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: The poncho  ( 20536 )
titoli
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« : May 06, 2007, 03:53:24 PM »

Already discussed here:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=4693.0

When I first saw the movie, I was struck by it. I don't think I knew what a poncho was before FOD. I think that everybody will agree that it makes immediately the hero recognizable for a highly individualistic but, most of all, for an anarchistic fellow, who has no qualms about contaminating himself with foreign or low-class paraphernalia or values. He can stride both sides of the fench: being the highly specialized, gifted gringo and at trhe same time sharing and exhibiting the values of the outcast. So it comes to nothing the hypothesis that Eastwood might even remotely have made the decision about what to don.
Do the newer generations still catch up (though inconsciously) with the ideological value of the garment?  

« : June 24, 2011, 09:35:35 PM titoli »

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« #1 : May 06, 2007, 08:28:38 PM »

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Do the newer generations still catch up (though inconsciously) with the ideological value of the garment?   


Good question, I would say probably yes.


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« #2 : May 06, 2007, 11:37:14 PM »

I think I do. I was wondering if a "gringo" would really wear poncho; and I think I quite got what you described as its meaning.
Though the first film I saw was GBU, so it was a bit weaker impression.



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« #3 : May 08, 2007, 08:12:10 AM »

It's not just a question of "style," after all. Ponchos have a very definite utilitarian purpose.



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« #4 : May 09, 2007, 02:44:16 PM »

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It's not just a question of "style," after all. Ponchos have a very definite utilitarian purpose.

In movies (expecially in popular movies) everything is a matter of style.


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« #5 : May 10, 2007, 05:37:09 PM »

I think you can get an argument on this regarding SL. For example, as CJ has pointed out, Leone went out of his way to be historically accurate regarding firearms. And dusters were useful before they were stylish.



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« #6 : May 11, 2007, 02:46:44 PM »

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Leone went out of his way to be historically accurate regarding firearms.


Like Tuco's reconstructed gun? Or the cannons? 

Leone went out of his way to make an impression on his audience. The poncho is the first element by which to make an impression on the viewer. And it is deliberate, searched for. I was struck by it as soon as I saw it because the hero wasn't supposed to be dressed like this and Leone knew it very well. The mule it's a second element but that doesn't make Leone going out of his way, both as to historical reality or (I can dimly remember having seen the hero riding one in some other western) as to Hollywood's tradition. The ponchoed western hero just wasn't   in western movies before Leone (I don't know historically. though I doubt it: CJ can enlighten us on the matter): and that is what matters.
BTW, I would like to ask CJ or one of the older contributors to the forum whether they received, as teenagers, the same impact as me by Eastwood's appearance (though of course it couldn't be exactly like mine as I didn't know him from Rawhide). 


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« #7 : May 11, 2007, 04:01:34 PM »

It turns out that being historically accurate can make an impression on an audience because it departs from Hollywood conventions. I may be wrong about this, but I believe that mules were more common than horses in the West. What then can be more natural than having the drifter-hero ride into town on one? And the well-lit saloons of American Westerns bear little resemblance to the public houses actually frequented by working men of the period. By showing a bar that is dark and dingy, SL was able to be historically faithful and also surprise his audience with a "new" look.



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« #8 : May 11, 2007, 04:29:44 PM »

He was firstly a showman. So if historical accuracy didn't go against spectacularity he adopted it. But he was ready to abandon historical accuracy and adopt artistic freedom for the show's sake.
Mule could have been very popular at the time, but the point is you don't introduce a hero riding one, in western movies. The moment you do, you make firstly a strong ideological statement. Historical truth comes second.


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« #9 : May 11, 2007, 06:18:53 PM »

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BTW, I would like to ask CJ or one of the older contributors to the forum whether they received, as teenagers, the same impact as me by Eastwood's appearance (though of course it couldn't be exactly like mine as I didn't know him from Rawhide). 


Definitely made an impression, I think I mentioned once before that I didn't even recognize Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More and I was an avid Rawhide watcher.


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« #10 : May 11, 2007, 06:43:10 PM »

He was firstly a showman. So if historical accuracy didn't go against spectacularity he adopted it. But he was ready to abandon historical accuracy and adopt artistic freedom for the show's sake.
Mule could have been very popular at the time, but the point is you don't introduce a hero riding one, in western movies. The moment you do, you make firstly a strong ideological statement. Historical truth comes second.

I agree. For the Dollars films, I think Leone was much more interested in deconstructing the American Western than trying to pass himself off as a history buff. I know that he looked through hundreds (if not thousands) of photographs from the old west to help mold his artistic stlye, and like you said, he only used what he liked. Then again, "the look" always held a higher value of importance than historical accuracy.



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« #11 : May 11, 2007, 06:46:03 PM »

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Definitely made an impression, I think I mentioned once before that I didn't even recognize Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More and I was an avid Rawhide watcher.

Yeah, but I want to know your reaction, if any, not to Eastwood being cast against type but to the garment.


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« #12 : May 12, 2007, 05:27:35 AM »

my reaction to the garment was that it was a cool idea, it hid his hand movements (I hadn't seen AFOD first so the hidden armor of the iron mine car I hadn't seen yet). As I said in another thread long ago previously only peons wore them in AW's.


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« #13 : May 12, 2007, 02:49:08 PM »

Thanx. I hadn't thought about the hiding of his movement because what I was hit with first was the strangeness of the garment itself (it was the first time I saw any) And the fact that it gave theatrality to his gunfight (like the opening of a curtain). But of course I am talking about FOD and you of FFDM.


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« #14 : May 13, 2007, 06:59:31 AM »

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I hadn't thought about the hiding of his movement because what I was hit with first was the strangeness of the garment itself (it was the first time I saw any) And the fact that it gave theatrality to his gunfight (like the opening of a curtain).


That's a good point, the theatricality of its use was more pronounced in AFOD, so you'd have some anticipation in FAFDM of the garments possibilities.


"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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