Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: aaronson on February 19, 2003, 07:13:50 AM



Title: Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: aaronson on February 19, 2003, 07:13:50 AM
I recently found in my own library a "Cahiers du Cinema"  (it's a french very intellectual film-magazine )  with  a colored picture in the cover: Wood and De Niro masked with white handkerchief during the diamond-robbery scene. Inside the magazine some colored pictures from the film and a big one of Sergio himself very fat and tired. Also a long and complete interview with many explainations,comments and criticisms.It's very rich and interesting.  It's also the first time that French serious critics begin considering Sergio as an important Director . Before that they putted him at the same level than ...Terminator ?   After OUATIA they compare him with Coppola, Cimino and others famous film makers. So the cover of "Les Cahiers" is an honor for OUATIA fan's


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on February 19, 2003, 01:12:44 PM
Yes, I live in Paris (yet I'm not french) and I know quite good the frenchs.

They have a couple of good movies and that's all.

Frenchmen prefer the intelectual cinema over the "visual" cinema. In french movies you can see a 30 minute long scene in a room with two persons who talks about the rain.

That's cinema for them....

Frenchmen are "cultured", but it's not enough o make good movies.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: cigar joe on February 19, 2003, 04:53:03 PM
Check out "La Feme Nikita". It was not bad.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on February 21, 2003, 02:04:52 PM
Yes, but you're talking about Luc Besson, the most "hollywood" cinema director of all fench filmakers.

He did "Leon" (The Proffessional in US I think) too, Fifht Element and "Jeanne d'Arc".

As you see those movies are not in the european/intelectual style.

Anyway, is Besson a good filmaker? Mmmmm....


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 21, 2003, 07:31:02 AM
Hey guys! i'm french, and let me say that there are a lot of great great french movies... not as much as great american movies for a good reason: there is less movies in france than in us.

Of course, french people often tink that their movies are the best, and they do a lot of "films d'auteurs", but most of the french population look TF1: Die Hard, Predator, Spiderman....
So don't take the french to seriously, they are exactly the same as americans.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 21, 2003, 07:33:51 AM
I lost my track myself in all this exitment...

I have this "cahiers du cinema". You know, this is  a very good magazine (and the news cahiers are still very good). They were the first (in france) to write that they like directors like scorsese, lucas, spielberg, tim burton... and Leone.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Il Buono on March 21, 2003, 10:13:30 AM
It's also the first time that French serious critics begin considering Sergio as an important Director . Before that they putted him at the same level than ...Terminator ?   After OUATIA they compare him with Coppola, Cimino and others famous film makers. So the cover of "Les Cahiers" is an honor for OUATIA fan's

Terminator wasn't that bad...


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 21, 2003, 11:32:37 AM
And you don't have to forget that in 2001, once upon a time in the west had still the 5th success in theatres since 1945.

I think that leone is more loved (now, of course) that he is in US.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on March 21, 2003, 02:02:31 PM
In France there's a war between the american cinema and the french one.

Every year, at the end of the year, the secretary of education shows official information about the american movies box office and the french ones.

In general, the french movies have a best box office than the american ones. And in France they're all very proud of this.

The franch "culture" wants to be different than the american one. In movies, in order to achieve this, the french cinema is an intellectual one, a more "cultural" one. So the french moviemakers prefere to have a good story than a film as a good visual an sound experience. And they've failed. They've failed.

Except for a couple of good movies, the french cinema is unable to bring us a good film. Let's not even talk about a masterpiece.

In art (the cinema is an art), you need passion. In France they're occupied whith reason. That's why there's not a single art genius in France.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 26, 2003, 12:52:33 PM
i'm agree with some points, i disagree with other points :)

First, yes, the majort part of the french are very proud of the "exeption culturelle française"... which doesn't really exist, of course. But remember that those guys also love "lethal weapon ": they're just kind of silly men. There is more silly people than intelligent people in france, like everywhere in the world.

Second (do you sau that???), in france, cinema hasn't as much money than in usa... so french movies can't be action movies, they can't be Apocalypse now, they can't be fistful of dynamite...

