Friday, 24 May 2013
When it came to Spaghetti Westerns, the only filmmaker whose reputation came remotely close to Sergio Leone’s was the man referred to as “the other Sergio”, viz. Sergio Corbucci. And Django, a cult classic of the sub-genre that spawned over 30 sequels and lent its protagonist’s name along with its brilliant theme song to Tarantino’s Django Unchained, quite easily remains his most iconic work. Tarantino, in fact, paid homage to it long back with the infamous ear-slashing scene in Reservoir Dogs. Flamboyant, gleefully violent, unabashedly stylish and highly entertaining, it was his reinterpretation of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, even though Leone had beat him to it with his A Fistful of Dollars. The titular protagonist (Franco Nero), a laconic and enigmatic drifter, loner and crack-shot, silently glides into a dirty one-horse town in the Mexican border pulling a heavy wooden coffin. He lands right into the middle of a bloody territorial war between Mexican bandits and White Supremacists – the latter led by the sadistic Major Jackson (Eduardo Fajardo). Despite the elaborate plot that ensues, as it turns out, Django is in town to take a very personal revenge against Jackson, and the coffin he tows along hides a machine gun that he uses against both the sides to operatic effects. Nero, with his blue eyes, impassive demeanor and natural swagger, did manage to embody the film’s moral ambivalence with ease, even if he never really had to act much. Gloriously shot by a restless camera and aptly scored, it was dark, brutal and almost cartoonish in its depiction of one man against an army, and was memorably aided by the superb title track.
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Genre: Western/Spaghetti Western