Monday, February 20, 2017

A Day on the Sofa

Well, that wasn't a good start to my week off: I went down with a cold on Saturday, suffered through it most of Sunday, sweated the worst of it out overnight and spent most of today on the sofa, recovering.  Although most of the symptoms sweated away, I've been left with a sore throat and accompanying irritating cough.  I'm sincerely hoping that these clear up overnight, as I don't want to spend my week off on the sofa and/or in bed.  I know that I said that I was going to 'let things happen' this week, but being struck down with illness wasn't what I had in mind.  Moreover, I had been provisionally planning something for tomorrow, weather permitting.  I'll just have to wait and see how I feel tomorrow to determine whether I'm going through with it, or not.  Nevertheless, despite being confined to the sofa for most of today, I haven't been entirely unproductive, having used the time to catch up with with some of the stuff I've been recording over the past few weeks.

Most notably, I finally watched The Price of Power, a 1969 Italian Western about the Kennedy assassination, all the way through.  Yeah, that's right a western about the killing of President Kennedy.  It's complicated but, in essence, it uses a completely fictionalised version of the 1881 assassination of President Garfield, as an analogy for the Kennedy assassination.  Even down to relocating Garfield's shooting from Baltimore to Dallas.  Whereas the real Garfield was murdered by a lunatic (and actually died several weeks after the shooting, in Washington DC) in this piece of alternative history, he falls victim to a group of former Confederate politicians who want to restore slavery and possibly start a new Civil War.  Not satisfied with making Garfield a substitute Kennedy - he's just too damn liberal for those southerners and wants to make sure that freed slaves have not only equal rights, but also equal pay, it also tries to draw a parallel with events in the US in 1969, in particular the civil rights movement in the South and the Vietnam War, (although drawing comparisons between this and the Civil War is a bit of a stretch).

Now, I know that, explained like this, it all sounds bat-shit crazy, the fact is that The Price of Power is a pretty good movie. Whilst it might not quite live up to its ambitions - the plot becomes far too convoluted in places and its need to address the more conventional expectations of its genre (fist fights and shoot outs galore) tend to obscure its intent - it is an absorbing film, which leaves the viewer never quite sure where it is going to go next.  It's also an extraordinary well made film, with production values well above the norm for this genre, beautiful photography and above average performance from the cast.   If you can get past the wholesale rewriting of history and accept it for what it is - a poltical western - The Price of Power is a refreshingly different Spaghetti Western.  It's also pretty easy to catch up with, appearing regularly on Movies4Men, (you can also find it uploaded, in full, on various video hosting sites - just search the title in any search engine).



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