But...
But...
Did you see "un air de famille"? THIS is a masterpiece.
Did you see "le gout des autres"? THIS is a very good movie.
...

But...
But...
Do you know Pialat? He's one of the directors of the french "nouvelle vague", and that guy did only very very intellectuals movies. And he says that he did it because he hadn't money to do other movies!


Third (and last), a lot of american dircetors are produced in france. For exemple: David Lynch.

Ok.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on March 27, 2003, 02:38:59 PM
I understand what you're trying to say.

I saw "Un air de famille" and "Le gout des autres", very well known movies in france.

My opinion (and i's just an opinion) is that thess 2 movies are far away from beeing masterpieces. And I think (my opinion) that "Le gout des autres" is completely boring.

Money is not an essential if you want to make a good movie.

The first "Asterix" had cost a fortune, and it sucks. Same thing for "Le pacte des Loups". Sometimes, the french moviemakers have a lot of money for a movie, and what's the result? The first "Asterix"????

In the other hand, what I really want to say, is that french moviemakers don't get involved with the esthetic vision of the movie, with the photography, with the sound, with the way that you tell a story, with the sensibility. And let me tell you that you don't need too much money to achieve this. The french cinema, in general (in general, I repeat) is more concerned about the story in a movie, about the script, but let's not forget that the first and most important objective of a movie is an esthetic objective. First of all, cinema is an art a visual and sound experience, if you have a good script, better. But the objet of a movie is not to tell a good story. If you want a good story, you can always read a book. Cinema is something else.

Leone understood this perfectly, and don't forget that for his first movies, he didn't have money at all.

The problem is that in general there isn't an artistic sensibility in France. Try to give me the name of one single french artist genius, one paintor (a real genius), one musician (a real genius like Rachmaninov, Bach or Tchaikovski and not Chopin), one writer (Zola, Flaubert and Hugo are great writers, but not genius like Dostoievski or Shakespeare).


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Il Buono on March 27, 2003, 04:12:28 PM
It's a shame that I haven't seen any of his films, but François Truffaut is a very famous director...  I don't know if he's a good one.

Also J.J. Annaud does good things from time to time.  He's not an art genius, but he does alright.  Enemy at the Gates was a very good one.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on March 28, 2003, 01:51:49 PM
Truffaut belongs exactly to the kind of "intelectual" french moviemakers that I talked about.

I was very, very disappointed by "Enemy at the gates", I was specting a great movie....

By the way, Annaud himself told the press that "Ennemy at the gates" is based on Leone's "900 days at Leningrad", his unachieved ("un-beginned" we could say) project. So, between what "900 days at Leningrad" could have been, and what "Enemy at the Gates" is, there's a long, very long way.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Il Buono on March 29, 2003, 09:20:48 AM
Of course, I can't argue with that! ;D


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 29, 2003, 04:37:27 PM
I think that there is (for me) just one genius who did movies all over the world: it is sergio (may be orson wells...)
I think there is just one genius who did music: it is ennio.

For "le pacte des loups", you're right, it's an awful movie (if you call that a movie), but i think the director was trying yo imitate bad american movies.
For asterix, you're right, it is also bad.

I have never said there IS genius in france, i think there WERE.
Truffaut is an other kind of cinema that leone or scorsese. He did great great movies, and also other movies who were boring.
He isn't the only guy in france who did so great movies.

You (and i too) have a sensibility who makes you feel pictures and sounds. That's great. I am also open to other ideas of cinema. What is fabulous with leone, this is that he had all: pictures sensibility, sounds sensibility, script sensibility, time sensibility, music sensibility...
That's why he was for me THE genius.

I'm not a cultured man, but i can say that Maupassant was a genius (he was a writer).

And for the music... i think that YOU can't like the french (recent) music. All those guys (goldman, souchon, cabrel, sanson...) can't do what YOU may call music. They are more in texts that in the music, you know.

In fact, there isn't realy a lot of genius. I love cinema, i love scorsese, coppola, sometimes de palma, sometimes spielberg....
But no one of them is a genius.


