Here You Can Only Gain Respect by Killing Other Men, video, 6 min. 24 sec.
Excerpt: 1 min. 10 sec.
Here You Can Only Gain Respect by Killing Other Men is made by intercutting parts of the final fight scenes from all three of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I have always loved the strange rhythm of these films. The timing and texture of the edited shots and soundtracks (the slightly surreal ambient sound design together with Ennio Morricone’s utterly weird and wonderful musical scores) carry each of these films, all hung on a bare minimum of narrative and dialogue. And then there are the final fight scenes. These uncanny scenes go on for too long without any dialogue or any action (in the traditional action movie sense); they float and jump with an anti-grammar of extreme close-ups and long shots and everything in between, in counterpoint with the movement and moments of the soundtrack. What would it be like to watch all three of these dances together? Not by collaging them, but by cutting them together two frames at a time, edited one after another as if making an animation? …This created a new rhythm, both fast and slow: the fast being the motoric b.p.m. of the two-frame clips beating in succession, the slow being the motion of each scene as it now takes over 6 minutes to experience any one of them. And a new soundtrack emerged: Morricone to the third power. “Here you can only gain respect by killing other men” is a line spoken about 10 minutes into A Fistful of Dollars. It sums up the narrative, the why-things-happen, of all the films in the Trilogy. Reimagined through the video, in a line (or as a title) it dispenses with the why, leaving the what – both material and temporal – that makes the films what they are rather than what they are about.
Cosmic Rays Film Festival, Chapel Hill, USA (2020)
Pleasure Dome New Toronto Works, Toronto, Canada (2020)
New Toronto Works Tour presented by Pleasure Dome screened online in partnership with: The Fifty Fifty Arts Collective, Victoria, BC, November 2020; Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, Regina Winnipeg Film Group, MB, PAVED Arts, Saskatoon, October 2020; Vivo Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, October 2020; Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia, USA, December 2020
LA Underground Film Forum, Los Angeles, USA (2021): Honourable Mention
Experimental Film Forum, Los Angeles, USA (2020): Honourable Mention