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Tarantino vows love for 'macaroni' westerns

Cult director presents Django Unchained in Rome

Tarantino vows love for 'macaroni' westerns

Rome, January 4 - Quentin Tarantino declared his love for Italy's B-movie 'macaroni westerns' - the crude lower-budget cousins of Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti westerns - in Rome Friday as he unveiled his latest film Django Unchained, inspired by a Sergio Corbucci cult hit of the 1960s. "Macaroni westerns, as we call them in America, are the ones I love the best because of their surrealism and the extremes they present," said the Pulp Fiction director, whose slave revenge story starring Jamie Foxx opens across Italy on January 17. Tarantino, a self-styled 'super-geek' who is famously obsessed with B-movie lore, also reiterated his devotion to the better-known and more respectable genre of spaghetti westerns like Leone's 'Dollars' trilogy - and Django itself, a mainstream 1966 product starring Franco Nero that inspired a string of zanier unofficial sequels. Tarantino burst onto the scene in 1992 with the bloody thriller Reservoir Dogs, famous for an ear-severing scene that pays homage to a similar stomach-turning part of Corbucci's Django. Asked who was "the better" of his two idols, the universally acclaimed Leone or the niche "guilty pleasure" Corbucci, he replied: 'It's like a judgment of Solomon. "They're different, Leone was one for epics, gigantic in the aesthetic sense too, while Corbucci is simpler and more prolific". Corbucci's hard-hitting, brutal and now supposedly ironic westerns included Minnesota Clay (1965), Ringo and his Golden Pistol (1966), Navajo Joe (1966), The Hellbenders (1967), The Mercenary (A Professional Gun, 1968), The Great Silence (1968), Gli Specialisti (Drop Them or I'll Shoot, 1969), Companeros (1970), La Banda J.S.: Cronaca Criminale del Far West (Sonny and Jed, 1972) and What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution? (1972). Sniffed at by critics, he became a cult figure after his death in 1990, a reputation boosted by uber-buff Tarantino, who has given a cameo in Django Unchained to Franco Nero, the 1966 Django. Django Unchained will also feature an original song by iconic Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. Ancora Qui (Still Here) was composed by Morricone with lyrics written and performed by Italian singer-songwriter Elisa. As well as Foxx, in his most anticipated role since Collateral and Ray, both in 2004, Django Unchained features Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington. The film follows a freed slave and a bounty hunter in their trek across the Deep South. Tarantino's adulation of Italian B movies was celebrated on one of international cinema's premier stages when he organized events at the Venice Film Festival devoted to Italian Bs in 2004 and 2007, the latter specifically on spaghetti westerns. Most notably, Enzo Castellari's 1977 Inglorious Bastards (Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato) was the inspiration for Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, a blood-soaked and quirky reinvention of WWII history. Basterds had Morricone songs but not an original track as Tarantino had requested. Instead, it featured Morricone music that first appeared in westerns by Leone.

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