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31  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: May 05, 2012, 04:08:23 PM
It's from Oreste De Fornari's 'Sergio Leone: The Great Italian Dream of Legendary America.' Leone discusses each of his films in a chapter called "Leone on Leone." The comments come from an interview De Fornari did with Leone in 1988.

Mat
32  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: May 05, 2012, 09:45:55 AM
Drinkanddestroy - "And that he is smiling in heaven now at the upcoming release."


On the other hand, he may be frowning upon the upcoming release, given what he wrote shortly before his death:

“Then there is the very long one that has never been edited and which lasts fifty minutes longer. Four and a half hours. But we rejected the idea of two parts on TV. It is so intricate that it has to be done in one evening. And besides, let’s be honest: this one is my version. The other perhaps explained things more clearly and it could have been done on TV in two or three parts. But the version that I prefer is this one, that bit of reclusiveness is just what I like about it.”

Notice also that he said the extra 50 minutes were never edited.

Mat
33  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: April 29, 2012, 07:43:55 AM
What I’d like to know is why a year ago Raffaella was saying that adding 40 minutes would constitute the “director’s cut” and now, when it appears only 25 minutes have been added, she’s still saying “it will be wonderful to see the restored version on the big screen and with the additional footage of the original director's cut.” Did Leone’s ghost appear between then and now and instruct her to remove 15 minutes?

Of course, I don’t think the Leone children can be trusted when it comes to what constitutes the “director’s cut”, considering that 2 or 3 years ago when all of this was first announced Raffaella said “in collaboration with Sky we want to restore forty minutes of new scenes that we have found. Mind you, we will not reassemble the film; it will stay what my father did. We’d love to show, however, perhaps in a screening at a festival, this interesting footage.”

So, originally they weren’t planning to insert the 40 minutes into the existing film at all, then a year or so later suddenly the plan was to insert the 40 minutes and declare it the “director’s cut”, and now, when all is said and done (maybe), only 25 out of those 40 minutes actually belong in the “director’s cut.”

Apparently Sergio’s ghost can’t make up his mind.
34  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: NEW DIRECTORS CUT on: April 28, 2012, 12:58:09 PM
http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/fashion-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110538

35  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Visual Motifs (Doors, Mirrors, Timepieces) on: January 18, 2012, 08:37:42 PM
Yeah, Max definitely looks into the mirror, but he doesn’t look at himself. He looks at Noodles. Make of that what you will.
36  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Visual Motifs (Doors, Mirrors, Timepieces) on: January 18, 2012, 07:10:18 PM
Noodles isn't the only one who peers into mirrors throughout the film. When we first see Deborah, dancing among the “empties and the broom sticks,” she takes a long, admiring look into a mirror, which points to the little prima donna’s conceit and narcissism. In 1933 she looks at herself in a compact mirror just before her reunion with Noodles at Moe’s speakeasy. And she spends virtually the entire 1968 scene with Noodles looking into a mirror - though here Leone is commenting less on her narcissism than her two-facedness.

And speaking of two-facedness, Max (whose younger self even has a double in the form of his son) also looks into a mirror during the climactic scene with Noodles.

Did anyone mention Noodles looking into the bathroom mirror just before his encounter with Peggy? This occurs just after Deborah's "go look at yourself" comment.

Mat  
37  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / A Tribute on: April 30, 2010, 05:52:06 AM
Hey,

On this, the 21st anniversary of Leone's death, I have posted a tribute to OUATITW on my blog. The post may not contain anything a true Sergio Leone fan hasn't heard before, but I hope it at least conveys my genuine passion for the film. Hope you can drop by and let me know what you think.

http://notesofafilmfanatic.com/
38  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Photo Galleries on: April 25, 2010, 11:54:06 AM
Can anyone provide links to some good photo galleries of OUATITW. I've found some through the IMDB, but they're kinda paltry. I've been scouring the web, and though I have found some good photos, I'm not satisfied. For the life of me, I can't find more than a photo or two of Cheyenne and Jill talking at the Sweetwater ranch.
39  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Painterly compositions on: April 23, 2010, 08:32:54 AM
I'm not suggesting that Leone would outright copy a painting, of course. I'm simply looking for a specific painting bearing a similarity to the lighting used in OUATITW. So far, I really haven't seen much that bears more than a marginal resemblance. Certainly those de Chirico paintings Cigar Joe posted do not.  They don't remind me of the lighting in OUATITW at all.

In Frayling's Once Upon a Time in Italy, Fralyling asks Delli Colli point blank: "But didn't SL use paintings as reference points for the visuals? Giorgio De Chirico, for example?"

