La morte ha fatto L'uovo
Italian writer/director Giulio Questi deserves a more prominent position in the history of popular Italian cinema. One of the most challenging things for a filmmaker working within the restricted conventions of fashionable cycles or genres is to make the familiar seem unfamiliar. His films achieve this through an experimental attitude to form, an attitude that sometimes borders on the avant-garde, and a political perspective that is unashamedly leftist. Questi’s work has the sensibility of 1960’s Italian art cinema, but possess a presentation that took advantage of the prevailing popular trends of the day. It means of course that audiences are caught completely unaware, as will anybody will who approaches Django Kill, If You Live…Shoot! (1967) expecting a regular spaghetti western. The debate within Questi’s cinema however lies with trying to judge the extent of Franco Arcali’s contribution. Arcali was both writer and editor on a number of Questi’s films, and it is in the editing strategy that the films show their most experimental side. Furthermore there is much evidence in his filmography to suggest his political sympathies were also strongly leftist. Either way the two men clearly complimented one another on Django Kill, and they took this collaboration on to the peculiar and surreal giallo Death Laid an Egg.
© Shaun Anderson 2012