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31  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Kick-Ass (2010) on: September 08, 2010, 08:23:43 AM
Merged.

Booooooo!
32  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Wings of Desire (1987) on: September 07, 2010, 07:12:02 PM
After Wings of Desire Wenders declined.

Agreed.
33  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Kick-Ass (2010) on: September 07, 2010, 05:50:41 PM
Didn't show up on the search engine, not surprising really... My thread roolz! Mods, delete that other thread.
34  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Kick-Ass (2010) on: September 07, 2010, 05:21:53 PM
Dude! I can NOT believe none of U douche bags have seen KICK-ASS!! It like, totally rules! It's about this nerd dude, who, like, reads comic books and jacks off 30 times a day 'n shit, but gives it all up to become a super hero called KICK-ASS!! This movie rocks!!


OK, I can't carry on writing in that tiresome style, but why does KICK ASS need a thread of its own on the Leone forum? Well, if nothing else because during one of the scenes of bloody mayhem perpetuated by one of the other super heroes in town, 11 year old Hit-Girl, the film uses the title music from FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE composed by one E. Morricone.



While director Matthew Vaughn never quotes Leone visually, he often recalls the kind of hyper Kurasawa kineticism seen through KILL BILL VOLUME 1's prism. KICK ASS is effortlessly entertaining nonsense with laugh out loud dialogue and the sort of idiotically funny violence only an 11 year old girl could get away with inflicting. Even Nicholas Cage manages not to be massively irritating for the first time in possibly, oooooh.... a decade? This is one movie I am looking forward to seeing the sequel for. Hell, it was even filmed here in the UK.


Brit Art Roolz
35  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Wings of Desire (1987) on: August 26, 2010, 07:27:39 AM
 Cheesy moviesceleton, I was only able to post that stuff last night as I've got this week off work, there's a fair amount of time, effort and research in that post.

Finally was able to read through my Frida Kahlo exhibition catalogue too this week. May even see the whole thing again in Vienna before most it goes back to Mexico or vanishes back into private collections.
36  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Wings of Desire (1987) on: August 25, 2010, 05:46:05 PM
Faraway, So Close. Grin

Now now Dave. You know that along with GODFATHER III and ALIEN III that never actually happened.
37  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Wings of Desire (1987) on: August 25, 2010, 04:02:05 PM
Next Otto Sander finds a young girl prostituting herself under the Gleisdreieck U-bahn bridge, segueing into the car journey through time.



I couldn’t replicate this as it’s shot from private property, the headquarters of Bombardier Transportation GmbH HQ










The next bridge scene takes place on Lohmühlenbruecke, apparently smack bang against the Wall. In fact the film makers were not allowed to film next to it, and all the Wall scenes were shot against fakes, though the actual Wall ran so close to the movie version here it’s odd they weren’t shot at when they built the thing. This is the most Eastern location used.










Given the film’s plot I was happy to find posters advertising a Circus all round this area.


Line marking the actual course of the Wall.




Next Peter Falk visits the station “with the funny name”, the Anhalter Bahnhof. Not destroyed during the war, but in 1970 when, rumour still has it a corrupt government official got a good deal selling off the bricks.





He speaks to Ganz for the fist time at a coffee stall next to the Anhalter Bunker, one of the few surviving Nazi buildings in the city (16,000 civilians were crammed in here by the time of Hitler’s last birthday with no running water). A U-bahn station entrance has been built on this site and it’s impossible to get to now. Some walls are torn down, others go up.




Ganz falls to Earth and sells his armour in an antiques shop on Goebenstraße. The building is gone and the number seen here was a fake (this side of the street are all odd numbers).








And back to the Circus Alekan. The actual site of this is very hard to determine now as the park by Franz Klühs Straßea is so different.






Only a tiny part of this mural on the back of the Weißbecker Haus (an art covered tenement) can still be seen in the summer.


It seems as though the Circus is somehow commemorated though. As much as I could work out, this (vandalised) circular play area sits on top of the site of the Big Top.



The metal walkways nearby are hidden now by trees.




Finally Marion meets Colombo at a coffee stall outside a well sign posted U-bahn station. Not hard to find this location, but I ran out of time and could not take my own picture of it (though Google Earth confirms that there is no coffee stall there today).

