Not as legendary as Iginio Lardani’s groundbreaking title sequence for A Fistful of Dollars, but no less impressive. The influence of Andy Warhol‘s work on Lardani is evident here. Warhol wielded the power of the repeating image – an aesthetic that is rooted in his use of commercial print making techniques such as silk screen printing – was explored in Pop Art. Lardani applies contemporary film techniques to transfer this concept to film.
The title sequence mainly features archetypal images of horses and carriages, symbols of the Spaghetti Western – or any Western for that matter. Lardani iconifies these images by repeating them horizontally and vertically on the screen, much in the same way as Warhol did in his silkscreens.
Warhol took mass produced images from popular culture, which he then multiplied on canvas to enhance or change their significance. The Spaghetti Western was also a mass product. At the height of its popularity, an entire movie industry existed in Italy that revolved around this Western sub-genre, churning out hundreds of films each year. Most of those were B-films. Sergio Sollima was an exception. He made quality, stylish, Spaghetti westerns with a political undertone, not the average pulp.
Iginio Lardani was trusted and respected by directors and producers alike and was often given a free hand when designing title sequences. Working solitary from his private studio most of the time, unhindered by the director’s vision, Lardani created his best title sequences. These were short masterpieces of experimental cinema in which he explored and stretched the creative boundaries of what defines a title sequence.
Year of production
About Iginio Lardani
Not so much is known about Iginio ‘Gigi’ Lardani, the designer of iconic title sequences such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars. After a long search, I managed to get in touch with Iginio’s son Alberto, a film editor, who has worked with his father for more than twelve years. In the email interview, Alberto tells me that his father didn’t attend any kind of graphic design school. “He was an autodidact with a great interest in painting. He entered the film world as a film poster designer and created the Italian poster of ‘High Noon’, among others.”