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Messages - Juan Miranda

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Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Leone's debt to Peckinpah
« on: July 15, 2005, 05:06:25 AM »
Interestingly, I recently watched _Jules and Jim... Could Peckinpah have been inspired by this?

Peckinpah had already shot with multiple cameras. When Lou Lombardo, the young editor Sam had hired to cut THE WILD BUNCH showed him a slow mo death sequence he had assembled for a TV show called FELONY SQUAD, he instantly saw what he would experiment with, shooting in Mexico far from studio interference. If he was inspired by any one it was Lombardo.

Truffaut, whatever I may think of him as a film maker (not much) had a huge fund of his own to work from as a critic. He is himself possibly quoting from Abel Gance's NAPOLEON or Carl Dreyer's PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC.

If JULES ET JIM inspired anything, how about the menage a trois in GIU LA TESTA?

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: French and German films and directors
« on: July 14, 2005, 06:22:14 PM »
If you like the pacing of Leone, then Herzog's classic AGUIRRE: WRATH OF GOD is a must see for anyone who loves cinema.

Its full of astounding little moments, and has "the hunchback's" best performance ever. If you don't like this one, give up on crazy Werner, as he has still not made anything better, fiction or documentary.*

Bruno Ganz is a fantastic actor, and regardless of who directed him, its worth checking his stuff out, just for him alone. See especially Wim Wenders's WINGS OF DESIRE, Herzog's NOSFERATU or Volker Schlöndorffs CIRCLE OF  DECEIT.

As for French cinema? Sorry. AMELIE was a decent, recent crowd pleaser. But never has a nation blown it's own trumpet over so little. Years ago I used to get a kick out of Goddard, Truffaut etc. Now I find their stuff (one or two moments excepted) near unwatchable rubbish.

Films like WAGES OF FEAR, (a much more meaty Gallic movie), were contemptously labled by Truffaut as "la cinema de papa." These have aged much better than garbage like Goddard's LA CHINOISE, for example,which now just seems like ignorant and gleeful complicity in mass murder.

Putting this thread on topic, it was this sort of bullshit which prompted Leone to make GIU LA TESTA in the first place, which opens with a quote from Mao, written in the late 1930's, but chanted by heart by millions during the pathalogical Cultural Revolution. I haven't seen Goddard's very silly film for many years, but I'm sure the cast of teenage girls he was desperate to have sex with during the production, chant the Mao quote at some point.

*though his "first Gulf War" docco LESSONS IN DARKNESS, and his docco on Kinski MY BEST FIEND are great stuff.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Visconti and Pasolini
« on: July 14, 2005, 04:28:07 PM »
I would say that a few of these films, whatever their cinematic merits, need a bit of awareness of Italian history behind 'em, otherwise you'll be left a bit puzzled about many of their finer points.

I saw SENSO in a Glasgow rep cinema many years ago (I was 18), and while I could appriciate the spectacle, I didn't really understand what the hell was going on. I also knew that Farley Granger was a bloody awful actor in it, out performed by most of the props, but I didn't get the context.

THE LEOPARD similarly, I saw round about the same time. Astounding visuals, much more going on plot wise than SENSO, but again I wasn't in much sympathy with the character's motives, not knowing much about Italian history of that period.

DEATH IN VENICE on the other hand is a very simple allegory dragged out to enormous lengths, and despite its once huge reputation, it now seems overblown and self indulgent. I have a soft spot for it though, but for me, the best film ever made in Venice was Nic Roeg's horror film DON'T LOOK NOW.

Compared to most of aristo Visconti's other work, his Milanese, home town set ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS is probabaly still his best movie, a fairly gruelling, brutal melodrama.

I'd be curious to see a lot of this material again myself, as I have been to Italy many times since I was a teenage kid, and know a helluva lot more about its history these days. I'm sure I would see Visconti's work in a new light. However...

As for Pasolini. I've never enjoyed a single film he ever made. I've tried damnit, I've tried. I must have seen all his major movies, but not one has made much of an impression. I find them quite boring, and even amaturish (his "Christian" films especially). I know this is a legacy of Neo Realism, but there is "realism" and just plain old bad film making.

