Screening the Past: Sergio Leone

By Patrick Condliffe
Screening the Past

frayling_sergio cover[EXCERPT] Something To Do With Death, in its own way, provides a comprehensive study of the Western that has strong parallels to Richard Stolkin’s Gunslinger Nation (1992). Frayling’s study is comprised of interviews, research and detailed critical analysis. He documents the genesis of Leone’s characters from myth to screen and back to myth. Frayling also provides a detailed look into Italian cinema between 1920 and 1960 and the key figures therein at the time. While presenting Leone as a biographical subject we also learn much about all those concerned with his work, from a young Dario Argento or Bernado Bertolucci, with whom he collaborated on Once upon a Time in The West (1968), to Ennio Morricone, who scored all of Leone’s films. Frayling’s passion for his subject matter is as obvious as his attention to detail. And his enjoyment is demonstrable within his engaging and witty writing style. Suited to the academic or the fanatic, this volume is pleasantly littered with puns and shibboleths.

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