Il grande silenzio
Although Sergio Leone was the critically acclaimed face of spaghetti westerns in the 1960’s, equally important work was being produced by Sergio Corbucci. While Leone reached operatic highs with his sweeping camera movements, audacious set ups, and melodramatic performances, Corbucci offered audiences a rougher approach with handheld shots, zooms, and minimalist performances. You cant get much more minimal than the main character of his 1968 masterpiece The Great Silence. He is mute throughout due to having his vocal chords cut as a child. This was Corbucci’s fifth notable western following on the heels of Django (1966), Navajo Joe (1966), The Hellbenders (1967) and A Professional Gun (1968), and he reaches a pinnacle of weirdness by setting his film during the blizzards that befell Utah in 1885. The beautiful snowy landscapes gives the film a genuine uniqueness which is brought to life by the wonderful widescreen cinematography of Silvano Ippoliti.