Sunday, February 16, 2014

Production Value

I am limping and my arthritic toes bleed at the end of the day but watching "Once Upon A Time in The West" makes all the pain go away. Because that once upon a time is here again with different shades of orange, dust storms, straw hats, grim quests of vengeance, redemption and suede jackets. Villains ride over the same dirt to meet their fate. I'm part of the determined bulging of humanity, straining toward paradise, the final station called home, twin steel rails leading home. I don't feel heroic but in 50 years I hope someone will make my life appear heroic.

Sergio Leone understands how to make the shot for the benefit of the audience. I'm so tired of modern directing reenacting every scene without any cinematic virtue. Leone told the story behind the story so each shot tells another tale. Imagine this shot if Harmonica is looking at the woman and all we see is the back of his head. The faces are what tell the story and Leone always honored the faces.

This movie is all I need to sooth my tuberculosis aching bones.

"You can't imagine how happy it makes a man to see a woman like you."
 The entire movie is a study in composition.

Never equaled depth of vision.
On a good day this is what it feels like to roll into Pecos as the sun rises.
I get tears in my eyes when she brings the men water. Here, she's pointing to where the well is. "Help yourself," she is saying. This really breaks me up.
Fall of Icarus
 My all time favorite painting is Bruegel the Elder's "Fall of Icarus" When I watch Leone's movies mostly I'm struck by the similar approach, the common chores of man taking place at the same time as something heroic or tragic...but life goes on...the story doesn't end. Men drink their water and a moment later a keg of nails or rail spikes arrives and someone says, "Where did you put the sledge hammers?" And someone answers, "With the other tools, here let me show you..." and in the far off distance a man on a horse rides away with a dead body lashed to another horse trailing slowly behind.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.