I think they're really best understood as part of Italian culture and European culture. FOD and FAFDM were originally made for the home audience. In the 1960's, Southern Italian audiences went to the cinema more often than any other audiences in the world outside America. Southern Italian audiences went to the cinema twice a week on average, as adults. There was no television in Southern Italy in the mid-60's.

So all the cultural references are for that audience. There's lots of references to Italian paintings, to Roman Catholicism: there are bells and churches and monks and cemeteries and crosses and angels and the interiors of churches and the whole iconography of Roman Catholicism.

I think one difference between the Italian Western and the American Western is that in the end, the American Western is a Protestant genre, based upon a Protestant view of the world in the 19th Century; whereas the Italian Western is a Catholic genre, you know, at that fundamental level. Not in an upfront way, but that's just the visual references."



This is from an interview/conversation Frayling did with Terry Gross, host of the NPR show "Fresh Air," that I downloaded off iTunes.
The title is "Fresh Air, Christopher Frayling, August 1, 2005."
 It is really good; it's listed in the "Audio Book" category of iTunes,  and costs $1.95 to download  Afro

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« Reply #134 on: March 19, 2012, 08:05:50 PM »

Frayling, as usual, makes confusion: he starts talking about SW and then generalizes by quoting FOD and FFDM. FOD wasn't treated like an ersatz western when released. Everybody was well aware of the break with the traditional western it enacted: otherwise it couldn't have been the hit it was. It was just the contrary:  Leone was mostly accused to have degraded, perverted (fans said "revolutionized") the laws of the genre as established by the americans: but that was no "ersatz" (surrogate).  Ersatz was what Euro-Western was before Leone.

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