10 000 façons de mourir : point de vue d’un cinéaste sur le western italien
Author: Alex Cox
Publisher: Carlotta Films
Available: November 4, 2021
A colorful history of the Italian Western told by filmmaker Alex Cox. An erudite and passionate look!
With 10 000 façons de mourir, British filmmaker Alex Cox does more than provide a subjective and colorful panorama of the Italian Western: he restores its creative, economic and social history, defining the genre as one of the most political, anti-establishment and anarchistic in the history of cinema.
An unexpected bridge between the surrealist fetishism of Buñuel and the aesthetic radicalism of punk, the Spaghetti Western according to Cox refers in turn to Kurosawa’s chambara, to the emergence of queer cinema or to the pop-culture of the 1960s, to Brando and to post-Elizabethan theater. Among the dozens of filmmakers presented here, we will obviously cross the parallel destinies of the two Sergios—Leone and Corbucci—who were the first to formulate this singular vision all’italiana of the American West entirely subjected to brutality and corruption, where cynicism is the law.
Moreover, 10 000 façons de mourir never misses an opportunity to delve into the more or less shady schemes of the producers of the time, the power games between scriptwriters, the ingenuity of the directors of photography and set designers, or the lyricism of a handful of prolific composers—most notably, of course, Ennio Morricone. Finally, there are numerous portraits of flamboyant actors who shine in the Western genre: from intense performers like Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski or Tomás Milián to iconic actors such as Lee Van Cleef, Clint Eastwood and Fernando Sancho, who embody the essence of the Spaghetti Western.
These sometimes monumental, often cobbled-together films, belonging to a genre both famous and little-known, are examined by a filmmaker with an encyclopedic knowledge, who is in turns admiring, passionate, or gratingly sarcastic. A juicy tribute to the Spaghetti Western in more than fifty deciphered films.