Heroism or lack thereof in La clemenza di Tito (Sesto)
Of late I have only occasionally been writing about Tito but somewhat unusually for me I’ve been watching films. The upshot is it has – finally – dawned on me that it’s only natural for a Tito-head to be a film noir lover. There are a couple of films that have made me immediately think of the central Tito triangle.
Take for instance this scene from Coen Brothers’ breakthrough feature Bood Simple, which I find a great illustration of just the type of struggle Sesto is having in Act I. Brief synopsis of the run-up to the scene, in case you haven’t seen the film: the Sesto character, Ray, thinks his mistress (whom he loves) has murdered her husband (he’s found her gun at the crime scene) and decides to clean up (by driving the body to a field) so that she isn’t found out. Only things may not be quite what they seem:
Ray, like Sesto, is taking his cues for what to do next from what is happening around him. Like him, he’s really shit at this murder business but, also like him, he’s ready to do anything for the femme fatale. Also like in Sesto’s case, I think the film is more about Ray than about anybody else, though every character shows remarkable strength. I don’t want to yap on too much about it, I think the scene (and John Getz as Ray) speaks for itself.
Quite interestingly (though not obvious in this scene), and straying from the classic noir scenario, Blood Simple has a fourth character who could possibly give a few background ideas for Publio’s involvement in the whole affair.