Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In The West => Topic started by: Martin K on January 18, 2015, 07:24:04 PM



Title: Question
Post by: Martin K on January 18, 2015, 07:24:04 PM
Harmonica often enters the frame in a very particular way from the right side. Has Leone ever talked about why? Somebody ever wrote about it?
Anybody here has any ideas?


Title: Re: Question
Post by: cigar joe on January 19, 2015, 03:11:49 AM
we have:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5032.msg65842#msg65842 (http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5032.msg65842#msg65842)


Title: Re: Question
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 19, 2015, 07:58:52 PM
Characters in Leone films often have a particular theme song and a particular method of entrance. Read Christopher Frayling's books "Spaghetti Westerns" and "Something to Do With Death." Harmonica may be a quasi-supernatural figure, always sliding into the scene at the right moment. He has "something to do with death." :)


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Novecento on January 19, 2015, 08:54:53 PM
Leone appropriating a Kurosawa trait and making it his own.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Martin K on January 21, 2015, 02:07:20 AM
In what movies did Kurosawa's use characters come in form the right perpendicularly?

And why would that give it that person a supernatural character?

I'm seriously interested.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: stanton on January 21, 2015, 02:18:21 AM
He only comes from the right side cause Leone wanted to set OUTW apart from the leftist Italian Westerns.

The "supernatural" theory is a cheap way to deny Leone's political awareness.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: noodles_leone on January 21, 2015, 02:27:23 AM
The "supernatural" theory is a cheap way to deny Leone's political awareness.

 ;D

And why would that give it that person a supernatural character?

The main concept behind it is that usually the filmmaker chooses what the viewer sees. When he wants the audience to watch a character, he putsthe camera in front of that character. If the character enter the frame, it gives the character some kind of power (you can call it supernatural or just plain charisma): it looks like the character made the decision to be seen by the audience. It's not a filmmaking rule that you could find in books but the thing is it works. What I explained is just my guess about WHY it works.
Another, more direct and less subconscious effect is that it is an effect, a transition. Most of the time, there are no effects, to go from a shot to another, the filmmaker just cut to the next shot. Any kind of effect underlines what is happening. If what is happening is that Harmonica has something to say, the effect gives his line a lot of importance. Hence the charisma/supernatural/superhero feel.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 21, 2015, 02:32:33 AM
I think the point is he is always there, watching the action, ready to slide in and make his presence known when he wants to. He never walks in and opens the door - he is always already there.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Dust Devil on January 21, 2015, 03:03:56 AM
I take it in every Corbucci movie the hero enters from the left then.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 21, 2015, 03:24:28 AM
so I guess John Wayne always entered from the right ... and if I may take this a step further, Tyrone Power, Montgomery Clift, and Randolph Scott liked to enter from both sides  ;)


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Cusser on January 21, 2015, 05:55:17 PM
Speaking of "sides", was Leone the first to focus on a close up of someone's face pointed down, and have the character slowly raise his head?


Title: Re: Question
Post by: Novecento on January 21, 2015, 07:08:14 PM
In what movies did Kurosawa's use characters come in form the right perpendicularly?

I was referring more generally to where Leone got the idea to have people appear from the sides of the screen as if they had been there all along.

Interestingly Kurosawa also inverted this by using camera movement to bring people into the picture (as opposed to people moving themselves into a picture). A great example is at the beginning of High and Low: we see an empty room; the camera pans right to reveal that Mifune's character is actually there; Mifune gets up to turn on a light over on the left and the camera follows; Mifune returns to where he came from and the camera continues further right to reveal a whole bunch of other people also there.

I take it in every Corbucci movie the hero enters from the left then.

 ;D


Title: Re: Question
Post by: stanton on January 22, 2015, 02:16:59 AM
so I guess John Wayne always entered from the right ...

Wayne always came from above.


Title: Re: Question
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 22, 2015, 05:24:40 AM
:D