Sergio Leone Saw Filmmaking As Something Akin To A Religion

Oct 04, 2022 174

BY: Andrew Housman

Few storytellers have shaped the modern American Western than, ironically, Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone, who approached the genre with an outsider's view and pioneered the Spaghetti Western. Unlike his predecessor John Ford, Leone portrayed his "heroes" as morally ambiguous and argued that survival and greed shaped the American frontier more than duty and honor.

Though he may have seemed cynical, Leone revered the filmmaking process, lending his passion and worth ethic to future filmmakers just as much as his visual style. Sweeping vistas interspersed with dramatic close-ups were Leone's trademarks, a juxtaposition between the powerful landscapes of the open frontier (shot mostly in Spain rather than the United States) and the dirty, sweaty faces of its worn-out and corrupt settlers. 

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