Thanks to the wonders of DVD frame captures, Google Earth and Panoramia a few hours of research on the internet lead me to these places. The trickiest one to track down was the location of the Circus which I found using a German title search just when I was ready to give up. There are still major knowledge gaps though, as you’ll know if the film is important to you. Oh well, maybe next time.
38  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Wings of Desire (1987) on: August 25, 2010, 04:00:08 PM
So I went to Berlin last month to see the huge Frida Kahlo retrospective at the Martin Gropius Bau, as y’ do. As a bit of research before going I screened Wim Wender’s 1988 classic WINGS OF DESIRE a few times, a film I hadn’t watched in years, and quickly became highly intrigued by it’s exterior locations. If nothing else, Der Himmel über Berlin (the original West German title) is a love letter to a city and I wondered how much these places had changed in the years since, and not just because of the obvious removal of the Wall. I had just three days to find out, packing in loads of other stuff too in my first trip to this still very schizophrenic place.

The movie memorably opens with Bruno Ganz’s angel standing on top of the bombed out Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedchtniskirche, left in its ruinous state as memorial to “all victims of war”.




In a short montage we fly to Mehringplatz, a residential, now largely immigrant, working class part of Berlin.




As you can see the angel statue in the background is not at home right now.

Next some arial footage I couldn't possibly hope to replicate swoops round the radio tower, the Funkturm, over the International Conference Centre (which must be one of the most hideous buildings in the world), and flys into the tenement buildings on Dernburgstraße to see the lives of its inhabitants.



ICC building and Funkturm


ICC building




I had hoped to shoot some pics from the top of the Funkturm itself, however like seemingly half of Berlin while I was there, it was covered in scaffolding and closed. This is the current state too of the gold angel statue, Siegessäule, which is why I didn’t shoot any pictures of it. Apparently much of the city has been in this sorry state for nearly a year with building and restoration projects began and abandoned.

So on to the next location where Bruno Ganz meets up with fellow angel Otto Sanders in a luxury car showroom on Kurfürstendamm And it’s still a luxury car showroom today for BMW though the layout is very different. It’s across the road from the Paris Cinema which was, of course, closed and covered in scaffolding.




The next set of exteriors finds Ganz at the foot of a high rise block complex on Franz Klühs Straßea, a very short stroll away from Mehringplatz




and he discovers the Circus Alekan (named after the production’s veteran cinematographer).





Marion’s trailer


The site of Marion’s trailer today, approx

As you can see, this area has changed immensely. Once a bare piece of waste ground, now it’s a tree lined, landscaped park, with many of the surrounding buildings demolished and replaced. However it’s in a part of Berlin you’d never dream of visiting as a tourist, and this was one of the great things about this project, it took me to places which gave me a more rounded view of the place in a very short time.

Three important scenes take place on or under bridges, and the first of these involves the dying motorcyclist on the Langenscheidbrücke.










Looking towards the Julius-Leber-Brücke S-bahn station

Thanks to the gasometer I was able to find the location fairly easily.
39  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: British Horror Thread on: August 20, 2010, 03:31:25 PM
So now you can buy the book I contributed to!:

http://www.amazon.com/Shrieking-Sixties-British-Horror-Films/dp/1936168065/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282331373&sr=1-1

and I won't charge for a signing.

Some random strangers I've never met on a forum I'd never heard of previously seem to like it already:

http://avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?p=831715
40  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: British Horror Thread on: August 07, 2010, 09:06:24 AM
Fans of Brit horror may like, no, WILL like a copy of Midnight Marquee's forthcoming tome, THE SHRIEKING SIXTIES, an attampt to catalogue every British horror and fantasy film of that decade in the 20th Century.



It even has a few contributions from me. So if you want to read my thoughts on KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, BRIDES OF DRACULA, CIRCUS OF HORRORS, REPULSION, PEEPING TOM or even PREHISTORIC WOMEN (AKA: SLAVE GIRLS) you'll know where to look. Apparently it has gone to press, but copies aren't available yet.

http://www.midmar.com/

The book has received a limited UK edition print but almost all of these have been snapped up already with no re-print planned.

41  General Information / General Discussion / Aldo Sambrell dies on: July 13, 2010, 12:51:08 PM
Just heard that Western regular Aldo Sambrell has died in Alicane, aged 79. A memorable face and a splendid long career, with Leone and without, with a surprising writer/co-producer credit.

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/Necrologicas/Aldo/Sambrell/secundario/lujo/spaghetti/western/elpepinec/20100713elpepinec_2/Tes

http://uk.imdb.com/name/nm0759757/
42  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: British Horror Thread on: June 16, 2010, 06:55:02 PM
Was rather ridiculously over excited to see you can spot the top of the street where I work in the 1961 British sci-fi classic, THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE in a couple of shots, and I snapped some comparasions on Saturday, though I can't replicate the widescreen processs I'm afraid.

