Dreaming of Westerns… More video essays including Tag Gallagher’s classic on STAGECOACH


>A Fistful of "Spaghetti Western" Studies


BFI Researcher’s Tales: Sir Christopher Frayling on Spaghetti Westerns 
(Frayling is author of Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans From Karl May to Sergio Leone [London: I.B.Tauris, 1981, 1998]; Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death [London: Faber and Faber, 2000]; and
Sergio Leone: Once Upon a Time in Italy [London: Thames and Hudson, 2005]).

It was the spaghetti Westerns… that first eliminated the morality-play dimension and turned the Western into pure violent reverie […] What made these […] popular was that they stripped the Western form of its cultural burden of morality. They discarded its civility along with its hypocrisy. In a sense, they liberated the form: what the Western hero stood for was left out, and what he embodied (strength and gun power) was retained. Abroad, that was probably what he had represented all along.
Pauline Kael, Killing Time, in Karl French (ed.), Screen Violence (London: Bloomsbury, 1974), pp. 171-178: 172.
Today, to accompany its list of links to openly accessible scholarly studies of the Spaghetti (or Italian, or Euro) Western, and related topics, the normally garrulous Film Studies For Free was going to treat its readers to an improbable, digital impersonation of  Clint Eastwood‘s performance as the Man With No Name in what is often called “The Dollars Trilogy” directed by Sergio Leone.
Sadly, no dice: while it looks good in a poncho, not only does FSFF fall short in performing moral ambiguity, but it’s also fairly hopeless when it comes to capturing taciturnity. 
Do please enjoy the links, anyway. Grazie.

>BFI Researchers’ Tales: Mulvey, Dyer, Kubrick, Frayling


 Image of Grace Kelly as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

For some time now, Film Studies For Free has been enjoying the videos that the British Film Institute has been posting at BFI Live, its online video channel exploring film and TV culture. There are lots of videos worth seeing at the site but, below, FSFF has singled out and directly linked to some which are especially deserving of the attention of film scholars.

Laura Mulvey on the Blonde

8 Mar 2010: The world-renowned film theorist presents her thoughts on the Hitchcock Blonde.

Researchers' Tales: Richard Dyer

8 Mar 2010: The writer and academic discusses his instrumental role in the creation of the BFI London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious celebrations of queer cinema.

Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made? (Part 1)

13 Jan 2010: An illustrated lecture on Stanley Kubrick’s most ambitious yet unrealised project.

Kubrick's Napoleon: The Greatest Movie Never Made? (Part 2)

11 Jan 2010: An onstage discussion of the finer points of Stanley Kubrick’s failed production.

Researchers' Tales: Sir Christopher Frayling on Spaghetti Westerns

14 Dec 2009: Eminent academic and writer Sir Christopher Frayling discusses the Spaghetti Western genre as part of the BFI National Library’s Researcher’s Tales strand.

Researchers' Tales: Sir Christopher Frayling on Film Research

14 Dec 2009: Eminent educationalist and writer Sir Christopher Frayling discusses the practice of researching film.