Delli Colli's reply: "While we were actually working, we didn't refer to paintings. Sometimes we referred to them during the preparation stage as a kind of shorthand for costumes and sets., but that's about it. For documentation rather than composition. Maybe for lighting, sometimes...I don't remember De Chirico. The resemblance could be by accident."

The part that interests me the most is when he says "maybe the lighting, sometimes." I guess what I'm really looking for is a painting that I could put up against a frame from the film and see a definite similarity.

 
40  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Painterly compositions on: April 23, 2010, 06:18:26 AM
Thanks for the comments, moviesceleton. I agree with you about the arches in de Chirico's paintings, however, that seems to have inspired Simi's art/set direction more than Delli Colli's cinematography/lighting. Frayling says that Leone and Delli Colli discussed certain paintings/painters before shooting OUATITW, but although the lighting is very "painterly" I haven't yet seen any single painting that jumps out at me as obviously having an influence.

You mention the bar scene in OUATITW: I assume you're talking about the Monument Valley rest stop scene (and not the scene towards the end at the Flagstone saloon). Is there a particular painting you had in mind?
41  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Painterly compositions on: April 22, 2010, 07:29:57 PM
Yeah, I was just reading Frayling's discussion of Leone's favorite painters. He cites the following:

Edgar Vegas
Max Ernst
Magritte
Giorgio De Chirico
Miro
Velasquez
Vermeer
Goya
Rembrandt
George Grodz
Otto Dix

So, I quickly Googled these painters and took a look at some of their work. I have to say I didn't find a single painting that struck me as having an obvious resemblance to anything in Leone's films. Maybe the influences are too subtle for this untrained eye to detect, I don't know.
42  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Painterly compositions on: April 22, 2010, 04:33:12 PM
I just read the following quote from Frayling in an interview posted on this site: "Leone showed Tonino Delli Colli the paintings and engravings of Rembrandt before shooting 'Once Upon A Time in The West'. The monocohrome darkness and portraits of faces. Not portraits of aristocrats but ordinary people like his (Rembrandt's) mother, his friends, someone he met in the street. Rembrandt invented the physiological portrait. In that film you can read the person's history on his face".

Does anyone know of any specific paintings, by Rembrandt or anyone else, that inspired the look of OUATITW. I swear I saw something on this site once that compared shots from Leone films to specific paintings. Does anyone remember where that might be?

Thanks,

Mat
43  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Was it a dream? on: October 19, 2009, 08:33:59 PM
Please give me a full citation, chapter and verse.

Chapter 3 of the 1985 edition of Kaminsky's American Film Genres. The chapter is entitled 'Once Upon a Time in America as Narrative Model."

I don't own the book, but I printed this chapter from it years ago.

http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/10850494
44  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Was it a dream? on: October 19, 2009, 07:54:13 PM
Quote
He didn't. The idea came afterwards, and when it was suggested to him he did not deny it. He may have just been in Showman Mode at that point, however, happy to accept anything that would allow for the broadest possible acceptance/audience. But there is no proof that SL actually went into the project with the dream/reality concept in mind.

Actually, there is. Here's a quote from an article Stuart Kaminsky wrote about the film around the time of its original release:

"The first script I received from Leone indicated in a covering note that he was quite concerned with two aspects of the script: the fantasy/fairy-tale nature of the story and the importance of time as both a theme of the dialogue and an element in the presentation."

In a footnote he quotes Leone as saying in the note: "And it is this unrealistic vein that interests me the most, the vein of the fable, though a fable for our own times and told in our own terms. And, above all, the aspects of hallucination, or a dream journey, induced by the opium with which the film begins and ends, like a haven and a refuge."

Kaminsky says, "This quote is taken from the note given to the author and other members of the writing and production staff by Leone."
45  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Stuart Kaminsky 1934-2009 on: October 14, 2009, 05:47:05 AM
Leone paid Kaminsky the ultimate compliment in a 1984 interview for the now-defunct magazine America Film: "Leo Benvenuti and Stuart Kaminsky miraculously concluded the screenplay, and away we went to the great adventure."

Kaminsky himself wrote about his contribution to the screenplay: "When I came to the project in 1981 and subsequently worked on the script for more than six months, the principal screenwriters were Enrico Medioli, Leo Benvenuti and Piero De Bernardi. Medioli was the only Italian who spoke English. The working procedure for OUATIA was for the Italian script to be translated into English and given to me. I would rewrite dialogue and make other suggesstion for cutting, change, and defining character; the script would be retranslated into Italian. This process was followed through five versions with supervision by Leone and input by the film's star, Robert De Niro. Writing took place in Los Angeles, Rome and New York. A final four-week session before shooting began was a line-by-line discussion of the English dialogue. Leone supervised this session."

The bolded section above suggests that Kaminsky actually contributed more than just writing the dialogue.
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