FOr the conclusion, i think that we are in fact agree, but you think that cinema is pictures and sounds (for you, a good script isn't necessary, but it is only a good point), music (i think, because you didn't say anything) is really music and harmony, not texts, and books are for the texts.
This is your opinion (or i didn't understood anything :) ).


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Il Buono on March 30, 2003, 07:51:21 AM
Well, that's a strong statement.  There are other geniuses, I think.  Everybody makes a bad movie once in a while, but don't forget that not all Leone films are WOW!  A Fistful of Dollars/Dynamite are not that good to call them masterpieces.  Don't get me wrong, I like them, but I wouldn't place them in the top 20 of best movies ever...

I think Zemeckis is close to a genius.  The Back to the Future series and Forrest Gump are just irresistable.  Who Framed Roger Rabbit and What Lies Beneath were great fun too.
And I think there is a great future for David Lynch and David Fincher too.

But I can see where you're coming from... ;)


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on March 31, 2003, 08:26:39 AM
The notion (???) of "genius" is very personnal... my genius are not the same as yours...

I'm agree for "a fistful of dollars", but "fistful of dynamite" is in my top 20 (but under ouatia, ouatitw and gbu).

SHorty, i hope you are wrong, i hope that genius can exist in france... i would like to be a genius :)


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: shorty larsen on March 31, 2003, 01:19:04 PM
Noodles, don't get me wrong, I'm half french, so I know what I'm talking about.

Regarding cinema, what I think (I repeat again, it's my opinion) is that cinema is an art. And as an art, its prioritys must be image and sound, treatment of image and colour, photography, angle cameras, zooms  ;D, and the sensibility of the music score.

To me, the script, the "story" of the movie itself, comes second. The way that you tell the story, in cinema (in my opinion) is more important than the story itself.

Now, if you have an outstanding image and sound treatment and the story is as good as the image and sound, the, and just then, you have a masterpiece. But if your story is fantastic and the image and sound aren't, you have a movie, just a movie.

I'm not the monopoly of Truth, it's just an opinion, but I think that if you want to tell a story, and you're not particulary interested by all the artistic side of a movie (image and sound), then you can write a book.

Of course, there's a hierarchy in the the treatment of image and sound. I don't like anything, that's why I'm here with you in a Leone/Morricone (can we include Ennio?) discussion board!!!!

In France there's plenty of genius, but not artistic genius. Foucault was a genius, Camus too, but they're not artists. Napoleon was a genius, but he wasn't an artist.

And Il Buono, I think too that the best moviemaker project is David Fincher.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on April 01, 2003, 07:53:13 AM
i understand what you mean... It is your opinion. For me, cinema is an art too, but the way you tell the stroy is (for me) as important as the story. I think you anderstood my opinion.

Just wondering: what are you exactly? what does exactly "half french" mean?

And you can't include ennio.... you HAVE to include him.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Biondo on November 28, 2004, 05:02:49 AM
Yes, but you're talking about Luc Besson, the most "hollywood" cinema director of all fench filmakers.

He did "Leon" (The Proffessional in US I think) too, Fifht Element and "Jeanne d'Arc".

As you see those movies are not in the european/intelectual style.

Anyway, is Besson a good filmaker? Mmmmm....


some critics think  that  "The professional" ("Lèon" in europe ver.) is an implicit Besson's tribute to Sergio Leone, or however he was  Sergio-inspired and/or influenced, in particular for the  Opening Sequence. Notice that in the first script Lèon name was "Leone Montana".... may be is an accident...


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Dlanor on November 28, 2004, 05:39:42 AM
I understand what you're trying to say.

I saw "Un air de famille" and "Le gout des autres", very well known movies in france.

My opinion (and i's just an opinion) is that thess 2 movies are far away from beeing masterpieces. And I think (my opinion) that "Le gout des autres" is completely boring.

Money is not an essential if you want to make a good movie.

The first "Asterix" had cost a fortune, and it sucks. Same thing for "Le pacte des Loups". Sometimes, the french moviemakers have a lot of money for a movie, and what's the result? The first "Asterix"????