St Brides Avenue


Bride Lane, where the theatre I work in sits, can be glimpsed at the end of this little Avenue. I've spoke to a few Fleet Street veterans who have all said there was no real "Harry's" bar. The tat filled pub which appears in the film was purely fictional. There is however a real (and very ancient) pub at the end of the lane called The Old Bell.

Harry's

Harry's today

The building is now unrecognisable, the back end of a closed down Deli.


Another view of St Brides Avenue

St Brides Avenue today

In one scene the two leads, Edward Judd and Leo McKern walk out of St Brides Avenue onto Fleet Street.



They pause just outside the gates of St Brides church, known as "The Printer's Cathedral".




At the time of filming this was a newspaper office, today it is another closed down business. Until recently it was a rather pricey tailors.


And on to Fleet Street



Daily Express


There's a fair few shots set up just outside the the Daily Express building, then a working newspaper, today one of the offices of bankers Goldman Sachs (the film features sepia as well as black and white cinematography).


The leads are joined by Janet Munro






It opens and closes with the same apocalyptic shot of Fleet Street looking east.




Obviously I was unable to replicate the sense of sweltering weather as I was shooting these on a British summer's day. However while snapping I was surprised to suddenly find what seemed like thousands of naked people cycling past.



I asked two very beautiful girls on a tandem who stopped beside me (sadly no picture) what it was for. Apparently to stop the traffic in London.



London never fails to surprise, on fire or not.
43  Other/Miscellaneous / Ennio Morricone / Re: London concert April 2010 on: April 16, 2010, 07:35:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSZXQcjPGDw&feature=related

Still on a high from it these few days later. While none of the vids of the show are of a decent quality I thought this one (not filmed by me), of the second encore with the house lights up captures the emotion, joy and scale of the event. A night never to be forgotten. Thanks for the kind words, BTW.
44  Other/Miscellaneous / Ennio Morricone / Re: London concert April 2010 on: April 11, 2010, 07:10:59 AM
Well, last night was quite something... Purely subjective review follows.

The Royal Albert Hall. In the popular WWII song, home to Hitler's "other" gonad, and in film, the fictional arena in both versions of THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART (amongst others), and last night a magnificent setting for Ennio Morricone's first London gig since 2003. That occasion was also at the Albert Hall and on his 75th birthday too. And here he was, striding back onto the stage now aged 82, to thunderous applause about to lead an orchestra and choir, two hundred people strong, looking like a man some 20 years younger, but I'm getting ahead of the story.

My anticipation of this event was so vast that in the early hours of the morning I’d had three daft little anxiety dreams in a row, all involving increasingly unlikely plots in which I somehow missed the concert. As it was I arrived at the venue in plenty of time after a stroll through Hyde Park, it being a beautiful day here in London. I had never been inside the Albert Hall before, and was suitably impressed by it's grandeur and theatrical spacial tricks. My seat was in the East Choir, which meant that instead of seeing Ennio's back for most of the show, I could view him in mid-left profile, with half the orchestra with their backs to me instead. I'd bought a small, nifty and powerful pair of binoculars specially for the show so I could see the man in close up too.

Things started with a slightly unnecessary half hour film, A LIFE IN MUSIC most of which consisted of documentary footage of live Morricone shows, including his previous Albert Hall one while we sat there waiting for the real thing to happen. Then there was a mad scramble for the bar. My boss at work had warned me that "It's a bastard of a place to get a drink in", and it proved the case and I gave up before the real first act started. As Novecento said, onto the stage comes our old chum, Sir Christopher Frayling, who introduces tonight's show and even gamely tries to whistle the theme from A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, though there is a palpable wavering nervousness in his performance and who can blame him in this packed arena (needless to say it's been sold out for weeks). He leaves, the orchestra tune up and then suddenly Ennio marches on stage, a look of concentration already on his face as though he hardly notices the huge cheers from the audience, the sheer love we already feel for this artist even before he raises his baton and waves one note to life tonight.

He does though with a medley titled SCATTERED SHEETS, opening with music I was unfamiliar with from H2 S, a jagged, staccato, almost Stravinsky like in places piece. This segued neatly into the groovy theme from THE SICILIAN CLAN which Ennio really seemed to enjoy conducting and listening to, one of the few occasions of the whole evening where his perpetual slight frown vanished. This moved to a sinister piece from LOVE CIRCLE, which again I'd never heard, melting quietly into COME MADDALENA, maintaining the Euro-disco vibe to this selection.

