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Author Topic: Greatest Western.  (Read 24137 times)
titoli
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2009, 08:51:15 AM »

Yeh, that quote seems to imply that all Spaghetti Westerns are American because they are Westerns!  Grin

 Cheesy

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Novecento
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2009, 08:54:41 AM »

Perhaps of relevance here is Leone's response to Simsolo's questioning as to whether "Once Upon a Time in America" is the most Italian of American films or the most American of Italian films. Leone responds that it is the latter.

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titoli
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2009, 09:13:47 AM »

What I find ridiculous is taking seriously these folks. Anyway, I repost the Anica (official register of italian movies) which states that the american Paramount is an "associated producer" to the main ones which are italians. And consequently the nationality of the movie is italian:


http://www.anica.it/arc/1968/68ag2291.thtml


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Novecento
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2009, 11:16:30 AM »

It goes without saying (especially on this forum) that Once Upon a Time in the West is a truly brilliant film. Therefore it is great that any big institution takes it seriously enough to preserve. Although I am with Titoli (and indeed Leone from what can be extrapolated from his comments on OUATIA) that Once Upon a Time in the West is primarily an Italian movie, fundamentally the film's "nationality" does not matter but rather simply that this monumental masterpiece gets the recognition it deserves.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 02:53:17 PM by Novecento » Logged
Groggy
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2009, 11:35:34 AM »

Yeh, that quote seems to imply that all Spaghetti Westerns are American because they are Westerns!  Grin

Not even close.

This film was directly financed by an American company, unlike his earlier films, which were produced by a consortium of European production companies and later released through United Artists. By most standards employed that's enough to consider it at least partly an American film.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 11:37:30 AM by Groggy » Logged


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Novecento
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« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2009, 12:37:34 PM »

Not even close.

Well I did say "seems to imply". That is to say that whatever their intended meaning may have been, the sentence "Disdained as "Spaghetti Westerns" when they first appeared in American movie theaters, the best of these films, such as "Once Upon a Time in the West," are now recognized as among the greatest achievements of the Western movie genre" could be read to mean that films like OUATITW came from elsewhere (i.e. Italy) and were not appreciated but are in fact Westerns.

This film was directly financed by an American company, unlike his earlier films, which were produced by a consortium of European production companies and later released through United Artists. By most standards employed that's enough to consider it at least partly an American film.

I don't disagree with you here Groggy, but the key word is "partly" and that part was limited to the financial and not all of it in any case.

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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2009, 12:47:52 PM »

What I find ridiculous is taking seriously these folks. Anyway, I repost the Anica (official register of italian movies) which states that the american Paramount is an "associated producer" to the main ones which are italians. And consequently the nationality of the movie is italian:


http://www.anica.it/arc/1968/68ag2291.thtml


All that this proves is that OUATITW can also be considered an Italian film. But it cannot be considered exclusively Italian, as it is recognized in the US (with good reason) as an American film. Perhaps this is as fruitless a dispute as trying to decide if T.S. Eliot were an American or an English poet. In one sense, as Novecento points to, it really doesn't matter: great art transcends nationalities, even cultures.

However, in the case of Leone's film, it can be helpful to maintain a distinction between West and the films that SL made before he became an international (not merely European) auteur. There are pretensions in West that the maker of the Dollars films would never have aspired to. And although I would never characterize SL at any point in his career as having been a maker of "Spaghetti Westerns," the arrival of West certainly highlighted the fact that he was operating on an entirely different plane than those working in the SW ghetto.

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titoli
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2009, 03:34:41 PM »

All that this proves is that OUATITW can also be considered an Italian film. But it cannot be considered exclusively Italian, as it is recognized in the US (with good reason) as an American film. Perhaps this is as fruitless a dispute as trying to decide if T.S. Eliot were an American or an English poet. In one sense, as Novecento points to, it really doesn't matter: great art transcends nationalities, even cultures.

However, in the case of Leone's film, it can be helpful to maintain a distinction between West and the films that SL made before he became an international (not merely European) auteur. There are pretensions in West that the maker of the Dollars films would never have aspired to. And although I would never characterize SL at any point in his career as having been a maker of "Spaghetti Westerns," the arrival of West certainly highlighted the fact that he was operating on an entirely different plane than those working in the SW ghetto.

I have to admit that you're even funnier that the people at the library. On your first post you were telling that this is "undisputably" an american movie, now you say that it is "also" italian: make your mind up...
But the point it is not this. I would easily concede that this is the most american of L.'s westerns. The problem is another and we went into it when we talked about LoA. How do we decide about the nationality of a movie? By a toss-up? No, it isn't like this at all. As in Italy there was (and still is) a very clear law about it, strictly connected to the money the State grants to indigenous productions, the matter it cannot be a nmatter of dispute. Every movie must state clearly his nationality or multiple nationality (if a co-production. which it is not the case of C'era una volta il West) if it wants to have that statal subsides  granted, even abroad. The whole affair is regulated in front of a notary with a detailed procedure with a file that is then deposited at the ministry of Spectacle (which now has been incorporated in the misnistry of Tourism or can't remember what) and which makes law. Have you ever seen such a document? I presume you didn't: well it leaves no room for doubt. But, most of all, I ask you, should a judiciary quarrel between the italian producer and the american associate one have arisen, would that have been brought to court in Italy or USA?  
Now, I'm not an expert in these matters, but you're even less than me. I'm still asking the people of this forum (as I asked when trhe discussion was on LoA) how in USA the matter of the nationality goes. Nobody gave me an answer. And I have shown, I think, that the people at the library, have no inkling about that either.

« Last Edit: December 31, 2009, 03:35:42 PM by titoli » Logged

Groggy
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2009, 04:16:45 PM »

In one sense, as Novecento points to, it really doesn't matter: great art transcends nationalities, even cultures.


It would be nice if we could leave it at that, but titoli won't let us.

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« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2009, 04:19:53 PM »

I don't disagree with you here Groggy, but the key word is "partly" and that part was limited to the financial and not all of it in any case.

Well, you cannot disregard the financial aspects at all. Would the movie have been made without Paramount? Possibly, although Leone would have moved on to OUATIA if he could have. Would it have been as large a scale? With so many American stars and actors in the cast (heck, he might not have gotten Cardinale, Ferzetti and Stoppa without the budget he had)? Monument Valley and other American locations?

Granted, Leone was quite ambitious on GBU without American backing, but much of what makes OUATITW shine comes directly from the fact that it was funded by a major studio.

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« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2009, 04:43:49 PM »

Perhaps this is as fruitless a dispute as trying to decide if T.S. Eliot were an American or an English poet.

I'm curious - what about Vladimir Nabokov?

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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2009, 04:52:48 PM »

He has a pre-American period and an American period.

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Dust Devil
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2009, 04:55:53 PM »

But if you had to pick which one is dominant, which one it'd be?

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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2009, 04:57:26 PM »

I have to admit that you're even funnier that the people at the library. On your first post you were telling that this is "undisputably" an american movie, now you say that it is "also" italian: make your mind up...

I have. The movie is indisputably American; it can also be considered Italian. The two conditions are not mutually exclusvie.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2009, 04:59:49 PM »

But if you had to pick which one is dominant, which one it'd be?
Well, his American stuff probably includes his most significant achievements.

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