His work still has a powerful reputation here in Britain because of our absurd censorship laws. For decades SALO was banned in the UK. Recently though it was passed uncut. No big deal. If you want real horror, read the De Sade novel, or a book about Mussolini's government of Italy. Give me Fellini or Leone any day.

*Must admit I haven't seen "Ro.Go.Pa.G."

Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Leone's debt to Peckinpah
« on: July 14, 2005, 10:14:36 AM »
I think the safest thing to say is that both men were aware of each other's work, but both men shot entierly different looking pictures.

As stated above, Sam's innovation was not his use of bloody squibs, or his use of slow motion. Rather it was his use of multiple cameras running at different speeds covering the same action, then cutting them with rapid fire editing, something not done since the silent era.

Poor Elisha Cook Jnr's death is SHANE is still powerfully violent, even today (I'm always surprised when Jack Palance pulls the trigger, no matter how often I watch it). And slow motion violence was not new in the Western either. Paul Newman bit the dust in slow mo in THE LEFT HANDED GUN way back in 1958.

If anything influenced this, it was probabaly the slow motion death in the duel near the start of THE SEVEN SAMURAI, which brings us neatly to the one film-maker who undoubtedly did influence Leone, Akira Kurasawa.

The Innacurate Movie Data stikes again, eh?

Duck, You Sucker / Re: Thoughts on this film
« on: July 14, 2005, 09:27:08 AM »
I guess Leone could have cleared this up for all of us if only he had given the Warbeck character a name in the first place.  :D

But this is another instance where things in his universe are far from crystal clear.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Terorist Attacks
« on: July 14, 2005, 09:18:41 AM »
saying they sympathize with these poor "martyrs" and that they feel they have a right to kill if it is their "faith".

Awww its pathetic, isn't it? Perhaps if their mother, father, sister, brother or friend was blown apart, just by getting on a bus to go to work that day, they would think a little about what they are saying, before opening their stupid yaps.

The dickless cowards who bombed my city last week failed miserably in what ever they hoped to achieve. We are going about our daily business and we're not afraid. We didn't give in to the last lot of Nazis who tried to cow us, and we certainly won't be by these confused idiots, who's only political aim is some vague notion of a new Persian Empire lording it over us.

Thanks to all for the welcome to the board messages. Still loads to read here...

Duck, You Sucker / Re: Thoughts on this film
« on: July 14, 2005, 04:20:39 AM »
Excellent analysis of the way musical themes are used by Leone, Dave Jenkins (I can't read your posts without imagining Bronson's voice!).

I've tried to answer some of your thoughts on the John/Sean question here:

You are right about the casual viewer, though. As I said above, I still call him Sean myself, even though I actually think Warbeck is Sean.

I can't remember who talks about the unsusul change from the jaunty "Sean Sean Sean" theme to the "pub betrayal" dirge during the final three-some flashback. I don't have my DVD to hand to check. I thought it was an interesting point, though there is maybe too much baggage to hang on it?

As many have pointed out though. This was not a usual Leone film, and the music hadn't been completed before the film was shot.

Remember, just because one of the supplements on the DYS SE DVD says things like this, there is no reason to accept that understanding of the film.

Nothing to do with the DVD, Dave Jenkins, the ambiguities in this film are something I've been puzzling over for a long time. An ex-girlfriend of mine did her thesis on OUTIA, so we spent almost a year together talking and watching Leone. Note none of the stuff about class structure implied by the flashbacks are mentioned in the DVD (or anywhere else). These are entierly my own observations.

Coburn and Warbeck are vital to the movie, as its because of their relationship going wrong that Coburn is in Mexico in the first place, therefor I think its worth having a look at what goes on between them a bit closer. Yes, there are only a few clues to go on, but that keeps it on the fun side, I think.

