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Described as a "spaghetti western" with comic overtones, Bowie plays the part of a gun-toting pistolero who serves as the competitor-in-town to main character Harvey Keitel and his accompanying pacifist son, played by Italian star Leonardo Pieraccioni.
A better description appeared in the Italian magazine Sorrisi e canzoni who interviewed Pieraccioni (translated by Valeria):"The story is taken from the novel 'Yodo Cartamilli' by Italian author Vincenzo Pardini. Pieraccioni is Doc, the pacifist doctor of Basinfield (this is the exact traslation of Campocatino, the location of the set), a small town in Canada. He (Doc) is really in the van because he married an American Indian girl (the actress is Sandrine Holt, previously known in 'Rapanui') and they have a son. One day Doc's father, the gunman Johnny Lowen, very famous in the West (Harvey Keitel) comes back to town because he wants to start a better relationship with his son that is so different from him. But David Bowie, the gangster ('nickname' not given), who is looking for Johnny arrives in the town too. That's all. Pieraccioni said it is a very classic western movie, not different from most of the western movie but this one should be also a comedy."
La Repubblica Interview
This article originally appeared in the online edition of La Repubblica, August 6, 1998. Translated by Valeria.
The idea of Giovanni Veronesi, the 35 year old director, is to make something very different from the classic Spaghetti Western movies. "The actors are American or English, and the Indians (Blackfeet) are from Canada; it wants to be a classic western film. I thought of Ford and Peckinpah directing this movie. I have never loved the Italian western movies, except Sergio Leone that had invented a different way of making movies. But I chose very modern actors because my ambition is to make young people approch this genre that seems to be so out of date (old fashioned)."
What do you mean when you talk about 'classic western movie'?
"I used every classic archetype from that genre of film, all the best things. After having read the screenplay Bowie sent me a fax where he wrote he liked it because it was full of all that sort of archetypes (from american western stories) but it was written by an European mind. Obviously there is the final duel, but I found out a surprising end for it. The bad character, Jack Sikora, played by David Bowie is an unusual 'bad boy' too; he is a psychopath, a sick person with a trouble: he uses violence to survive and he wants a photographer (who is a woman) always with him to take pictures of him when he is going to 'explode'. Then there is Pieraccioni; His role lets the movie approach the problem of being pacifist in a traditionaly violent world. He is Doc, he doesn't have any pistol, he doesn't fight and he doesn't ride horses because he is waiting for the railways, the progress, the future, in which he trusts. And he talks about peace, in simple words for simple people. Doc's father is Johnny Lowen, Harvey Keitel, that isn't pacifist at all. the story teller in the movie is Geremia, Doc's son, a child; at the beginning, when his granfather arrives back in town it produces a lot of troubles: they used to be a simple and happy family, and Geremia, who is really impressed by his grandfather's stories, is tempted by the adventurous life; but at the end he will understand and embrace the values of non-violence and peace, etc.... I like the idea of making three different generations meet."
How did you come to make this movie?
"I have been trying to realize it for 5 years. But only when Pieraccioni said yes all the others arrived. I had a great cast, the best."
Were you embarassed in front of David Bowie and Harvey Keitel ? They are not famous for being very friendly.....
"just at the beginning. Bowie is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, and after having accepted the role, he 'played the game'. And on the contrary of what someone told me Keitel was not obsessing at all. He just trusted me and my ideas. And then which actor wouldn't like to play the cowboy role at 50?
Talking about human being, how are Bowie and Keitel?
I had no problem with them. The best relationship that Keitel had was with Pieraccioni; his relationship with Bowie was good, he (keitel) used to joke with him, but always in a ferocious way. Talking about human being, I would say they both are strange people."
|These three pictures contributed by Stefano|
Bowie flew in to Italy in late May of 1998 for two weeks to film his portions of the movie.
Italian Bowie fans conspired to be on the set, and Bowie was happy to oblige with the following pictures.
All of the following pictures contributed by Valeria