The FNC 2017 is screening Sergio Sollima’s 1967 Spaghetti Western, Faccia a Faccia (Face to Face) in its English version.
It was an era of groundbreaking and unexpectedly high box office returns for Italian Cinema. Prior to the year 1967, Sergio Leone had put the final touch to a handful of successful Italian made Westerns (shot in the Andalusia desert) starring, now cult icon, Clint Eastwood, and dubbed the ‘Dollar trilogy’. By then, dozens of these so called Spaghetti Westerns where being made usually in a production triumvirate between Italy, Spain and Germany.
The social turmoil of the late 1960’s added a leftist dimension to the more politically inclined director Sergio Sollima’s ambitions to bring the old American West to the screen in Faccia a Faccia.
A School teacher traveling to the American West meets a group of outlaws and becomes fascinated by their ways. As he slowly adopts and adapts their schemes, the original leader of the gang grows a newly found moral conscience.
Power shifts and growing consciousness, two major themes in Sollima’s work prevail. While Sergio Leone deliberately avoided politics and deep social meaning like the plague, partly because of the misfortunes of his father during the fascist era, Sollima’s own print would always be one carrying a (light) political overtone in films with entertainment value. It would be featured in later entries (he basically remade Faccia a faccia as a crime film with 1973’s Revolver).
For Faccia a faccia, Sollima, borrowed Leone’s regulars, Sergio Donati (screenplay), Eugenio Alabiso (editor), Carlo Simi ( Art direction/ set and costume design and (who else?) maestro Ennio Morricone for scoring duty. It stars on and off screen political actor Gian Maria Volonte (also from Leone’s first two ‘dollars films‘) opposite Cuban born actor (and cult favorite of Italian film genres aficionados), Tomas Milian still restrain compared to later roles where he became more freely extravagant. Volonte would soon focus on roles with even more political significance working several times with celebrated directors Francesco Rosi and Elio Petri.
Last Screening: Wednesday October 11, 7:00 PM Cinémathèque Québécoise