Friday, November 30, 2012

The Great Silence vs. The Who: Sunday Night Showdown

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Now here's a dilemma: the only 35mm screening we may ever have in Nashville of Sergio Corbucci's super-cool spaghetti Western The Great Silence vs. The Who playing the landmark Quadrophenia album live at Bridgestone Arena — and they're both 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Listening to Quadrophenia on the way to The Belcourt, the choice didn't seem so hard: The Who's first (and probably last) Nashville concert, playing a phenomenal record that's like a succession of crashing waves. But then I saw a reel of The Great Silence as the projectionist was testing it. Holy mackerel. Not only is the movie among the absolutely essential spaghetti Westerns, its wintry landscapes and tension-ratcheting compositions just pop on the big screen — and the print's eccentricities (scratches! crackles! simultaneous French and German subtitles!) give it that grindhouse whiff of rotgut that means oh so much.

In other words, this is a tough call. The movie is cheaper. The concert is longer. Klaus Kinski at billboard size, all leering menace and bad intent. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey in the flesh, life-size and yet so much bigger.

In classic spaghetti Western tradition, it's every man for himself. Or let Repo Man director and spaghetti Western authority Alex Cox break the tie:

Alex Cox intro for Corbucci's THE GREAT SILENCE from International Film Series on Vimeo.

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