Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good, Bad, Ugly/Navao Joe

In Navajo Joe, we see that the characters of the film are all extremely violent towards one another and towards their "enemies". The opening scene is a shocking one as the amount of violence and gore for that time period of film would be a very eye opening one. It is apparent from this film that Italian directors viewed American films and culture as a very "shoot first and ask questions later" society as they continue to portray Americans as animalistic creatures.
In the Good Bad and Ugly, Italian directors once again portray the American cowboys as savage and ruthless beasts. The cowboys throughout the film appear willing to kill anyone that crosses them in order to gain the reward at the end of the film. This also plays into the theme of the Capitalist and greedy Americans trying to gain more money and a larger share of the world economy. Essentially, Italian directors are portraying the Americans as ruthless and greedy creatures who will stop at nothing to make their money.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Spaghetti Westerns

As spaghetti westerns, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Navajo Joe, deviate from the typical characteristics of the classical western. Most noticeably, the films are extraordinarily violent. From the opening scenes, the films demonstrate merciless and indiscriminate killing, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly features the first of many shootouts while Navajo Joe shows the massacre of an entire Indian village and scalping of an innocent woman. The murderous characters’ lacks of compassion seem to stem from complete simplemindedness, demonstrating no mental capacity for thoughts other than revenge or financial gain.

From a cultural studies perspective, spaghetti westerns like the The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Navajo Jo provide an Italian critique of the American classical western, and correspondingly, American society itself. The films take aspects from the classical western and exaggerate them to demonstrate, with unmistakable clarity, the foolishness and barbaric nature of the behavior. Since the classical western is a reflection of American culture, the Italian mockery of the genre also ridicules Americans. The evidence within both films of the characters’ greed and prioritization of money over all else provides a sharp jab at the American free market. Furthermore, the careless killing appears to scorn the nation’s quick use of violent force.

Spaghetti Westerns, SG

I feel that the movie The Good the Bad and the Ugly a “spaghetti western” clearly depicts how the rest of the world views American society. The Three main characters Blondie, Angle Eyes and Tuco represent different degrees of evil. All three of these characters are driven to make money illegally. What I found interesting about this film was that Blondie, one of the three criminals in this film, was depicted as the most honorable man. I feel that the creators of this film did this to make a statement about American culture. In order to be successful in America one needs to be dishonest and almost criminal like.
Navajo Joe another “spaghetti western” looks upon American society unfavorably as well. Early in the movie the town realizes the problems they are facing. Joe offers his advice by saying. “There’s only one way to get rid of your problems, kill him.” This film portrays Americans as extremely violent and that violence is an answer to all of one’s problems. This movie also points to the racism in America. The two characters of Native American heritage Navajo Joe and Estella are seen as outsiders.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe

The two spaghetti westerns The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe have many differences from the tradional American western films. One difference between these films and other American westerns are the protagonists. Minorities have a leading role in both movies, whereas in American westerns minorities are cast as the “other”. Tuca was a central part of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and Navajo Jo was the leading actor in Navajo Jo. In Navajo Jo, the Native American was portrayed as the hero, and the Americans were portrayed as the outlaws. This is different from American westerns because usually the Native Americans are the ones being driven out of the city, rather than the Americans. The typical alpha male cowboy in American westerns, white male, acts in good faith. This means that he does things based on the duty of responsibility. In these two spaghetti westerns, the white male was cast as a greedy, money-seeking man. Alpha male cowboys in American films are also honest. The men in the spaghetti westerns were not loyal to each other, rather they were willing to cheat and scheme for riches.

Spaghetti westerns portray the European’s view of Americans. Americans in these films are depicted as violent, money-driven individuals who are willing to use any means to get to a certain end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spaghetti Westerns

Both The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe sharply contrast traditional domestically produced westerns. Both films track foreigners as main characters, so "the other" doesn't necessarily exist. In fact, the white men in both films are portrayed as brutish criminals, while Tuco and Joe often are the protagonists. In the The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, Tuco is initially Blondie's partner before Blondie betrays him. In Navajo Joe, Joe is the one seeking revenge for wrongs done to his people by white men, which is pretty much the exact opposite plot as The Searchers.

The violent nature of white Americans shown in both films is based on the U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1966. Because the films were produced by Italian directors, it is clear that Europeans had viewed Americans as overstepping their boundaries, as reflected through Duncan and Angel Face's violent nature. The Civil War playing out in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly again symbolizes Americans' violent nature.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugley/Navajo Joe

The spaghetti Western films, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Navajo Joe are very different than the traditional Western. These films have a differnt perception on Indians than traditonal Westerns. Navajo Joe depicts the Indians as less violent and show the whites as the rash killers that raid villages with no mercy. From a cultural studies view, it shows how the European directors viewed the white Americans and their desire of manifest destiny to conquer the land of others. The film, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is also very differnt from the traditional Western film. This movie was very violent and even shows violence and disrespect towards the female characters. From a cultural studies view this can be interpreted as how the europeans viewed the white Americans. They viewd Americans as inhumane violent groups of people that disrespect women and steal land from other people. This may have part to do with the many conflicts the United States was involved in with Europe and how the American soldiers fought these conflicts.