Friday, July 23, 2010

Leone's use of the frame as theatrical legs

There are all kinds of moments in a Leone film where he uses the frame of the image to hide something from the audience, but also from the characters within the frame. From a naturalistic point of view, it is incredulous. Image 2 men committing a robbery in a graveyard and a third man with a shovel sneaks up on them in broad daylight. Sir Christopher Frayling mentions that Leone's movies almost work better as 'theatre' and in this way he is right. Hey but it makes for great set up especially if you can buy it, and the truth is that if you've enjoyed the story up until this point, you either buy it or decide to surrender to it so that you can see the promised conflict.

In this scene, Eastwood sneaks up on Wallach in the same fashion that Van Cleef does both of them. Then later Leone askes us to believe that Eastwood sets up a noose only a few feet from Wallach, but again since Eastwood is out of frame, we don't see him, so neither does Wallach.

Convenient. But what the hell! Hey you work with what you got. There are lessons to be learned here for those of us with limited resource and space!

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