There is nothing more than a short kiss in this movie
A loser boy forces himself on a woman and rapes her.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


Italian director Sergio Lyon is famous in the international film world for directing the film American past. He died in 1989. “American past” is the last film he directed, and it is also the most satisfactory one of his personal work “past Trilogy”. The influence of Sergio Leon on the world film world began as early as the 1960s when he embarked on the journey of Western Italian films.

Sergio Leon was born in Rome in 1929. His father is an Italian silent film director and his mother is a drama and film actor. Born in a film family, he followed his father to make films in his early years, but he gained little. After that, he benefited most from his career as assistant director with Italian Neo realistic directors desika and conmoxini. The experience of shooting epic films with directors such as Robert Wise and William Wheeler in Hollywood has also laid a solid foundation for his film production. From 1959 to 1961, he made two films of his own, the end of Pompeii and the Colossus of Rhode Island. However, as early as he was 25 years old, he once refused the invitation to direct the film on the grounds that the time was not ripe.

Sergio Leon has a passion for the classic Hollywood western films of the 1930s, which seems to have brought him back to Rome in his childhood. American Westerns occupy a huge market in Europe, especially affecting a generation of Italian youth who grew up under Mussolini’s rule. However, American Westerns experienced its golden age and gradually began to decline in the 1950s. Although the total amount accounted for 34% of the released films, it was rough and boring and lost its vitality in the past. From 1962 to 1964, Italy, Spain and Germany made 25 westerns, which were called “Italian Westerns” by film critics. But in the eyes of many people, these films are just an imitation of traditional American Westerns. It was not until 1963 that Leon prepared to make the film “for a little money” based on Kurosawa’s film “big escort”, which opened a new page for the film type of “Italian Westerns”.

The story structure of “for a little money” is roughly the same as that of Kurosawa’s film “big escort”. It tells the story of vagrants who deal with the two evil forces in the western town to rescue the residents of the town. Although Leon simply thought that the style and artistic conception of the two films were completely different, he went to court because of the copyright dispute. Tight production funds and seven weeks of shooting time make the film have many traces of low-cost production. However, the film highlights the strong Italian style of Sergio Leon in dealing with Western themes, which makes it unique in Italian Westerns and even traditional American Westerns.

The film was shot in Amelia in southern Spain. Its open avenue and riverbed have appeared in many films of Leon. The town set was transformed by designer Carlo Simi, who contributed to the shaping of Leon’s film style. Interior design has expanded the proportion of Mexican architecture. The town is desolate and desolate and sparsely populated. It is quite different from the bustling western town in traditional westerns, full of the smell of killing and death. Digging the soil from the plain to decorate the interior color, pretending to be a highway manager to cut down the dead trees needed in the scene from the farmer’s backyard. Leon’s seemingly crazy actions all make his film shrouded in a unique and unified atmosphere.

The protagonist of the film is an unknown guest in Leon’s western film. He wears a short beard, a cigar and a mysterious cloak. He is silent and stays out of the matter forever. This heroic image is rare in traditional Hollywood Westerns. Moreover, whether he is a hero or not still needs the audience’s different opinions and careful judgment. In Leon’s western films, the standard of behavior to distinguish good from evil is a person’s attitude towards children. Everyone is not awe inspiring, but those who beat children and welcome children home with a slap must be more evil. In the subsequent film “good, evil, ugly”, Leon symbolized the three unknown guests with three simple adjectives, but with the development of the plot and the step-by-step display of the character’s character, it has become meaningless to explore absolute good or absolute evil. The dirty and sloppy character modeling and the positioning of both good and evil characters endow the film with Leon style western realism.

Leon’s “for a little money”, “for more money” and “good, evil, ugly” constitute the “dollar Trilogy” in his early creation, also known as the “escort Trilogy”. The protagonists are all played by American actor Clint Eastwood. Most of the actors are from Italy, Spain and Germany. Born in Rome, Leon doesn’t speak English at all. He usually uses the method of personal demonstration when guiding actors. The only English he can say is “watch me” and “watch me”, which makes the character performance in the film have a Roman style. The traditional Western hero turned into a Roman liar, which is the influence of Italian Culture on Leon’s films. Leon’s journey to the West also led actor Clint Eastwood to the road of director. He paid tribute to Leon at the beginning of his western film unforgivable.

