The ecstasy of 'Hateful Eight' Maestro Ennio Morricone

Dec 26, 2015 766

by Matt Stieb

Most genre titles suck, serving as meaningless shorthand for nerds in the field. Vaporwave? Gaslamp Fantasy? But, the Spaghetti Western moniker so perfectly nails the phenomenon of Italian directors setting movies in the American West that it gives worth to the entire operation of genre.

In the early '60s, American filmmakers had become lazy with the Western, retelling a well-trod, straight-ahead hero's story — think of those slow, black-and-white John Wayne joints your dad made you watch on AMC. As Hollywood interest in the form cooled, Italian directors zoomed in on the stories of the American Southwest. Hence, the slightly racist genre title.

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