My primary aim when watching a sw is most certainly NOT to dig too deeply to uncover philosophical nuggets from the (metaphorical) mine. And I’ll quote Mr. Leone here “I don’t want to be remembered as a philosopher, unlike so many of my celluloid brothers. I want to be remembered as an entertainer, or you may as well forget me completely.” (Opening address, Annual Festival Unita, organised by a communist newspaper, 1984)
BUT, I can’t forget how moved I was (altho’ I can’t remember it word for word) by the use of philosophy, particularly with Professor Brad Fletcher’s ‘…history…’ speech in FACE TO FACE, whereby he could ‘justify’ genocide as ‘making history’.
Sollima denied that this film was a parable referencing the rise of Italian fascism - but I think it is understandable for some to have read it in this way. Certainly there is a pertinent philosophical undercurrent within this, and other(s) films within this genre.
Many others - particularly the Mexican revolution films, can take a Marxist (cheers SD ;)) reading; or an anti-American/Vietnam war parallel. Or regarding Leone again, a Freudian interpretation (he said it!).
WITHOUT getting too ‘deep and meaningless’ here … there are some films that are out to make a philosophical point, others that have little intention of doing so … but sometimes, those little nuggets are there without having to dig, there they are - glistening on the bank - washed downstream, or accidently dropped. (Those fuckin’ metaphors again … sorry)
I am not advocating a heavy discussion on the deepest possible interpretations of such philosophical masterpieces (unless Scherp starts it ) … such as Bad Man’s River or Kid Vengeance, but even these might have one of those ‘throwaway’ smart one-liners that illuminates these ‘darkest’ recesses of the genre?
Sw films are populated with the most colourful of characters - the death dealers and the dying; whores with hearts of gold; religious (funda) mentalists; world(and word)-weary strangers.
There’s the bonkers old scrote who bangs on about ‘the trains’ in FAFDM; Morning Glory from RofR; of course Brad from FTF; there’s even a character in Yankee who’s called Philosopher (who paradoxically ??? has bugger all to say of any note); there’s the religious ramblings of rabid reverends :P; et all.
The stuff I’d like to see on this thread is, as we’re watching these films, are the little philosophical nuggets, the pearls of wisdom, the little maxims that you might live your life by, or get put on a scroll and wrapped around a skull (wearing a battered hat with a bullet hole in it, and smoking a cheroot) and tattooed on your forehead.
Or worn on a t-shirt. You know the stuff I mean.
What is it that Clint says to Tuco when he gives him the spade? That’s the sort of stuff ;D