Sunday, November 5, 2017
Spanish film: Sad Hill Unearthed
Documentary about the location of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (GBU)
Lee: Opens at a massive rock concert, close-up of lead singer.
Eli: What did that have to do with a spaghetti western film set?
Lee: You’ll see. Stay with me. The original location was in Spain, though it was about the American Civil War. An artificial graveyard was being restored by a group of enthusiasts who went on social media, attracted volunteers to scrape and dig to unearth the original site, crowd-funded it too.
Eli: The power of the group.
Lee: And they also interviewed the composer, Ennio Moricone, had to use archive footage of the director, Sergio Leone, because he’d died years ago. There were interviews with Clint Eastwood, and biographer Christopher Frayling, and with film critic Stephen Leigh.
Eli: So they mixed the authentic original people with those who captured the historical cinematographic aspects?
Lee: Stunning 4K clarity in 16:9 mixed with archive footage in 4:3 cinéma vérité. Droneswoops over the site and circling back to an interview with Metallica’s lead singer, James Hetfield.
Eli: And the relevance of that?
Lee: Metallica have used the theme of GBU in gigs for 30 years. That Moricone score, basically only four notes, guitars then Mariachi trumpets. One of the most haunting movie melodies.
A documentary that is a celebration of a memorable movie (Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo), a tribute to how it was made, and a record of the location restoration. A double reflexive-mode (see Bill Nichols) documentary; the recording of the making of the movie itself within a recording of the making of the documentary. A nested narrative.