DVD: Once Upon a Time in the West

DVD: Once Upon a Time in the West

Italian director Sergio Leone is the man from whom the term “spaghetti western” originated – a film set in the hey-day of the USA’s “wild west” made by an Italian director, and often filmed (at least in part) in Italy.

IMDB’s plot summary is pretty straightforward, but I would encourage you to watch the film as I did – knowing as little about it as possible. The plot crosses a few lines that surprised me from a film of the time: the age of some of the casualties, and how aggressive some of the adult content is onscreen.

It’s clear that the language of action cinema has moved on since this film was made: its lingering, slow shots are a thing of the past – the latest approach for action movies is more the Paul Greengrass approach. Ultra-short time between cuts, a focus on the action, not the emotion.

Watching this movie has made me realise there are a few other westerns I should watch – some more Sergio Leone, and some older classics. It’s also shed new light on my understanding of Kill Bill – another source from which Tarantino has borrowed heavily.

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