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Author Topic: Mystery of the "Girls in Agua Calente" not quite solved...but figured out  (Read 13962 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2012, 03:44:23 PM »

No it isn't. Did you read his chapter on Morricone?

I read the whole book. Was a painful experience

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« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2012, 07:30:53 AM »

It's an inference that I accept. Note that after each time he kills, Indio likes to relax with a smoke (likely Jimson weed). This is cinematic code for post-coital recovery. As he relaxes, he listens to the watch chime and/or has the flashback about the girl. He doesn't seem to have any desire/need for women, and instead gets release by firing his gun. The fact that the girl and the flashback are tied in with his particular kink can lead one, if you are so minded, to speculate that the fact of the girl killing herself instead of her allowing herself to be raped did a real number on Indio's head. You don't have to accept that interpretation, but it's there if you want it and it's not much of a stretch.

Not unexpectedly, the Sergio Leone Encyclopedia has an entry on this very subject:

Well said.

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« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2012, 08:06:42 AM »

He doesn't seem to have any desire/need for women, and instead gets release by firing his gun.

I wouldn't read too much into that. None of Leone's characters seem to have much time for women (with the exception of Ramon Rojo*). This is a world where people are preoccupied with killing and making money. As we know, Leone shot love scenes with TMWNN character in both FAFDM and GBU, but cut 'em (and it's good he did). But we don't think TMWNN is impotent, do we? Besides, we don't know what happens in the scenes of Indio's gang with the chicks in Agua Caliente (ie. the topic of this thread), but if it's just the gang partying with babes, then I guess Indio does have time for 'em, eh?


 (*Which reminds me, while recently reading through some old FOD threads, I saw that someone had this theory that Ramon also was impotent and merely used Marisol as a trophy, perhaps to compensate and show he was indeed macho (eg. we see him passionately kissing her in front of all the men... before having then men take her away to the small house). This is another one of those theories that cracks me the hell up: some people just have too much time on their hands, and try to read way too much into the hellzapoppin school of cinema  Wink


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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2012, 08:43:05 AM »

this all reminds me of something I heard on a podcast with Frayling: (and I have certainly heard and/or read him say similar things other times; I am just quoting this podcast cuz I happen to have it in front of me now): The point I'd like to emphasize is in yellow

"Leone felt that Westerns had got a bit talky; there was too much talking in them; he liked Westerns where Rin Tin Tin did all the thinking, you know: old-fashioned Westerns where (there was) lots and lots of action and not too much talk.
He didn't like psychology, Freudian Westerns got on his nerves. Films like The Left-Handed Gun with Paul Newman, where, you feel if there'd been a social worker around, Billy the Kid would never have happened. Films like that, he didn't like. He liked films where, a lot of shooting, a lot of riding, a lot of action, a lot of landscape."


Now, whether or not the "Impotent Indio" theory is correct, I have a question for anyone that wants to take a stab at it: Assuming Frayling is correct about Leone's dislike for "Freudian Westerns": Does the whole "Indio tormented by the memory of a rape gone bad" theme conflict with that? Or do you feel that Frayling is wrong?
And come to think of it, perhaps you can ask a similar question, (though probably to a much lesser extent), RE: Joe's cryptic "I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help" response to Marisol in FOD?


p.s. if anyone is interested in this podcast: I bought it on iTunes; it's officially categorized as an "Audiobook," (not a podcast), and is available for $1.95). it's from an interview Frayling did with on NPR's "Fresh Air" program, hosted by Terry Gross.
The official name of the file is "Fresh Air, Christopher Frayling, August 1, 2005." It is more than 50 minutes long, and over 40 minutes of it is the Frayling interview, which is all about Leone. I absolutely love listening to/watching/reading everything by Frayling, so I'd highly recommend you buy it  Afro



« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 01:12:41 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2012, 12:24:24 PM »

RE: Joe's cryptic "I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help" response to Marisol in FOD?

It is cryptic indeed, especially because it does not fit into the film. I do not know the answer, although I wonder about it. A possible theory: One of the returning ideas of Leone is the impossibility to leave the pictured world: the men trying to escape over the river in the massacre scene is shot by Ramón, Maureen trying to fly away with the bird cant and is shot by Frank, even Deborah, leaving with the train to “Hollywood” returns to her beginning, we are not told why. Marisol only managed to leave, and with the help of Joe. Why?

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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 12:40:01 PM »

RE: Joe's cryptic "I knew someone like you once and there was no one there to help" response to Marisol in FOD?


This pretty conventional line is the biggest mistake Leone made in FOD. Apart from Eastwood not keeping the money.

