The Spaghetti West (not documentary)

After seeing so many spaghetti westerns and so many versions of their west, I thought about it all. An example s matalo. I call the version of the west in that one Canevari’s west. It is full of hippie type bandits and strange exotic weaponry and creepy ghost towns, and heroes with paisley jackets. That is one interpretation of the west. Another is the twilight spaghettis. In those, the west is green and rocky and cold and wet and cruel and violent. What are some different west’s out their that you guys might interpret? Which version of the west do you like the best?

You know, I honestly dont think these “interpretations” were often anything other than a lack of knowledge in regards to the west.

As for which portrayal I like the most, Id have to say the more realistic ones. But that could go for the more established cozy town or the gritty wild towns.

I love Leone’s West most - faithful (more or less), historical decor, the warmth of the saloons, colorful characters, the DRY deserts, expansive blue skies, the Tex-Mex feel, flora and faun, everything.

And how sudden death happens.

I find it to be the exact opposite than you do. To me his west simpley feels like a version of the west created by someone trying to be authentic but really having no idea.

I just do9nt dig his west very much.

Are you responding to me? I’m still groping my way through here.

Leone was aware his idea of the West was mythic, imagined by a man who grew up watching American Westerns as a boy. Hence, it’s the “Spaghetti West.” All I meant is that he used good props that were researched beforehand, but the style and the mood probably didn’t exist in historical reality. I don’t watch movies necessarily for realism :wink: For some reason, I just couldn’t go into the “real” American Westerns (Ford, Huston), because it’s too polished. Leone’s “Spaghetti West” is intimate to me, and I can’t begin to tell you why - the reasons are subconscious and probably tell me more about myself than I’m aware.

Deep. I think I agree. I have been wathcing some spaghs just to see there version of the west. Or the west they create. When watching versions of the west according to Matalo for example, I try to think that in that west, everyone is hippieish and has those outlandish costumes. I mentally mytholagize the west with the spaghetii western I watch as the basis for my mytholigatization. In Django, Kill, that west is an unhappy place. Full of disturbing violence and grotesque population. In many ways, it is a fantasy land. It is hard to put into words. What I try not to do is bring reason into my train of thought. As in Keoma. I used to try to think of a place in the american west that would look that rocky and green and italina but I couldn’t. So I accepted it as the Keoma west. Just another of the many spaghetti wests

What I like about Leone’s west is that he can create a sprawling pictaresque vision of the “real” west and populate it with mythical, spaghetti western heroes. Similar to Shoot the Living, Pray for the Dead. Has a very “realistic” west with mythical heroes and villains. At least in my interpretation.

Leones west simply feels lifeless and artificial, dull even. To me at least.

Artificial but not dull.

But if Leone’s west is lifeless, where’s the difference to all the other SWs, as they (nearly) all share his ideas about how a western (not the west) should/could look?

Castellari in the commentary track said he told some US distributor it was filmed in Montana and the distributor believed him :wink:

My favorite type of spaghetti west would be the Carnimeo style west where the western setting is just a background for story where anything can happen, strange characters, russians, austrians, strange weaponry, organ cannons, sewing machine guns… whatever. That’s a spaghetti west for me. :slight_smile:

I dont believe most other spag directors had the same idea of the west as Leone at all. If that was the case thered be no point to this thread.

Other directors often dipicted a “deserted” or empty version of he west, but thats much different than Leones liflessness due to artificiality.

Maybe not his vision of the west but the cliches he ceated for the genre. I believe it was William Connoly who noted that Bindman interestingly reuses Leone cliches. I can’t say if that’s true but Blindman certainly creates a west far removed from Leone. Blindman’s west is more sadistic and excessive than leone’s. And with Baldi’s films, I think he created two wests. The emotional, convoluted, and tragic west of Forgotten Pistolero, Texas Adios, and maybe even Viva Django and Hate Thy Neighbor. The other west he created is the excessive west of Baldi. Sheep herders who wair turbans, blind gunslingers, 50 mail order brides, comedy, Medival Spain, ghost towns, and graphic violence.

The decors and set pieces, aswell as the costumes, of Leone’s westerns were fairly realistic I believe, especially to these mid 1960s films compared to the previous Hollywood versions.

I’m no expert of the western era, but other people have made such remarks, Christopher Frayling for example.

Other than that Leone’s intentions were to make an anti-western or a rock n’ roll-western, to deliberately break the traditions of old fashioned western movies.

And also generally have a very nihilistic and sardonic outlook on most things (which you can relate to even in your own life :smiley: )

His later films can however seem overlong, too slow, too big, and in the case of OUATITW even a little pretentious… forgive me :o

Maybe this can give a lifeless impression?

Theres nothing to forgive. I for one do not dig his films all that much.

Anyway, I wasnt really speaking of his set direction or costume design. What I mean is his atmosphere. To me it simply feels fake. I feel like Im watching a film.

But anyway, his films most certainly are “overlong, too slow, too big, and in the case of OUATITW even a little pretentious.”

You know Goodfella, we need people like you on the forum. To challenge the norm without being an asshole about it. :wink:


[quote=“Goodfella, post:15, topic:1350”]Theres nothing to forgive. I for one do not dig his films all that much.

Anyway, I wasnt really speaking of his set direction or costume design. What I mean is his atmosphere. To me it simply feels fake. I feel like Im watching a film.

But anyway, his films most certainly are “overlong, too slow, too big, and in the case of OUATITW even a little pretentious.”[/quote]

I didn’t say “forgive me” to you, I know you don’t like Leone’s films, you’ve already said so :wink:

But there are many admirers of OUATITW here, have to be gentle with them or they’ll be upset :smiley:

I don’t like that film either, but I like the major part of the rest of Leone’s work, and he was the one who founded the SW genre.

But yes his films are many times theatrical so to speak when it comes to acting, and his scripts don’t have much story.

We already know that, and nobody thinks this aspect of Leone’s films had anything to do with the real historical wild west :smiley:

I think the reason someone might say all the soaghetti s after Leone copied him is because, in a different way, they di. Take a look at the spaghettis before Leone. They all copied the Hollywood B-western formula. Leone created a dark ,violent and bleak west far removed from any other. The way different filmmakers copied him is they used the cold, violent, bleak west Leone created, for there own visions. But they didn’t copy his personal style.

Yes that’s right, not many SWs are a direct copy of Leone’s style, if any I think.

And of course later on there were all kinds of SWs, comedies, hybrids and you name it, that have nearly nothing in common with Leone whatsoever.