Faccia a Faccia
designer: Iginio Lardani • comment
Not as legendary as Lardani's groundbreaking title sequence for A Fistful of Dollars, but no less impressive.
The title sequence for Faccia a Faccia clearly shows the influence of Andy Warhol's work had on Lardani. A concept often explored in Pop Art is the power of the repetitive image. Warhol most notably used repeating images in his famous silkscreen works from the 1960s. Lardani, here, applies 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. I decided to contact Lardani's son Alberto, who worked with his father for more than twelve years. In the email interview, Alberto Lardani explains 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."
Lardani continues, "Besides the 'Dollars' trilogy, my father designed the title sequences of many other Italian films, but his main activity was the editing of film trailers. His trailers of 'Mogliemante' by M. Vicario and 'Una Giornata Particolare' by Ettore Scola were awarded first and second place among five hundred trailers within the Cannes film festival of 1978. And Iginio created TV ads. He was allowed an entirely free hand when designing title sequences and film trailers and he worked from his own study."
Alberto also clarified the confusion surrounding Lardani's name, who was sometimes mistakenly credited as Eugenio Lardani. "My father's name was not Eugenio, but Iginio Lardani, but everyone called him Gigì."
Since 1986, the year my father passed away, I have continued his work," Alberto concludes. He also mentioned that he was working on a website about his father's work, as well as his own. Alberto Lardani sadly passed away in 2010.
Text: Remco Vlaanderen, last update: July 14, 2011