A similar bad dialogue in FaFDM in which Eastwood talks about retiring on a farm. Shows that Leone still wasn't exactly sure about what he was achieving.


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« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 01:15:48 PM »

This pretty conventional line is the biggest mistake Leone made in FOD. Apart from Eastwood not keeping the money.

A similar bad dialogue in FaFDM in which Eastwood talks about retiring on a farm. Shows that Leone still wasn't exactly sure about what he was achieving.



Again, my question is: can that line by Joe, and especially Indio and his flashbacks, be reconciled with what Frayling says was Leone's dislike for "Freudian Westerns"? Ie. is FAFDM (and to a lesser extent, FOD) a "Freudian Western"?

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« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 04:39:43 PM »

Note that after each time he kills, Indio likes to relax with a smoke (likely Jimson weed). This is cinematic code for post-coital recovery.
You mean like... gay subtext?

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« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2012, 02:49:42 AM »

Again, my question is: can that line by Joe, and especially Indio and his flashbacks, be reconciled with what Frayling says was Leone's dislike for "Freudian Westerns"? Ie. is FAFDM (and to a lesser extent, FOD) a "Freudian Western"?

Basically Leones westerns are the opposite of the psychological westerns of the previous 15 years. But these "adult" westerns (The Left Handed Gun may be the most extreme example) were only a minority, while most of the westerns were still dealing with the usual stereotypes.

Leone had a post modern approach towards the genre. Most of his characters, and especially the Eastwoods roles, are variations of certain stereotypes, but Leone modified the stereotypes to such an extent that his films felt new in a very radical way. And the modernism of his new kind of hero, who is only interested in money in an abstract way, makes such old fashioned and extremely conventional lines (like the 2 mentioned above) sound pretty odd.
But in GBU Leone started to contrast the stereotyped archetypes of Good and Bad with fully fleshed out character.
Indio lies somewhere between the simple FOD baddie Ramon and the complex Tuco. But even if Leone wasn't interested in psychologically complex characters at that time, he still worked with screenplay writers who may brought these things in his films, and sometimes things like a gay subtext or the possibility of impotent heroes may be brought unconsciously by filmmakers into their films.

In the end it is open for interpretation. Indio isn't obviously shown as impotent due to a psychological trauma, but the possibility of Jenkins interpretation is definitely there.

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« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2012, 06:14:11 AM »


A similar bad dialogue in FaFDM in which Eastwood talks about retiring on a farm. Shows that Leone still wasn't exactly sure about what he was achieving.



I think you are very right, as there is no reasonable explanation. I am a little bit endangered by the “retiring on a farm” as there is a parallel action in the film. Tomaso also “retired”, (You used the reward that you got... to start raising a family.) Tomaso is shown as a traitor, killed even by El Indio an even damned by heaven (see the figure of Jesus pointing him even in his dead to hell). Monco is shown as the winner. So again most likely you are right and Leone did not have a straight concept at this early stage of his carrier.

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« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2012, 02:50:51 PM »

You mean like... gay subtext?
Not necessarily. It's a device that works with any orientation.

But now that you mention it, Indio DOES like to hang with dudes a lot . . .  Wink

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« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2012, 03:01:36 PM »

Now, whether or not the "Impotent Indio" theory is correct, I have a question for anyone that wants to take a stab at it: Assuming Frayling is correct about Leone's dislike for "Freudian Westerns": Does the whole "Indio tormented by the memory of a rape gone bad" theme conflict with that?
No, because the Freudian reading isn't required by the text/film. Simon Oakland doesn't show up at the end and offer an explanation that we are expected to accept. But a Freudian reading isn't excluded (just as we are free to place Jungian, Marxian, or Structuralist interpretations on the material if we're so minded). The Lion did his part (slaying the talk-centered Western), now he leaves it to the jackals to fight over the pickings.

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« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2012, 02:30:29 AM »

Not necessarily. It's a device that works with any orientation.

But now that you mention it, Indio DOES like to hang with dudes a lot . . .  Wink

Ha ha, yes he does, and I always thought it was a big mistake that Blondie left Tuco at the end of GBU instead of riding with him into the sunset and in a carefree future ...

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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2012, 02:44:15 AM »

Ha ha, yes he does, and I always thought it was a big mistake that Blondie left Tuco at the end of GBU instead of riding with him into the sunset and in a carefree future ...

Whatever fun you have reading into it, no, it was not a mistake. It would not be the same film.

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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2012, 04:08:06 AM »

Whatever fun you have reading into it, no, it was not a mistake. It would not be the same film.

Well, yes, of course ... it was ... hmmm.. only a joke ... wasn't it?

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