Then, dramatically, the chorus stands as Morricone leaves the stage and leads on Susanna Rigacci to storms of applause. We've all read our free programmes and we know what's coming next; indeed the scene mists over for me as I can't believe what I'm about to experience, a sequence titled THE MODERNITY OF MYTH IN SERGIO LEONE'S CINEMA. And there is the coyote howl of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY!! Some could accuse the orchestration of this version of being a tad camp, but fuck them, this is brilliant, this is the stuff, but then, bloody hell, the slow, elegant chimes of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA take over and before Rigacci even "Oooo's" her first "Ooooo-ooooooooo" the whole audience is like jelly, staggered at the sheer beauty which we're hearing, singing along with internally and marvelling that it came from inside the head of the man on stage in front of us calmly waving his baton in the air, looking for all the world like a prosperous, bourgoise, retired Roman gent frowning over a dinner menu in a Parioli district restaurant rather than arguably the world's greatest ever film composer (and you'll get no argument from me tonight, pal).

Then the martial strokes of the revolutionary violins which herald David Warbeck handing out propaganda leaflets in GUI LA TESTA and a rather swinging version of "the Sean Sean song" strikes up. Just when you think things can't possibly get any better there's that rumble and tubular bell heralding THE ECSTASY OF GOLD. Seeing and hearing this was was simply one of my greatest ever art experiences, and y'do get quite jaded when you get to my age. There ended part one and I somehow found myself first in line at the nearest bar with all that sound and emotion bursting in my mind. Twenty minutes later we're back for more, TRE ADAGI, which starts with an arrangement of DEBORAH'S THEME. Usually this leaves me a blubbering wreck, but almost thankfully on this occasion Morricone had kinda spoiled it by adding some annoying and intrusive "romantic" solo violin doodles dominating the piece (played by Marco Serino), so I was able to enjoy it with out having to pretend I had something in my both eyes at once. In fact by this time one of the pleasures of the concert was watching the emotional states of the people around you, many openly weeping and wiping away the tears and snot. The ADIGI continued with VATEL and when it ended with ADDIO MONTI (from I PROMESSI SPOSI) there was a palpable sigh of disappointment from the whole auditorium that it couldn't have lasted longer.

A flute dominated selection followed with NOSTROMO, PER LE ANTICHE SCALE and L' EREDITA' FERRAMONTI featuring Monica Berni as soloist and the last two pieces as a tribute to film maker Mauro Bolognini. Here again Ennio seemed to step out of his poised and controlled stance and lean forward to the orchestra, gesturing with both his hands and the fleeting expressions on his face. He even smiled at one point, the only time I noticed him doing so the whole night while conducting. One of the things which surprised me watching him perform was how closely and intensely he studied his score, as I said with an almost permanently furrowed brow of concentration. Surely he knows the work off by heart by now? Through my binoculars I could see his large gold wedding ring, his chunky, square, silver cuff links and the almost steel like eyes as they ran across the pages of his own music. Possibly this need to focus on the score is one of the few outward signs of Ennio's age?

He finished the evening with a trio of pieces from THE MISSION, a true crowd pleaser you could tell. I can't stand the film myself, but it has an undeniably wonderful, powerful soundtrack too good for it which, when it finished had the audience on their feet demanding an encore. Ennio obliged with, I'm glad to say, a medley from CINEMA PARIDISO. Say what you like about the movie, the music is a sheer joy. However that didn't satisfy us either, and with the rumble of the entire crowd demanding more Ennio led Susanna Rigacci back on stage for a reprise of ECSTASY OF GOLD which caused earthquake like symptoms as we demanded yet more - the floors shook and my arms are still sore from the amount of clapping they were put through. Ennio could have been mischievous and sent us home with the theme from THE THING. Instead he finished with a reprise of THE EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN from THE MISSION, again forming a slightly stiff figure seemingly oblivious to the enormous sounds and emotional landscapes he conjured up for us before finally closing the large green folder holding his work and bidding us all goodnight. I only hope I can see him do it all again one day.
45  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Mosfilm studio backlot on: March 18, 2010, 12:31:01 PM
Very nice. I'd be interested to know if any of those sets can be identified in particular films.

Wish I did but no, I've never found that info. For every 1 Soviet era movie that made it to the west there scores of others that never did (and having seen a fair few it was a question of quality not politics).

However one image I scanned recently answered my own question as to where the set is supposed to be:



Those oddly shaped chimnies are pretty much unique to the Veneto, so Venice it was.










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