Saturday, 9 May 2009

Duck You Sucker - observations on an observation

I'm re-reading Christoper Frayling's Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy, where a comment on Duck You Sucker! caught my attention. He notes that, while not a commercial success, it was critically well received in France and Italy, with commentators noting that the characters 'grow' during the course of the story.

How far is this because of the film was the first of Leone's to be 'historical' rather than 'mythical'?

The identities of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and of Frank, Harmonica and Cheyenne are unchanging mythic archetypes; Juan and Sean (Johnny) historically situated figures.

Once Upon a Time [in] the West against Leone's avoidance of Once Upon a Time the Revolution and A Fistful of Dynamite, as imposed in France and the US respectively.

What does it mean to position 'the revolution' with 'once upon a time'? That it too belongs to the realm of myth? Presumably in some respects it does, but don't then individual revolutions occur in specific historical circumstances?

What is the wider context to the Mao quote which opens the film, other than a reference to 'one class violently overthrowing another' or similar, omitted by Leone? Was Mao making an abstract statement or one about revolution in China?

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