[quote=“billo, post:466, topic:322”]Hello gentlemen, gringos, bastardos, sons-of-bitches, and men with no names.
This is my first post here, and I’d like to thank you for being such an awesome site.
I’ve been infatuated with the dollars trilogy since I was a teenager. Seen them a million times. Styled myself in my imagination as Clint. Viewed them over and over, but for some reason I cannot explain now in hindsight, never got round to watching Once Upon a Time in The West
How? Why? I really don’t know. Maybe something subconscious inhibited me from watching it, fearing that the perfection of my recollection of the dollars x 3 would in some way be compromised by watching it. I had seen Once Upon A Time in America and felt very strangely about it. I didn’t connect with it on any level. Perhaps it was the age I was when I watched it. Maybe I was just in a strange mood the day I saw it. But maybe it implanted some strange inhibition in me to not view Once Upon a Time in The West, to keep away from it for some reason, always finding an excuse not to watch, always in love with Sergio Leone’s three dollar masterpieces.
OK, so fast forward the years to a few months ago, when I finally bought a big high definition Samsung Smart TV and started re-loading my DVD collection into blu-ray. Of course, my helpless obsession with the dollars trilogy grew to new heights watching it in the clarity, the magical clarity of blu-ray.
Another thing - perhaps I became so attached to the universe of Leone’s dollars that I resented the appearance inside it of any actors other than Clint, Lee Van Cleef, Volante, Wallach. A perfect, hermetically sealed imaginative universe, I didn’t want any outsiders imposing on my private Sergio Leone world, I didn’t want to see that world of his western extended without these actors in it.
But something snapped and made me buy Once Upon A Time In The West and resolve to sit down and watch it after all these years.
Gringos, Sabatas, Mexicanos, revolutionaries, bastardos, friends, I watched it, I watched it, I watched it again, I watched it again, and again. I watched it, and I worshipped it, and I will watch it with pleasure as long as I watch movies.
How sublime, how realised, how wonderful, how intense, how epic, yet personal, how playful yet serious, how influenced, yet how transcendent of those influences, how pure a piece of cinema this movie is.
Where to start? Morricone’s score, the beauty of Claudia Cardinale, an actress who seems to singlehandedly prove the idea that cinema partly exists to immortalise feminine beauty?
I fell helplessly in love with her in a way I rarely ever have with a female character on screen.
The impassive, enigmatic presence of Bronson, a man with no name archetype taken forward, whose back story for vengeance is resolved to the greatest possible satisfaction in a flashback that brings every strand together in a scene of poetic, sadistic revenge that will be seared into your memory like the resolution of a Greek myth?
Chayenne, played with such raffish charm by Jason Robards.
And the dark, dark menace of Henry Fonda, every second of his presence on screen a display of sinister charisma, control, the aspiration of power and money and land, whose past is righteously coming to claim him. A claiming that he moves towards, as if he understands he cannot cheat his past, that he cannot escape a reckoning with it, a surrendering to fate.
I really could talk about this film for 10,000 words. It is ceaselessly fascinating and engaging. I love it supremely.
I’ll end with the beginning.
I’m trying to work out if any piece of cinema exceeds in excellence the opening credit sequence. A refined, rhythmical, rhyming, slow, resonating work of art. A sequence that almost exists in its own echo chamber of reference and sublime, patient, constructed genius. I could almost just watch that on its own and feel satisfaction.
Sergio Leone, I have nothing but my wonder and helpless love of your cinematic art as tribute to you. You are quite simply, the greatest, and Once Upon A Time In The West is a timeless work of cinema, the spaghetti western as sublime mythology.[/quote]
I LIKE THIS POST.
WELCOME TO THIS CHAOTIC CABALE.
(who currently lives in Arizona within focal length of Monument Valley).