Tag Archives: Sergio Leone

Big Screen Berkeley: Good old Eurowestern ‘Navajo Joe’

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If you’ve been keeping score at home, it should be obvious by now that yours truly isn’t much of a western enthusiast. Since I began writing for Berkeleyside three years ago, I’ve penned precisely one column about this most American of film genres – and that concerned a rather non-traditional example of the style.

There’s one subset of the oater, however, that I’ve always found completely irresistible: the Eurowestern. During the 1960s and ‘70s, well over 500 Old West adventures were produced on the continent. Most of these films were Italian — hence the mildly pejorative descriptor ‘spaghetti western’ – but plenty of other countries also got into the act, including West Germany, Yugoslavia, Britain, and France.

Italy, however, was responsible for the vast majority of Eurowesterns, and it’s Italy that’s the focus of Pacific Film Archive’s current series, ‘The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond’. As the series’ title suggests, director Sergio Leone remains the name most of us associate with the genre. Indeed, his reputation is well deserved — there are few films that equal The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West – but he was hardly alone. … Continue reading »

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Big Screen Berkeley: The Good the Bad the Weird

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With a title like The Good the Bad the Weird (apparently punctuation and conjunctions are hopelessly old-fashioned these days), director Ji-Woon Kim’s new film — currently screening at the Shattuck Cinemas — is bound to be a letdown. By intentionally drawing comparisons to one of the greatest westerns (and, arguably, one of the greatest films) of all time, The Good the Bad the Weird has been set up to fail. That said, however, there’s still enough good stuff … Continue reading »

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