the friend i first watched this with hated the movie when he rented it. of course, this friend also bought XXX, having not ever seen it. so i guess that speaks for that.
the script is phenomenal. i really enjoyed the touches of humor, especially since they were so off the wall most of the time. i get a kick out of the chief trying to talk like a movie Indian. the whole bit with the guy not being able to "sire" is insanely funny, and i love it when he pretends to die with the other patient's heart monitor. any of the scenes with the sheriff are great. my favorite punchline of the movie is: "son, you don't need a lawyer, you need a library card." but how about that chase sequence at the end? a limo trying to ram a bus? now that's just absolutely hilarious.
otherwise, i like how this is a post-post-western. it's still got guns and a sheriff and bad guys going after money and indians. and even though the drifter says it's really about trying to find someone you can trust, i know better. it's really about our country screwing the indians, all over again. the chief's final bit about white people taking their land, and then giving them whiskey, and then pitying them as drunks, and then giving them gambling, and then making them beg for their money... well... it's a bit preachy... but then all westerns (and post-westerns and post-post-westerns) are supposed to be about the dying frontier. the frontier is dead, but the Indian has cancer. i think the opening shot of the pro-Indian-casino billboard and the interpretive shot of the chief's rage (as he's running at the camera, towards the bus) towards the end of the film perfectly underscore this tribute to the dying survivors of the frontier.
in addition, i thought the camera work was well done. although the director recycled his few obvious uses of technique, namely the flashback montages and the 360-degree pan shots, i thought they were decently spaced and efficient. i also really appreciated the tastefulness that was used in filming the sex scene. panning away, and letting the imagination do the work is what really makes an intimate scene sexy. lubitsch knew that, and apparently so does ricagni.
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