From Thursday July 26 to Sunday August 12 2012, American Cinematheque will present a film festival entitled “Spaghetti Westerns Unchained.” This festival is dedicated to that classic sub-genre of western movies which became immensely popular in the 1960s with films like “A Fistful of Dollars,” “Django,” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” The majority of these movies will be shown at the Egyptian Theatre, but some screenings will instead be shown at the Aero Theatre. Certain movies selected for this festival are so hard to find and have never been released on region 1 DVD. Attending this film festival is therefore a must for all fans of the genre.
The phrase “Spaghetti Western” was originally described as a derogatory name for this genre, but fans have since embraced it as the perfect description. Before these movies came along, westerns were known for their romanticism of the cowboy life which had long since become a myth. But the advent of Spaghetti Westerns ended up reinventing the genre by combining an anti-establishment tone (the Vietnam War was being fought during this time) with sheer brutality and satire. Filled with rootless antiheroes whose intentions are not always the most noble, these movies kept audiences riveted with their relentless action for years.
This sub-genre is best known for the movies directed by Sergio Leone which starred Clint Eastwood as the man with no name, and of course for the unforgettable music composed by Ennio Morricone. Spaghetti Westerns however also brought actors like Lee Van Cleef, Franco Nero, and Tomas Milian to our collective attention. Most were filmed on very low budgets and at inexpensive locales in America, Spain, and Italy among other places. They also had casts and crews that were largely multicultural as they brought together artists and filmmakers from various parts of the world.
“Spaghetti Westerns Unchained” promises to be a very comprehensive look at this genre which remains a big favorite among movie fans everywhere. Some screenings will feature live subtitles, special guests, and various double features at a good price. Watching these movies will be great preparation for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Django Unchained,” so be sure to get your tickets while they are still available.
Here is the schedule:
Thursday July 26 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“The Big Gundown” & “The Hills Run Red”
Friday July 27 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”
Saturday July 28 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“The Mercenary” & “Death Rides A Horse”
Sunday July 29 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“Sabata” & “If You Meet Sartana Pray For Your Death”
Thursday August 2 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“China 9 Liberty 37” & “The Shooting”
There will be a discussion between the movies with director Monte Hellman
Friday August 3 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“A Fistful of Dollars” & “For A Few Dollars More”
Saturday August 4 at 7:30 p.m. – Aero Theatre
“Once Upon a Time in the West”
Sunday August 5 at 7:30 p.m. – Aero Theatre
“The Great Silence” & “A Bullet For The General”
Wednesday August 8 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“Tepepa” & “Yankee”
Both films will be presented with live subtitles, and they are very rare films which you will not find on DVD.
Thursday August 9 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“The Ruthless Four” & “Requiescant”
These very rare movies will be presented with live subtitles.
Friday August 10 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“Companeros” & “The Price of Power”
Both will be presented with live subtitles. “The Price of Power” is not currently available on DVD.
Saturday August 11 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“Django” & “The Grand Duel”
Sunday August 12 at 7:30 p.m. – Egyptian Theatre
“Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot!” & “Hellblenders”