I’m tempted to start up a movie review category– for cheapsters. Videos to be more exact – nothing over $1.10. Last weekend i watched the first spaghetti western, Sergio Leone’s _A Fist Full of Dollars,_ (1964) which was also Clint Eastwood’s first movie performance.
Maaan, he was pretty damn sharp– and clearly the place where this archetype image of the gunslinger originated. There was a few close-ups at specific points where you’ve got the brim of his hat, steely-cold squinty eyes, 4-day unshaved weather-warn naturally tanned complexion and a cigerello clenched between straight teeth. O the symmetry!
As a side note, I suppose it’s just the nature of the machine the way Holyweird keeps chewing actors like this til there’s no flavour left. Jack Nicholson could probably go in that boat too. Sure, it’s not liked anyone put a gun to their head to make them do the same kinds of roles over and over for thirty years, but lately – the spectacle of seeing Clint Eastwood shoot a whole bunch of people dead has lost any meaning it may have once had.
There’s also the backwards affect I had to contend with of having – as an 8 or 9 year old having seen _First Blood_ and then the whole roll on from there. On the back of the FF of dollars box it said that in its day the movie was distinctive in its gritty, brutal realism (ie. a lot of people got shot) but from this point in the timeline that apsect was a bit “meh”.
This was also one of Ennio Moreconne’s first gigs in film scoring, it sounded kind of normal and not as hammed up as i was imagining.
Things i liked – the way Clint said hello; “HuhLoo(?)”
– the gender politics were kind of interesting (for 1964) at least. Part of the plot was that there was two warring families in one town. One of the familes was headed by a woman…. who eventually got shot, but hey, who didn’t? ;^)
– near the start a mexican civilian gets rail-roaded out of town just as our anti-hero is coming in. Pinned on the back of his shirt is a bit of paper saying, “Adios Amigos”, which remained unexplained for quite a while.
– the pace of it. Part of the reason why i like the vid. format is that I can pause it whenever the hell I like and go take a slash/make a cup of tea or whatever. Other things I’ve watched lately seemed jerky compared to _A Fist Full of Dollars_ in that there only felt like one natural break in the storyline about 2/3s of the way through. “No time for a cuppatea, something’s about to happen!’
– the poncho clint was wearing. I want it.
So while it was filmed in Spain, the fact that Leone is Italian probably went most of the way toward the term ‘Spaghetti Western’ being coined – since it was him that kicked it all off. Apparently the P.C. term is something like ‘all Italia cinema’.
Sometimes I get a bit conscious of how much i complain on here, but by golly those deakin IT people sure don’t know how to run an IT. First, take into account that I’ve never had two computers to hook together so in practice I don’t know what’s involved in maintaining a network. Second, I can appreciate the logic that the larger a network gets the more complicated it would probably get.
But I was out there on Monday and the whole thing was virtually useless. I waited ten minutes in the otherwise empty bookshop while the cashier’s machine slowly grinded through finding the price for the book i needed. From two places i tried to get on the net (just to check here, but hey – it’s important!) and it wasn’t working at all. Right now I’m trying to access their website and, as Han Solo said to Luke Skywalker, ”It ain’t there kid, the whole thing’s been blown away” (damn i wish I could remember the exact wording). I need to check the online library catalogue for a book i need and am already ‘down by law’ with them.
Over the summer they upgraded all the PCs to windoowsXP — goodness knows how much that cost (and you just know I’m gonna say).. they _should’ve_ switched to…. anything that’s more stable and doesn’t cost that much. Like BSD. There’s a long but interesting interview with four BSD honchos at OSNews.
I spent half a day playing with Slackware yesterday and things were going very nicely but then i messed up the permissions, but will give it another go. Permissions is something I really should get a handle on. I’m sure there’s a section on it in one of the little books I have. There’s good reasons for having them so strict that none of the administrator stuff can be run from the user account, I’m just not used to it after mandrake and RH setting them so bendy that anything can be run from there.