Monday, April 20, 2009

#101: Django ***

When a spaghetti western comes to one's mind, an image of Eastwood squinting with a cigarillo in his teeth comes to mind. The Leone Dollars Trilogy is considered as the basis for the genre. Not at all. The spaghetti western traditionally began with Tierra Brutal a.k.a The Savage Guns (1961) and developed from there as what was regarded as trashy B-films. Outside the range of Leone's glory they are still thought of that way. But Sergio Corbucci's Django (starring Franco Nero) hit Italian audiences a grand eight months before the success of Leone's final installment of the Dollars Trilogy, and it brings out the real grit of the genre. It seems to bew one of the few spaghettis not filmed in Tabernas. Also, Leone and Corbucci were close colleages and advisers, thus they both are creators of great films. But one thing is certain: A fistful of blood, sweat, tears, mud, and severed ear; may I add, was put into this picture.
Django follows the redemption of a Yankee maverick about the Southwestern border with his mysterious little coffin, and the itchy trigger finger of a surprise inside. Who is in that coffin? A man called Djangoooooo. In this depressing, bitter, slippery world of the Southwest we're introduced to bandits, whores, and a collection of sadist Klansmen, with red hoods. Honor, disgrace, the girl, the gold, Django is faced with this decision and many others in this wild and fierce western. Weird, and vicious, unrelentless, and unforgiving, a film fan may just watch Django for the cheeky Roberto Fia theme song. Or maybe to escape the grand gestures made by the Leone films. Or maybe just even to satisfy your craving for bleak, empty stories. Whatever the reason and ultimately your reason, Django is a picture to be remember and enjoyed for the sake of it. Some people say that a cheap spaghetti westerns can't be art. But, my good friend Franco Nero, and his unique lone ranger performance, beg to differ. - Doc Oz's Diagnosis