Leon’s idea for “for a little money” comes from the folk puppet show in 19th century Italy. The troupe uses sticks to manipulate large iron puppets to perform in cities and villages. The repertoire revolves around medieval hero stories. Every place, it will be filled and improved under the original story model according to the local people’s conditions. Just as the mayor of Sicily, bankers and other characters appeared in the song of Roland, the racial struggle of Spanish villains also appeared in the Italian Westerns like the wild man. Dolls, cemeteries, clowns, naive villains, Catholic families, the last dinner, opera duel scenes… Sicilian puppet drama is Leon’s reference for the Italian improvement of Hollywood Westerns.

Because Leon participated in the shooting of many large-scale historical films during the 1950s and 1960s, most of them are deification stories with the background of Greece and Rome, which makes his film style extremely masculine and tough. The male characters he created are full of mystery and legend, but it is difficult to make the female characters really integrate into the film, and most of them adopt simplified treatment. There are no love stories and romantic scenes in his films, which makes his films rough and steady, full of cigars and spirits, which also caters to the tastes of the main audience in southern Italy. Leon’s romance is not chivalrous tenderness, but between heaven and earth.

Leon is good at using big close-up to show the character’s psychology, especially focusing the camera on the character’s face and eyes. Before the hero duels, the camera moves slowly to create a tense and solemn atmosphere. In the cemetery duel in good, evil and ugly, the camera follows the running of “ugly” and quickly translates, pushing the film’s emotion to a climax. Leon is good at changing the two pole lens. The audio-visual is exaggerated and cautious, unexpected and reasonable, and always brings a fresh and exciting feeling to the audience. Influenced by Italian Neo realism, Leon paid special attention to the role of sound in films. His films are full of distorted natural sounds, gunshots, horseshoes, bells and whistles, giving the film the adult style of the 1960s. The cooperation with Italian composer yanoni moriconi also makes the soundtrack of the film integrate many elements, such as Italian music, James Bond music, Gypsy wandering music, Mexican mourning music and so on. Leon and moriconi adapted the theme song deguello of his favorite “red gall slaughters the dragon” and became the main melody of many Leon films. This is like a song of death, echoing at the end of Leon’s film. The protagonist disappears into a vast world to create new legends one after another.

Following the “dollar Trilogy”, Leon’s personal style is becoming more and more mature. He also photographed “Western past”, “revolutionary past” and “American past” as his “American Trilogy”, also known as “past Trilogy”. In the “American Trilogy”, Leon’s interest gradually tends to the grand scene reproduction and complex narration of time and space. Although he has not been nominated for an Oscar in his life, he has made a decisive contribution to the development and maturity of Italian Westerns. His Italian Westerns have eternal artistic value that can not be copied.

Some people evaluate the traditional western film as “a horseback opera with no gaze and only Aria”. Leon has no prejudice against traditional Westerns. He likes Hollywood westerns director John Ford very much, but he has some complaints about the optimism in his films. He said, “in Ford’s film, the protagonists open the window and see the horizon full of hope; in my film, they have to worry about whether they will be shot in the middle of the eyebrow by a bullet.” Maybe Leon’s film is too dirty, too violent, too risky morally, but all this constitutes one thing, legend. Like James Bond films in the 1960s, Leon called his films “Adult Fairy Tales”.

Bazin, a French film critic, called American Westerns “eternal Legends”. American Westerns are a type of films that are mythologically modified according to history. In essence, they are extremely simple realism. Italy has no West and frontier, no gold mines and pioneers. It can be said that Italian Westerns do not come from history. Italian filmmakers regard western films as myths, and what Sergio Leon did is actually writing myths with myths and telling myths about myths.

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