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Morelia: Tarantino Talks de Cordova, 'Frenchman's Creek,' Spaghetti Western 'Blue'

Photo of Meredith Brody By Meredith Brody | Thompson on Hollywood October 26, 2013 at 3:39PM

The last screening of the day for me is "Blue," the first in the three-film 60s-and-70s cult favorites brought to Morelia by Quentin Tarantino -- his personal print, which he told me earlier was IB technicolor, with, he says tonight, pretty gorgeous dye-transfer colors.
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Blue

The last screening of the day for me is "Blue," the first in the three-film 60s-and-70s cult favorites brought to Morelia by Quentin Tarantino -- his personal print, which he told me earlier was IB technicolor, with, he says tonight, pretty gorgeous dye-transfer colors.  (I remember the grief among the cinephile community when the last Technicolor IB -- short for imbibition, a process that renders colors more impervious to fading -- plant in Hollywood was closed and its machines sold to China.) He says that the Morelia festival has often had a sidebar entitled "Mexico of the Mind," about foreign directors and their takes on Mexico and Mexicans, and that this film fits right into that rubric.  He says that the director, Silvio Narizzano, was unusual, and his films were very eclectic -- it's even strange that he did a Western.  His most famous film is "Georgy Girl." Tarantino winds up with "I could tell you a lot about it -- but let's just SEE it!"

Little in the rest of Narizzano's filmography (despite the name, he was a Canadian who did much of his work in England) would suggest the muscular filmmaking of "Blue," shot only a few years after Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964), but clearly modeled after the spaghetti western. The impossibly beautiful Terence Stamp in the title role at first threatens to be as taciturn as the Man with No Name, but eventually becomes both voluble and philosophical, as he turns away from his spiritual Mexican father, bandit under the guise of a revolutionary, Ricardo Montalban (wildly enjoying his histrionic turn) towards the wise doctor and patriarch of the American patriarch community, the wonderful Karl Malden, father of love interest Joanna Pettet.  Not quite as iconic as the Leone pictures, "Blue," too, is loads of fun and deserves to be better known.

My seatmate almost convinces me to stick around for an added midnight showing of Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Dance of Reality."  I've been mostly oblivious to the Jodorowsky retrospective Morelia is featuring this year, an homage to their guest of honor, because, although I acknowledge that he's an auteur, he's not really my cup of tea. But I'm interested in catching this latest film, made after a gap in his filmography of 23 years, described as "somewhat autobiographical," and starring his three sons. But it starts at midnight, more than an hour's wait, and that way lies madness.  There are half-a-dozen films I intend to see tomorrow.  


This article is related to: Festivals, Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino, Western


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.