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Author Topic: Once upon a time the Mexican Revolutions  (Read 5024 times)
franc tireur
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« on: March 22, 2007, 04:06:26 PM »

Hello all, this is my first post, and I'm glad to share my interest for Sergio Leone, definitely one of the most underrated creators of cinema.

Giu la Testa has a very special place in my heart because it's the very first Leone I ever saw, when I was 13 or 14, during its reopening in France in the mid 80s. Needless to say, it left a deep impression on me, both as a film viewer but also as a skeptic towards ideologies of all types.

Now that I've expressed myself, and hoping that someone is still reading, I'd like to contribute modestly to the pool of knowledge and reflexion of this site.

1- Having seen John Ford's The Informer for the first time a few months ago, it struck me that the central character, played by Victor McLaglen, who actual informs on his fugitive comrade to the British authorities, is named Gypo Nolan. It now seems clear that the name Nolan found in the original script (not uttered in the film) is a direct reference to the status of informer of Sean's friend. Also, Ford's film is a story about redemption, like Sean's personal arc in Giu la Testa. That's why it seems very interesting to study the connections between Leone and Ford, not only in terms of respect and admiration, but also in common themes.

2- I spend most of my week in trains and subways, which enabled me to read two novels about revolutions in Mexico back to back.
The first one is La lejania del tesoro, translated as Le trésor fantôme in french, written by the wonderful Paco Ignacio Taibo II. It revolves around the multiple stories of the war of the Mexican republicans led by presidente Juarez against the European imperialists (1862-1867). Full of verve, revolutionary humour and inspired by the actual Guillermo Prieto, this book is incredibly entertaining and at the same time shows great depth in historical research and insight.
The second one is The friends of Pancho Villa, by James Carlos Blake, inspired by the real life of the famous revolutionary. This time, the revolution appears immediately is a cynical farce against any decency and reason. Narrated by one of Villa's murderous sidekicks, it provides a perfect background to the story of Giu la Testa, and explains the logic and mentality of those tragic times.
Of course, I recommend both books, even though the first one doen't seem to be widely available (and not translated in english).

As both books refer to actual military operations, it is practical to see them taking place on maps. By googling Mexico Intervention in Google Images, the first link will give you a map of the 1862-1867 war, taken from a site where you can get another map for the Zapata-Villa Revolution, by clicking The Constitutionalist Revolution.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 04:09:04 PM by franc tireur » Logged
dave jenkins
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 05:52:22 PM »

Welcome to the board, franc, and thank you for your thoughtful comments. As I haven't had a chance yet to see "The Informer," I was particularly interested in your impressions of it. I know that SL took inspiration from that film, but it's always helpful to get detailed instances. If any more occur to you, please pass them on. Afro

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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 06:14:59 PM »

I'm going to butt in here if you don't mind Dave and say the Informer is a wonderful film. It looks fantastic, great use of shadows, fog, dark lighting etc. The plot really draws you in. I heartily recomend it. It's definatly my favourite John Ford 'Non-Western' followed closely by Young Mr Lincoln.  Afro

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2007, 06:24:54 PM »

Welcome to the forum Smiley


Can't wait to see what you can contribute! You are already off to a great start!

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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2007, 06:30:49 PM »

Better get my welcome in also  Wink Look forward to reading more posts from you  Afro

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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2007, 08:18:35 AM »

Welcome to the boards.   Afro

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franc tireur
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2007, 02:27:35 AM »

Thanks for the welcome, people.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2007, 10:13:53 AM »

Franc, your avatar is Blueberry, no?


Couldn't stand that flick!

« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 11:24:42 AM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2007, 10:52:31 AM »

Quote
Couldn't stand that flick!

The movie was bad,and I mean bad...
Blueberry(comic) has a cult status here in Europe,I can't understand how they menaged to do such a travesty of him?! Angry

@franc tireur welcome aboard! Smiley

« Last Edit: March 24, 2007, 03:56:08 PM by Tuco the ugly deer hunter » Logged
franc tireur
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2007, 11:56:52 AM »

Yes, it's Blueberry.

I actually liked the film, because I didn't stick to my ideas of what a proper western should be. Being a big fan of the graphic novel, I wished there would be a better connection with it in the film, but it took interesting directions.

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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2007, 12:00:12 PM »

Yes, it's Blueberry.

I actually liked the film, because I didn't stick to my ideas of what a proper western should be. Being a big fan of the graphic novel, I wished there would be a better connection with it in the film, but it took interesting directions.

Too many centipede hallucinations for me.

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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2007, 12:20:06 PM »

Too many centipede hallucinations for me.

 Huh

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2007, 12:24:03 PM »

Huh

watch the film Peace. You''l see what I mean.

But don't say I didn't warn you!

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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2007, 12:25:16 PM »

watch the film Peace. You''l see what I mean.

But don't say I didn't warn you!

I've seen some weird movies before, but this one just sounds insane.





























Centipede hallucinations?!?

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cigar joe
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2007, 02:25:56 PM »

I liked it too, halucinations and all, must be because I grew up in the 60's  Afro

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