Here's another why? Why does Warbeck go to the trouble of betraying Coburn at all? In the pub we see him point out a number of guys. Without exception they are clearly working class. One of them looks like an old fisherman. None of them seem particularly surprised or hostile at this betrayal.

After he has handed these folk in the soldier seems to ask "is there anyone else". Till now, Coburn, dressed in a country gent outfit has been ignored completely by the soldiers. Warbeck saves him till last. He could probabaly leave it that, as far as the military are concerned, but no. He hand's Coburn over anyway. Why?

Regarding the John/Sean thing. I see no reason what ever, beyond an assumption, that Coburn tells Steiger that his name is John instead of Juan because it'll somehow be easier for the poor illiterate Mexican peasant to understand. For an isolated peasant living in the desert, he instantly realises that Coburn is Irish just from his accent. "Leesen to me, you Eeerish pees of sheet!" Pretty remarkable observation from him. Although I've never been to Mexico myself yet, another ex-girlfriend of mine has, and she said even people in big cities she met didn't know where London or Britain was. None of them would have known what an Irish accent sounded like. Juan does, so what's so hard about him saying "Sean"?

(ETA: And if John makes a class based assumption about the limitations of Steiger's education, why does Dr. Villega also call him John. Surely he could have coped with Sean?)

If Leone had wanted us to think that, he would not have left the matter in doubt: he always made his plot points crystal clear.

Such as why does Noodles smile at the end of OUTIA, or if Max kills himself at the end of that same movie?

Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Is Leone the ticket-seller or not?
« on: July 13, 2005, 06:20:00 PM »
At the risk of stirring this can of worms up...

I know that Leone does not play the ticket seller, but I think he does look a tiny bit like him, in the same way that Stieger looks a tiny bit like him in GIU LA TESTA. Indeed Steiger even copied some of Leone's mannerism's into his performance.

Which leads me to my point. In the end credits is a character called "Adorable Old Man", played by Joey Faye. Now I have searched my memory of this film, which I've seen over and over again, and can't think who the hell this could be.

He may have been in a deleted scene, but who is the "Adorable" one?

Could it be the screen credit for the ticket seller? Could it be a bit of joke that he is "adorable" and looks a bit like Leone too? I find it very odd that the news stand man is credited, when all he does is scream in a long shot, where as the ticket seller gets close ups and dialogue and seemingly has no credit.

The main thing wrong with theory is that Joey Faye would have been in his early seventies during production, but some folks look good for their age. Leone was in his early 50's and looks much older.

By the way, the guy playing the character in the "modern" location in the same place was a terrible actor in comparason, I thought, the way he quizzically stares at Noodles with his head cocked to one side as De Nero fills a form out is very annoying.

This may have been brought up before, and if so I'm sorry. Haven't had time yet to get through the vast amount of info on the board.

Thank's, Lazyranchhand. I think the Bakunin volume also links Coburn yet again with Villega, as he is the only other character in the film seen reading a book (on the train). Yes, Gunther flicks through Coburn's tome, but only because its a clue to his trail.

Once Upon A Time In America / Re: I know why it's all just a dream
« on: July 13, 2005, 05:33:14 PM »
Deborah's son look just like the young max.

David is not Deborah's son (he calls her "Deborah" and not "mom"). This is a common error. He looks like Max because he is Max'x son. Deborah tells Noodles that Max/Secretary Baily had married a wealthy woman and had a son. She died at his birth.

Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Pure Beauty************
« on: July 12, 2005, 12:07:23 PM »
The crazy thing about Claudia is, today she probabaly would not stand a chance as an actress. Most film makers these days think we are all in love with flat chested skeletons. Women with a body like Cardinale's or even Marlyn Monroe's are almost non existant now. I can only think of the scrummy Kate Winslet and Hally Berry off the top of my head, who are exceptions.

Trivia Games / Re: The Quote Game
« on: July 12, 2005, 07:41:32 AM »
Awww. I knew it was too easy.  :D

Trivia Games / Re: The Quote Game
« on: July 11, 2005, 07:48:35 PM »
I think I'm right, so here goes the next one:

"Wrap it up pretty."

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