Sergio Leone Web Board

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: moviesceleton on November 10, 2008, 02:24:27 AM



Title: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: moviesceleton on November 10, 2008, 02:24:27 AM
Is this book available in English? And if it isn't, may I ask why?


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: cigar joe on November 10, 2008, 05:25:48 AM
good question I'd like it too, one thing though if its released in Canada (bilingual) it should have a translated version.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on November 10, 2008, 06:18:12 AM
Why doesn't someone on this board translate it?


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: moviesceleton on November 10, 2008, 06:30:27 AM
Why doesn't someone on this board translate it?
Noodles_leone, pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasseeeee :-*


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on November 10, 2008, 08:04:29 AM
 ;D

That's a bit long  ;) but very interesting.
If you guys have any question about some EXTRACTS of the book, i can help (since i own the book). But i cannot translate the whole damn thing :)

But if you want to raise money, a translation from french to english, done by a professional, costs about $0.10 per word, and the prices goes down when it comes to translation over 5000 words (which is the case here). That would be a pirate translation since i guess you would need the acceptation of the rights owner, but...  >:D


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: moviesceleton on November 10, 2008, 08:51:37 AM
If somebody on SLWB feels there's a little business man in them, here's the chance!  ;D


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on November 10, 2008, 10:13:00 AM
;D

That's a bit long  ;) but very interesting.
If you guys have any question about some EXTRACTS of the book, i can help (since i own the book). But i cannot translate the whole damn thing :)
Extracts would be nice, but since we can't read the thing to begin with, we can't very well know which extracts would be best. Couldn't you root out a few choice truffles for the board to enjoy?


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on November 11, 2008, 06:11:39 AM
Another thing that occurs: what about giving us a brief summary of each of the conversations? Most of us have never seen the book, and it would be nice to know details such as when each interview was conducted, which topics/movies were discussed, what aspects of his personal life were revealed. Not everything, of course, just the broad strokes. It may seem like I'm asking a lot, but I'm sure something like this would be appreciated by everyone on the board.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: moviesceleton on November 11, 2008, 06:18:17 AM
Too bad the folks over at Cahiers du cinema are too important people to translate this book to English. After all if you don't speak French you must be retarded.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: cigar joe on November 11, 2008, 09:37:35 AM
I could probably read it with some practice, I got to the point where I could translate historical letters & journals from the French & Indian War when I was compling plans & profiles of historic sites for the museum models, I would just have to change the emphasis of the vocabulary I'd need.  O0


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: moviesceleton on November 11, 2008, 12:21:11 PM
I could probably read it with some practice, I got to the point where I could translate historical letters & journals from the French & Indian War when I was compling plans & profiles of historic sites for the museum models, I would just have to change the emphasis of the vocabulary I'd need.  O0
O0


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on November 11, 2008, 03:31:42 PM
Ok guys here is the summary of the book. Sorry for the spelling and some unclear words, please correct me if you can.

Chapter one
Leone's family
Culture in Naples in 1900
Vincenzo Leone becomes Roberto Roberti
The first italian western
Francesca Bertini and the divas
Fascism

Chapter two
Childood
Studies
Fascist comedy
"Les marionettes" (i don't know the english word)
Discovery of Cinema
The "fumetti"

Chapter three
The return of Roberto Roberti
Naples
Petrolini
Jewish neighborhood
Mussolini's death

Chapter four
"Le roman noir américain" (american noir novel ?)
Assistant director
Carmine Gallone
Vittorio De Sica
Politic choice
Neorealism
Mario Bonnard
Brigitte Bardot

Chapter five
"Helene de Troie"
Robert Wise
Raoul Walsh
An unfinished movie by Orson Welles
Women

Chapter six
Emile Couzinet
Fred Zinnemann
Africa
Alexandre Trauner
Shooting of Ben Hur

Chapter seven
Scriptwriter for sword and sandal films
Antonioni helps
The Last Days of Pompei
CoR
Inflation of Maciste
Robert Aldrich's trick

Chapter eight
Love for paintings
Giorgio De Chirico
Futurists
Architecture and roman furniture
Litterature
Pier Paolo Passolini
Theater

Chapter nine
The Crisis of Italian Cinema
FoD
Kurosawa and Goldoni
Clint Eastwood
Ennio Morricone
The angel Gabriel
Pessimism
A surpising success

Chapter ten
FFDM
Bounty Killers
Lee Van Cleef
The flash back
Strength of music
Another success

Chapter eleven
GBU
Civil War
Age and Scarpelli
Eli Wallach
A baroc concerto (?)
Clint Eastwood's destiny

Chapter twelve
OUATITW
Bernardo Bertolucci
Henry Fonda
Charles Bronson against Warren Beatty
Jason Robards
Japaneese movies
Birth of "matriarcat" (?)
The talent of others

Chapter thirteen
Once Upon a Time... the Revolution
Peter Bogdanovich
James Coburn and Rod Steiger
Bakounine and Mao
IRA and John Ford
Tenderness and "triviality" (???)

