Tick Tock


(Toscano) #1

THE CHIMES OF DEATH RING NIGH…

I am not sure what other Spaghetti Western ‘Brothers and Sisters’ think, but I’ve always been fascinated by the ‘Spaghetti Western’s’ almost ‘religious’ belief and fascination with time…

It started - or so I believe - with the Maestro, Sergio Leone… 'Colonel Mortimer’s watch in ‘For a Few Dollars More’; the ‘musical watch’ motif for the final duel, in ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ (R.I.P. Sergio Leone, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach).

We must not forget that many ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ have - since Leone - used ‘time’ as a motif…

What is this fascination with time…leading to the shedding of either innocent, or wicked blood?

If anything, at all, has encouraged me to write this new topic, it has to be this:

Recently, as I scrutinised the ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’ for the millionth time, I was - yet again - fascinated by the entrance of Lee Van Cleef, at the ‘Steven’s’ farmstead, at the beginning of the film.

As we enter the interior of the Steven’s farmstead (a different location to the exterior shot), Lee Van Cleef stands in the door-way.

As L.V.C. starts to advance towards ‘Stevens’ (sitting, having his meal), I see that there are a number of white structural arches, reaching from L.V.C. (background), to ‘Steven’ (foreground). These arches have - to my mind - always reminded me of the ‘oval’ of a clock face.
Try looking at the top of each arch, and then imagine, (as I do) Lee Van Cleef literally emulating the clock hands…

As Lee Van Cleef strides ominously towards ‘Stevens’, watch as he passes the ‘clock-like’ arches… also listen carefully to the ‘tick-tock’, ‘tick-tock’ like effect of his boots upon the farm-stead floor…
As Van Cleef approaches ‘Stevens’, and then stops…(a silent Cobra, waiting to strike)…Van Cleef appears to be standing dead-centre of the ‘arches’…‘High Noon’…the 'time of judgement and death…

For several months, I’ve been wondering how to get my own feelings across on this particular scene…I hope I’ve managed to convey a small part of it…

I would be interested to know how other ‘Speggies’ feel about the ‘time’ motif in ‘Spaghetti Westerns’.

All the best, amigos…