Saw ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST a 2nd Time, 1st was 45 years ago

I appreciated some aspects of it, in my youth, but thought it was exasperating and it was not paced for an impatient guy about 18. Now I appreciate it as a cinematic masterpiece–an exasperating one at times–and as an operatic fantasy some Italian guys had of the Wild West (Bertolucci and Argento were involved too!), an enacting of masculine rituals of face to face struggle for dominance, and of ritualistic revenge…SO ritualistic. And it’s also just as exasperating as ever. As a writer they lost me when Cheyenne shoots someone through a train window with a gun in his boot. Stupidest fucking thing to stick in the picture….GOD that’s still annoying…the movie ALMOST had internal-logic cohesion up till then. And the woman in it–another ritual: the ritual of her subjugation. The primal, traditionally patriarchal male/female roles are etched into ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST to a degree that many modern women must regard as misogyny.  It’s foolish to look for real internal logic in this rickety and beautiful masculine fantasy…This halcyon paean to adolescent coming of age dreams…Just look at the pretty pictures…Wonderful scenes…glorious creativity…homages to John Ford films and to Union Pacific….The dueling charisma of Fonda, Robards, Bronson…


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