Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Lousy and border-line incompetent.
I watched this again in class today and I must say it gets better on repeat viewings and may be better than The Shooting. It's a grim and eclectic revisionist Western from Monte Hellman. Actually, revisionist may not even be the correct term since unlike, for example, later revisionist Westerns by Peckinpah or Eastwood, there isn't any nostalgia at all for the West and its macho ethics. Here the West comes across as a place where senseless hangings, shootouts, and jagged landscapes dominate. There is no mythology of freedom to be either celebrated or inverted; all that is left is a desolate and hopeless Beckett-like world. Even when a character escapes at the end, it's doesn't feel like a triumph.
Not my favorite Ray film but it's quite good. I love the way it's torn between a crime film and romantic melodrama.
Lewis's aggressive direction and visuals make this is a compelling film. The camera constantly moves to reframe action, creating a world in perpetual motion threatening to burst into violence at any time.
A bizarre and fascinating mess