The Euro-Western book is focused on showing the ways in which European Westerns prefigured Hollywood Westerns when it came to introducing progressive or groundbreaking representations of the wild West’s traditional ‘Others’ (strong women in the case of British Westerns, Native Americans in the case of West German Westerns and African Americans in the case of Italian Westerns). There’s some narrative analysis in the book (comparing Euro-Western plot points and scenes with those of relevant Hollywood Westerns) but any aspect of the films that can be used to illustrate the atypical representation of these characters is drawn upon and this includes technical aspects such as editing and cinematography.
For example, when the book deals with Woody Strode’s appearance in ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, it’s noted that Stony is introduced in what is only the third shot of the film, is granted several close-ups, is a villainous character, is the possessor of the largest weapon and is the only antagonist of the three featured to successfully hit Harmonica with a bullet. A definite break with the way that Hollywood employed and represented African Americans in its contemporaneous Westerns and Colizzi’s films build on what Leone did and take it in even more interesting and striking directions. The progressive character traits, activities and actions that Colizzi gave his African American characters are detailed in the book and are too numerous to summarise here. But at a technical level the book does also consider the way that Colizzi used editing, camera angles, shot sizes, shot composition and blocking to further empower his African American characters.