Chapter fourteen
Productions
Trinita and Terrence Hill
Projects
Commercials

Chapter fifteen
OUATIA
The Hoods
Harry Grey
Gérard Depardieu
Robert DeNiro
An opium dream
A journey to Hell
Once upon a time... the Cinema

Chapter sixteen
Wait for a Renaissance
Tribute to John Ford
Nowadays' Movies
The 900 days of Lenningrad


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on November 11, 2008, 04:23:47 PM
Holy Moley, N_L, you really deliver! Thanks  O0 and double thanks  O0 O0

Now I guess we should make a poll to see which extract should get translated first . . . .


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on November 11, 2008, 04:41:38 PM
Another thing that occurs: what about giving us a brief summary of each of the conversations? Most of us have never seen the book, and it would be nice to know details such as when each interview was conducted, which topics/movies were discussed, what aspects of his personal life were revealed. Not everything, of course, just the broad strokes. It may seem like I'm asking a lot, but I'm sure something like this would be appreciated by everyone on the board.

I just read (for the tenth time) the preface (by Noel Simsolo). The informations we learn are the following:

- the idea of the book came from... Sergio Leone, who had just read a similar book called "Once Upon a Time... Samuel Fuller".
- the interviews have been conducted after 1986
- Noel Simsolo was a good friend of Leone
- Leone "gave" the book to Simsolo. Which means that Simsolo got all the money from it.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on November 11, 2008, 04:42:29 PM
Holy Moley, N_L, you really deliver! Thanks  O0 and double thanks  O0 O0
You're wlecome ;)

Now I guess we should make a poll to see which extract should get translated first . . . .
I guess that's the best thing to do...


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: cigar joe on November 11, 2008, 06:05:01 PM
Wow lot of neat sounding topics  O0


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 28, 2009, 10:48:04 AM
Check out pages 5-7:

Noël Simsolo: Entretien (http://www.dvdclassik.com/pdf/simsolo.pdf)


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 28, 2009, 01:16:06 PM
Uh, thanks, I guess . . . a translation of the following would help a lot:
Quote
Pour en revenir à Leone, que pensez vous des éditions de ses films en DVD ?
No comment…
Si. Je dis simplement qu’il est dommage que des gens qui n’ont pas connu Leone et qui vont voir les survivants, les gens qui ont travaillé avec lui, et qui ne font pas référence à mon petit travail d’entretiens avec lui, puissent dire autant de choses fausses. C’est que ça les arrange. Ces gens-là ont tellement chié sur Leone pendant des années, maintenant on doit en dire du bien… mouais… Non, c’est lamentable d’entendre un anglais, qui est historien du cinéma dans une école, réinventer complètement la gestation, le travail, la réalité, d’un film comme Giu la testa. Et il ne parle même pas de ce qui est pourtant dit clairement par Leone dans mon livre (je m’excuse de me citer) : que ce n’est pas lui qui devait faire le film, que ça c’est très mal passé avec Steiger, ce que Coburn m’a confirmé. Il raconte son histoire à lui par rapport aux témoins qu’il a vu vingt ou vingt cinq ans après. Tant pis, qu’est ce que vous voulez que j’y fasse, c’est pas mon problème. Si Sergio a passé la barque de Charron et est dans l’enfer grec, il doit se marrer comme une baleine. Je pense que ces gens-là feraient bien de travailler un peu de manière plus saine et de ne pas être aussi journalistes. C’est dommage. Ce sont les mêmes personnes qui écrivent des biographies officielles de Eastwood. Ils ont pris un marché, et bien qu’ils prennent le marché. Qu’est ce que vous voulez que ça me foute. Rien ne m’enlèvera mes rapport d’amitié avec Sergio. Tant pis pour eux. Ce qui est dommage seulement c’est que des gens prennent pour vérités des choses qui ne sont pas vraies.

Tant pis pour nous aussi…
Je ne vais quand même pas, à chaque fois que paraît un bonus DVD, envoyer une lettre en disant : « Relisez mes entretiens, j’ai la bande, croyez moi, ce que vous dites est faux. » C’est un jeu qui ne m’intéresse pas du tout. Remarquez d’ailleurs que ces gens-là, quand ils font des bouquins, ne citent même pas mon bouquin d’entretiens alors que c’est le seul qui existe au monde. Pourquoi ils ne le font pas ? Parce que ça contredirait les thèses qu’ils inventent. C’est leur problème, c’est par malhonnêteté foncière, ils ont peut être un intérêt à ça, peut-être même un intérêt pour les héritiers de Leone, je n’en sais rien, je m’en fous.