In the other hand, what I really want to say, is that french moviemakers don't get involved with the esthetic vision of the movie, with the photography, with the sound, with the way that you tell a story, with the sensibility. And let me tell you that you don't need too much money to achieve this. The french cinema, in general (in general, I repeat) is more concerned about the story in a movie, about the script, but let's not forget that the first and most important objective of a movie is an esthetic objective. First of all, cinema is an art a visual and sound experience, if you have a good script, better. But the objet of a movie is not to tell a good story. If you want a good story, you can always read a book. Cinema is something else.

Leone understood this perfectly, and don't forget that for his first movies, he didn't have money at all.


 I totally agree with all what you said.


Quote
The problem is that in general there isn't an artistic sensibility in France. Try to give me the name of one single french artist genius, one paintor (a real genius), one musician (a real genius like Rachmaninov, Bach or Tchaikovski and not Chopin), one writer (Zola, Flaubert and Hugo are great writers, but not genius like Dostoievski or Shakespeare).

 I agree less because France is very good concerning literature.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Dlanor on November 28, 2004, 08:03:01 AM
 Shorty Larsen is right when he says French cinema is more reason than passion. What lacks to the French movie makers is a certain sense of innocence toward the things, a sincerity, the pure and naive amazment that Americans have. And Leone had it too, as he made westerns as an hommage to the many hours he spent watching westerns during his childhood. The mentality of the French movies reflects the mentality of the French people, wich has to do with cynism, snobism, pseudo-intellectual stuff, and "franchouillardise".
  All the French films look the same, it deals with a couple of  a man and a woman and give a lesson: that how one should live, WE can enjoy life, nature. THE OTHERS not. Simplicity of life... Etc... Highly irritating.  And so has said Larsen, there is often no artistic effort, as they tend to believe the pure narration of events and the message will be enough without any artistic treatment. Often it's painfull to see. They think: it's better like that because we show the reality. But the reality, I see it everyday, it's not an excuse to not build anything in term of artistic rendering.
  I hate Jean Jacques Annaud, there is some kind of feminine side in his movies that I don't like. Luc Besson had tried to do smomething more spectatcular, but what he does has no soul, because when France tries to make that kind of movies, it lacks the passion. It's for the story of saying: we'll make a superproduction to show we can do like Americans, but there is nothing behind. It's clumsy, we see the intentions but only them, as the result is clumsy.
The only Besson I really liked was Leon. It worked because Jean Reno really has a charisma. And the lightning was good. The man has it as an actor, it may be not a coincidence if he is the most popular French actor in the USA. Nikita wasn't that bad. Better than his American remake, for one time.
  Jean Pierre Jeunet tried to do things, but he only suceeded in ruining the Alien franchise with Alien 4, wich was goofy. Its last films are ruined by the presence of this vixens: Audrey tautou. I don't like his abuse use of yellow filters in his movies. And when France does historic films, it's always about the same era, the France- German conflict in the two world wars. I start to be fed up.
  I think the only real good popular cinema that France has achieved is  its comic cinema, the movies with Pierre Richard and Louis de Funes, in the sixties-seventies. In this era the mentality of the France was more positive, it retranscripts in these films wich had no pretentions but who were good in terms of creativity . Thanks to the inventivity of their actor. Later there was "Les visiteurs" , wich had this kind of spirit.
 But for now, a real good French director is still to come.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Dlanor on November 28, 2004, 08:22:04 AM
Noodles, don't get me wrong, I'm half french, so I know what I'm talking about.


To me, the script, the "story" of the movie itself, comes second. The way that you tell the story, in cinema (in my opinion) is more important than the story itself.

Now, if you have an outstanding image and sound treatment and the story is as good as the image and sound, the, and just then, you have a masterpiece. But if your story is fantastic and the image and sound aren't, you have a movie, just a movie.

I'm not the monopoly of Truth, it's just an opinion, but I think that if you want to tell a story, and you're not particulary interested by all the artistic side of a movie (image and sound), then you can write a book.

