Posts uit augustus, 2016 weergeven

Mario Novelli: Stuntmen, Sandels & Pistoleros

Mario Novelli, who died last week, may not have been one the best known names from the world of Italian genre cinema, but he must have been one of the most active men within the business. He worked as an actor and stuntman on more than seventy movies, in genres as diverse as peplum (sword & sandel), spaghetti western, poliziotesco and macaroni combat (war movies that is). After his retirement as a stuntman he continued working within the industry as a stunt coordinator or safety adviser, but even at a high age he occasionally doubled for an actor when a particular scene turned out to be more dangerous than anticipated. In 2004, when coordinating a stunt for the movie The Exorcist: The Beginning, he doubled for an actor playing a Dutch farmer, who scared away for a scene in the last minute. 

As an actor he was usually credited as Ant(h)ony Freeman - so with or without the h. Italians tend to 'forget' the h when using English pseudonyms because the h (acca in Italian), is o…

The Twilight of the Western Towns

California (1977, Michele Lupo) is one of the best examples of a short cycle of westerns called The Twilight Spaghetti Westerns. They were produced in the second half of the Seventies, roughly a decade after the glory years of the spaghetti western genre. The entire production of Italian genre movies was in decline and the recession had turned the western towns of the Roman Studios into ghost towns.

California is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War (1861-1865). The West that once was Wild, has become a Waste land. The legendary set designer Carlo Simi used the ramshackle western town of the Elios Studios to create an atmosphere of decay and despair. In an early scene of the movie, Giuliano Gemma and Miguel Bose ride into town; they’re both Confederate soldiers, prisoners of war who were released after the Confederacy had surrendered. The town is in ruins, the town street full of trash, the saloon a dusty place, once full of life, now deserted. The two - sitting on one horse …