Dans un bonus, les gens racontent ce qu’ils veulent, libre aux gens qui font ce bonus de le garder ou pas. Moi j’ai vu des bonus de gens en France où un mec dit une connerie, je ne vais pas citer de film ni rien, mais un film où quelqu’un dit : « Et dans ce film il y a la plus grande idée de cinéma qui ait jamais été reprise ailleurs : la caméra qui va vers l’oeil de quelqu’un pour montrer qu’il se souvient ». Et on garde. Le mec affirme. Sur un film de 47…Depuis 1905, le cinéma fait ça! Si les gens qui prennent quelqu’un qui leur dit une connerie ne sont pas capables de voir que c’est une connerie, c’est leur problème.

Pensez vous éventuellement consacrer un jour un livre d’analyse à l’oeuvre de Sergio Leone ?
Je ne crois pas, non. Vous savez j’en ai un peu marre d’écrire sur le cinéma. Là, je viens de finir un bouquin sur le film noir, c’est très fatiguant, c’est très long. Je préfère inventer des histoires. Je ne sais pas. Pourquoi ? Est-ce nécessaire?


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 28, 2009, 03:06:30 PM
Jenkins, there's a whole chunk before that too, but yes the bit you cite is the most interesting.

He is basically complaining about people giving Leone a really bad reputation by not fully accepting what is said in his book of interviews with him. I've translated the bit below where he is having a massive go at Frayling:


Non, c’est lamentable d’entendre un anglais, qui est historien du cinéma dans une école, réinventer complètement la gestation, le travail, la réalité, d’un film comme Giu la testa. Et il ne parle même pas de ce qui est pourtant dit clairement par Leone dans mon livre (je m’excuse de me citer) : que ce n’est pas lui qui devait faire le film, que ça c’est très mal passé avec Steiger, ce que Coburn m’a confirmé. Il raconte son histoire à lui par rapport aux témoins qu’il a vu vingt ou vingt cinq ans après. Tant pis, qu’est ce que vous voulez que j’y fasse, c’est pas mon problème. Si Sergio a passé la barque de Charron et est dans l’enfer grec, il doit se marrer comme une baleine.

No, it is sad to hear an English man, who is a cinema historian in a school, to completely reinvent the gestation, the work, the reality of a film like Giu La Testa. And he does not even speak of that which is however said clearly by Leone in my book (I excuse myself for citing myself): that it is not him was supposed to make the film, that [the film] went very badly with Steiger, this which Coburn confirmed to me. He tells his story to him in relation to witnesses who he has seen 20 or 25 years after. Tough, what would you want me to do, it is not my problem. If Sergio had crossed Charron’s fishing-boat and is in the Greek hell, he should be having a whale of a time.


I assume the last line is meant sarcastically but I'm not a native French speaker so may have got some of the nuances wrong...


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 28, 2009, 04:19:33 PM
I don't think the end is sarcastic. He really thinks that Leone is laughing about all these guys saying bullshits about him.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 28, 2009, 04:29:48 PM
Very good translation, by the way.

A couple points:

- He is not "excusing himself", he only says "sorry for quoting myself"
-  "that [the film] went very badly with Steiger": he says that "things went very badly with Steiger". He's not saying that the film would have been better without Steiger. He's only talking about their relationships. I'm just claryfying.


In the following part, he says that the guys that write about Leone don't quote his book only because Leone himself contradicts their theories, and that many people who write about movies odn't know what they're talking about. He gives the example of a commentary on some DVD: the guy asserts that the first film to use a close up on an eye to introduce a flash back is from 1947, whereas "This has been used in movies since 1905!". That's their problem, he (Simsolo) is not going to fight against these guys.

The last question is "Do you think you're going to write an analyse book about Leone?" and the answer is, more or less: "no, it's exhausting to write about movies, i prefer making up stories; i don't know why."


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 28, 2009, 05:08:03 PM
Thanks Noodles_Leone. Much appreciated  O0


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 28, 2009, 06:53:06 PM
Thanks, both of you.  O0  O0


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: T.H. on May 28, 2009, 10:35:16 PM
So Leone always planned to direct the film? Frayling made that up?

or am I missing the point (again)?



Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 29, 2009, 01:12:04 AM
I take it to mean just the opposite. Simsolo may be protesting what Frayling has reported, but it doesn't sound like they actually disagree.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 29, 2009, 06:34:03 AM
I take it to mean just the opposite. Simsolo may be protesting what Frayling has reported, but it doesn't sound like they actually disagree.


