Juanma Pagazaurtandua

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800 Bullets Review


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There is a mythic quality to the western. It's buried in the images: a lone cowboy silhouetted against the setting sun, tumbleweeds rolling to nowhere, a Winchester spun slowly, boots kicking dust. In the 1960s, when European directors were mining film tropes, making hundreds of films a year, the Western had an élan that was nearly hypnotic. Italians, in particular, began producing western films that aped the iconic grandeur of the American west but had a zest that was undeniably Continental. There was something novel in the swagger of the man with no name. There was both a cool detachment and a hip aggression. The good guy from the Ford westerns wasn't as good anymore, now he was a beatnik with a sombrero and a twitchy trigger finger. By the time Leone released The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly the spaghetti westerns had surpassed, both stylistically and thematically, the ancestral Hollywood westerns to become what is now called, simply, the Western. (One cannot imagine an Oscar-winning film like Unforgiven without the influence of the spaghetti westerns.)

800 Bullets is Alex de la Igelsia's (the long neglected Spanish director responsible for the cult sci-fi satire Acción Mutante and the dark comedy La Communidad) ode to the eternal mystique of the spaghetti western. It is both a black comedy (de la Igelsia's forte) as well as a nostalgic look at the films that, for many, informed a generation.

Continue reading: 800 Bullets Review

800 Bullets Review


Good
There is a mythic quality to the western. It's buried in the images: a lone cowboy silhouetted against the setting sun, tumbleweeds rolling to nowhere, a Winchester spun slowly, boots kicking dust. In the 1960s, when European directors were mining film tropes, making hundreds of films a year, the Western had an élan that was nearly hypnotic. Italians, in particular, began producing western films that aped the iconic grandeur of the American west but had a zest that was undeniably Continental. There was something novel in the swagger of the man with no name. There was both a cool detachment and a hip aggression. The good guy from the Ford westerns wasn't as good anymore, now he was a beatnik with a sombrero and a twitchy trigger finger. By the time Leone released The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly the spaghetti westerns had surpassed, both stylistically and thematically, the ancestral Hollywood westerns to become what is now called, simply, the Western. (One cannot imagine an Oscar-winning film like Unforgiven without the influence of the spaghetti westerns.)

800 Bullets is Alex de la Igelsia's (the long neglected Spanish director responsible for the cult sci-fi satire Acción Mutante and the dark comedy La Communidad) ode to the eternal mystique of the spaghetti western. It is both a black comedy (de la Igelsia's forte) as well as a nostalgic look at the films that, for many, informed a generation.

Continue reading: 800 Bullets Review

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