Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pulitzers, Comics, and Westerns

I'm reading two books right now: American Pastoral by Phillip Roth and Zot! the Complete Black and White Collection by Scott McCloud. One's a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the other's a 575 page comic book. I've read two books at a time before. I've read four books at a time before, but never have I been torn between books so equally. When I'm reading American Pastoral I'm thinking about Zot! and when I'm reading Zot!, you guessed it, I'm thinking about American Pastoral. What's a boy to do? Watch Once Upon a Time in the West. That's what. Last weekend, I went on an impulsive spending spree and bought A Fist Full of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and borrowed Once Upon a Time in the West, all of which are directed by Sergio Leone, father of the spaghetti western and champion of my heart. Only on perception-bending drugs have I ever been so immediately invested into scenes as I am with The Good and Once Upon a Time. And what's happening in these scenes that so fully commits their audience? Nothing. To the untrained eye, that is. To my gorgeous green set, timing, music, music, music, and shots collaborate to express, loudly and clearly, the tension between a trio of gunslingers who are simply looking at each other. For fourth whole minutes! I timed it. But I can't remember a more exciting four minutes of film.

***Spoiler Alert: Claudia Cardinale never gets naked in Once Upon a Time, but she's so distractingly hot that you'll still tent-pole your Saturday jammies and never resent Leone for not making nudity a casting requirement. I love her.***

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I shouldn't read two books at once. If one doesn't dominate my attention, they both cancel each other out and I switch media. Also, watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West if you haven't already seen them. I politely insist.

Your best friend,
Carlos "Clint 'The Good' Eastwood" Alderete


jb said...

I agree with you that sergio which also happens to be my dads name is a master film maker and ennio morricone is a master musician. These two movies happen to be my favourite of all time and claudia is so beautiful with or without cloths. I insist your readers should watch these movies and if they can go listen to the soundtracks on itunes or what not. Thanks for posting this and I'm sorry you can't pick one book over the other...shit happens.


Chrissy said...

Not a big western fan. She's very Raquel Welchy.

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