Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Spain v Italy

Not even thinking of football, both Spain and Italy have long held dominion over my imagination to varying degrees. It has something to do with cinema. Has there ever been a more potent combination than the seductive synthesis, the cross pollination of aesthetics, than the so-called Spaghetti Westerns? I don't think so. It's a subjective argument, of course. But for me... I know what films would be bursting out of my desert island suitcase. The great Sergio Leone, the Italian master of the European Western and one of the great pop stylists of all time, was probably never better than with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, his 1966 classic with Eastwood, Van Cleef, and Wallach filmed in Almeria, Spain, and set in some weird mythical America that never existed. Brilliant. Leone's fellow countryman and artistic collaborator, composer Ennio Morricone, I don't think ever composed a piece of music as beautiful as the "Ecstasy of Gold" sequence.

This is cinema. This is the Spain and Italy of my dreams....

Let's hope the match, which should beginning in just a few minutes, is something wonderful to behold as well.

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