Monday, 14 July 2008

Away for the Summer

I will be away from Korea for about six weeks as of tomorrow, so I won't be writing any reports from screenings here. I may make an occasional post of any movies I see while in Canada. I will be back for the 2nd Chungmuro festival in early September.

I went to see Once Upon a Time in the West on the opening night of the Summer Vacation festival at the Cinematheque, and the print was first-rate. I highly recommend checking it out when it screens again throughout the summer. It is a very different experience seeing the film in the theatre. I have watched what I consider Leone's best film many times on video, and although I love it, I did agree with the comments that it is slow. On the big screen, however, it never ceases to be riveting. In fact, I got a much better sense of how Leone reworks classical style. The scenes and narrative structure are almost identical (indeed, the plot is lifted from Nicolas Ray's 1953 western Johnny Guitar), it is only that Leone extends the individual scenes much longer than would normally be the case. The result is the unique blend that makes Leone so distinct. The influence on someone like Quentin Tarantino was also made more vivid by the screening.

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