 I think many French people understood it Shorty, otherwise they would not be so many French people on a Leone board...

But the problem comes from the people who makes the cinema and  the French cinema is dominated by the old school, strongly holded by the Femis.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: John Baldwin on November 28, 2004, 10:11:10 AM
Dlanor, you don't like "Le grand bleu"? I find it's a great great movie.
There is a thing I don't understand: you say you're boring with French movies about World Wars, but you like Louis de Funes (I dislike him)??? I can't understand that.
And you know, it's not a critic, because I agree with you (Shorty or Noodles), but a lot a American director like French cinema, more particulary "la nouvelle vage"  :-\. For an example, Spielberg is a big fan of Truffaut, who say him after his "Rencontre du 3e type" ("Meeting with third type"; I know it's not the original title, but I don't remind it...), "why you don't make a alien movie, but with children?". This movie is called "ET"!!! But I dislike la nouvelle vague, don't be affraid (I've studied la nouvelle vague; very very very boring!!!)


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: noodles_leone on November 28, 2004, 11:23:23 AM
i still think that klapish did something great, a real masterpiece, with "un air de famille". "le gout des autres" was also very good... i'll eplain more later.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Dlanor on November 28, 2004, 12:35:57 PM
Yes I liked the Grand Bleu. I saw it when I was very little but it did was a really emotional film. In my opinion it didn't need the love story, the story of the frienship was enough. But'it's a detail.
 John Baldwin, I don't associate Louis de Funes with World war 2." La grande vadrouille" is not my favorite of his film. I simply think that it was a really great artist wich honoured French cinema. And Pierre Richard inspired from him adding his own touch.
 I don't critic "La nouvelle vague". I 'm not a specialist of it anyway. I know the American directors who rule nowaday(Spielberg, Coopola, Scorcese) inspired from it. I simply critic the fact that it may be imposed as an unique standard of French cinema.


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Lewis Hawk on November 29, 2004, 10:25:28 AM
so this dicussion is very interesting. But i completely disagrre with it:
"And as an art, its prioritys must be image and sound, treatment of image and colour, photography, angle cameras, zooms  , and the sensibility of the music score." S.Larsen.
!!!
leone said that cinema must be a story!!! He said that Godard was'nt a great director because he made painting with music. I agrre with him and i tell you the same thing man. So im french but i can be objectif.

about "le gout des autres" and all Bacri-Jaoui's movies, they are movies where the actors can reveal them in theire all qualities.
Because according to me, in cinema there is'nt just colors, photography and music, there are actors and stories in those pictures.
I'm found of Leone and i think his genious was to gather these all things.

(scuz me for my english but i'm so tired!)

 :)


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: redyred on November 29, 2004, 10:48:29 AM
Rififi - that's a good French film, and not "intellectual" either.

Le Samourai is another French film I'd like to see. In fact has anyone seen it who can give me a quick review?


Title: Re:Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: General Sibley on December 05, 2004, 06:02:03 AM
Rififi - that's a good French film, and not "intellectual" either.

Red, even though Riffifi is a French flim it was directed by an exiled American - Dassin sounds French, but he was an American blacklisted by the HUAC committee.  Great movie, one of the first "caper" flicks with realistic robbery scenes and a realistic glimpse of what life in the underworld is like.  If figures that an outcast would make a good movie about people livign on the fringe of society.


Title: Re: Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Novecento on November 28, 2009, 08:56:09 AM
By the way, Annaud himself told the press that "Ennemy at the gates" is based on Leone's "900 days at Leningrad", his unachieved ("un-beginned" we could say) project.

Interesting. Yet also strange considering that "Enemy at the Gates" is based on a book of the same name specifically concerning its treatment of a "duel" between a Russian and a German sniper in Stalingrad, while Leone's piece was to be about an American war journalist in Leningrad.


Title: Re: Sergio Leone opus and french serious critic
Post by: Groggy on November 29, 2009, 04:58:58 PM
Perhaps "inspired by" would be a better way of putting it.