Yup, Leone claims in Simsolo's book that the whole debacle regarding who was to direct Giu La Testa was set up by UA from the very beginning in order to have Leone, against his will, direct it. This is supposedly particularly the case after Coburn and Steiger apparently refused to appear without Leone's direction. Frayling cites Leone's claim but then suggests that this was rather a compromise reached later on after the whole Bogdanovich affair had already happened.

Whatever the case, boy am I glad Leone ended up directing!


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 29, 2009, 06:39:26 AM
I take it to mean just the opposite. Simsolo may be protesting what Frayling has reported, but it doesn't sound like they actually disagree.

Possible. May be Simsolo's ability to read English isn't great... or maybe he's not talking about Frayling (who's not the only guy to write about Leone)...


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 29, 2009, 06:43:41 AM
Possible. May be Simsolo's ability to read English isn't great... or maybe he's not talking about Frayling (who's not the only guy to write about Leone)...

"an English man, who is a cinema historian in a school"... that has to be Frayling, right? Although he's actually an art historian to be precise.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 29, 2009, 06:58:09 AM
I'm not 100% certain.
Telling the truth, I don't know.
It would be strange since Frayling never contradicts him about what happened with Steiger.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 29, 2009, 07:14:18 AM
It would be strange since Frayling never contradicts him about what happened with Steiger.

I think what Simsolo is suggesting here is that Steiger, not Leone, was the cause of many of the problems between the two of them. If I remember correctly, Frayling seems to suggest that it was as much to do with Leone as Steiger but I would have to re-read that section. 


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: noodles_leone on May 29, 2009, 08:10:12 AM
Ok here is my theory (I should re-read that section too but anyway):

Simsolo is a friend of Leone.
THEREFORE, according to him, Leone was the good guy. (1)

MOREOVER

Frayling is an academic.
THEREFORE, he has to interview everybody before writing anything, and to present every version of a particular event.
HENCE, according to him, Leone's version is not everytime called "The Truth". (2)

(1) and (2) => Simsolo hates Frayling.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 29, 2009, 08:27:59 AM
Good theory. That's what it sounds like to me too.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: T.H. on May 29, 2009, 02:12:16 PM
Ok here is my theory (I should re-read that section too but anyway):

Simsolo is a friend of Leone.
THEREFORE, according to him, Leone was the good guy. (1)

MOREOVER

Frayling is an academic.
THEREFORE, he has to interview everybody before writing anything, and to present every version of a particular event.
HENCE, according to him, Leone's version is not everytime called "The Truth". (2)

(1) and (2) => Simsolo hates Frayling.

seems pretty logical.


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: dave jenkins on May 31, 2009, 07:16:04 AM
Yup, Leone claims in Simsolo's book that the whole debacle regarding who was to direct Giu La Testa was set up by UA from the very beginning in order to have Leone, against his will, direct it. This is supposedly particularly the case after Coburn and Steiger apparently refused to appear without Leone's direction. Frayling cites Leone's claim but then suggests that this was rather a compromise reached later on after the whole Bogdanovich affair had already happened.
This is what, according to Cinema Retro's John Exshaw, Giancarlo Santi remembers:
Quote
The best-known story involving Santi concerns his aborted direction of ‘Giù la testa’, caused by Rod Steiger’s refusal to work with anyone other than Leone. After about three days, so the story goes, Steiger refused to continue under Santi’s direction, responding to Leone’s assurances that Santi was perfectly capable by saying, okay, I’ll send along my stand-in, he’s perfectly capable too. And so, reluctantly, Leone demoted Santi and assumed the directorial burden himself . . .

Santi, however, remembers things rather differently. At the end of filming ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’, he recalls, Leone turned to him, removed his viewfinder and placed it around Santi’s neck, telling him, “You will direct the next film.” Santi, who doesn’t appear to have harboured any great desire to be a director, thought no more about it. Some two years later, when Santi was working in Africa as assistant director on Glauber Rocha’s ‘The Lion Has Seven Heads’, Leone, unbeknownst to him, took out a full-page ad. in Variety announcing ‘Giù la testa’, “to be directed by Giancarlo Santi”. Leone was immediately bombarded with telegrams from both Steiger’s and James Coburn’s agents: their clients had accepted the film on the understanding that it was to be “Directed by Sergio Leone”, and they weren’t going to settle for the crown prince in place of the king. When Santi did join the film as assistant director, it was the first he’d heard of all this rumpus. . . .


Title: Re: Conversations avec Sergio Leone
Post by: Novecento on May 31, 2009, 07:59:17 AM
This is what, according to Cinema Retro's John Exshaw, Giancarlo Santi remembers:

Very interesting... that tends to agree with Leone & Simsolo's version of the events