29/03/2013 - Cinema Bis
By Gianni Garko
That the attitude of the critics of the '60s and '70s to the Italian western was blinded and losing, it has been proved by the perennial vitality of that movie ...
The Italian Western was born in 1964 with the film A Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leone, after a rich productive season lasted more than ten years, dies in the first half of the '70s.
Loved by the public of the salt, which had awarded this new genre with the most successful in the history of Italian cinema, our western for almost twenty years have been considered by critics left and Catholic, show low quality, politically reactionary, labeled with obvious contempt "spaghetti westerns."
Alberto Moravia, to name one of them all, wrote that he liked those films because of their "misanthropic character ... revealing ... a disregard for human life now considered, due to population pressure, as a matter of abundant and so vile, worthless ... Men are too many, perhaps, and can no longer bear their own mutual attendance. "
No one pointed out to the famous critic who use a demographic parameters, suggestive as bizarre, to explain the success of a film narrative, the process was incongruous and mildly tendentious. Unfortunately, given the prestige of the author, those considerations did school on the Italian western projecting the shadow of contempt.
In the early '80s, after almost twenty years, the official critics finally realized his mistake and began to work hard to re-evaluate at least the films of Sergio Leone.
Later, in 1996, Luca Beatrice, one of the most astute critic, in his book Al-wise heart, Ramon, heart, describes the vast artistic phenomenon of our western, analyzing it through a complex, stratified into several levels.
Touching the historical context of the '60s, a time when it exploded the new epic film which he characterized as Opera sun and violence, the scholar Turin writes that those western reflect the social and political reality of Italy in the '60s and ' 70 better than any political film. He argues that there is more third world, revolt and protest guevarista Catholic in a spaghetti western that in all the art films of the same period. I remember that the youth of '68 and subsequent years, ignoring the official critics, left half-empty halls with movies Vancini, Bellocchio, Maselli and others, while those filled with movies Leone, Corbucci, Valeri, These, Castellari, Fulci and others. Breakdown not secondary: many of the writers of the Italian westerns were from, if not from the ranks of the Left parties, certainly from that ideology.
Almost all of my westerns, for a completely random, do not fall into the category of western influenced by the instances cited by protestatarie '68 Beatrice. The screenwriter and director of the first Sartana, Gianfranco Parolini and Renato Izzo, declare sympathy for none other than the parliamentary right of Giorgio Almirante. How to Alberto Cardone, Mario Siciliano, Enzo Gicca and Giuliano Carmineo, good directors of my other westerns, had, if I remember correctly, political opinions characterized by liberal ideas not left.
Sartana, my most famous character, not being a cowboy, a herdsman of the prairies, but a smart player saloon in a suit and tie, it would not at all a bourgeois revolutionary. For him, as for the Silver film Gicca or for Brian de Cowards do not pray Mario Siciliano, is not appropriate, therefore, the critical recovery cutting leftist.
Luca Beatrice, in his valuable study, includes movies to western Sartana using titles and the characters equation religion / crime, If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death ... etc.. He writes: "People like Sartana and Sabata (Gianni Garko and Lee Van Cleef) crossing the West dressed in black, reminiscent of Lucifer, the angel of evil."
I agree that the image of Lucifer expresses effectively the elusive character, lightness and speed in appearing and vanishing of that my main character, but the ethical component of the metaphor seems to me not at all acceptable.
The word death, express or implied, enters the 4 titles in the series of Sartana, but the creators of the acrobatic poker player, rather than to Lucifer, are inspired by Mandrake, the magician of American comics of the '30s, from which it takes the Sartana ' elegance of the black, cloak lined with red night-and the ability to manipulate objects in the magician. The character shoots and kills only those who attack on his life. Pushing the death away from him, he looks like a demigod amused winner thereof.
In the shadow under the brim of his hat his eyes have flashes of irony and flashes of toughness, but always a slight smile on his lips almost as sophisticated comedy. At the showdown, the essence of the character is that of a smiling Superman with spurs and Winchester.
For the viewer of those years at the end of the economic boom, involved every day in a myriad of conflicts, in which he met many little deaths, it was easy to identify with that formidable young man with the chrisma dell'imbattibilità, capable of absolute survival, virtually immortal. Projecting into the evil-stupid the film's enemies and rivals who wanted him "dead", the public rejoiced to see them succumbing to the blows of the colt of his hero.
"In dreams there is no censorship - Freud writes - in dreams human free aggressive instincts, the primitive passions that lead ... the murder. " And then he continues, quoting Plato: "The dream of the good, the bad guys do."
Actually, entering into the most hidden of the character, I myself as an actor I lived those daydreams. On the set after the clapper board, during shooting, wearing the clothes of the invincible gambler, moving in perfectly recreated period rooms, or at a gallop in the open spaces of the Andalusian ramblas, mimesis with the role was so deep that I felt really l 'unrepeatable feeling of absolute mastery over threatening events I met in front of me. A total domain of the unpredictable addressed, before the fire with a gun, with the ironic intelligence which nothing escaped, and every obstacle in front of which is nullified because unmasked in advance.
It was a dream of freedom and ironic dominion over every negative circumstance, rebuilt on a set or projected in a dark room. Work and pastime are both therapeutic for both actors and audiences that crowded our then cinemas.
These symbiotic relationships between actors and audience if they were not completely ignored, they were always misunderstood and stigmatized with poor judgment and pretentious, all approved by the common denominator of the ideology of the left or Catholic.
That the attitude of the critics of the '60s and '70s to the Italian western was blinded and losing, it has been proved by the perennial vitality of that film, which today, after almost half a century since the first westerns of Sergio Leone, continues to be studied by specialists, imitated by great directors, admired and protected by legions of fans spread across every continent.