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1471  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Is my reaction to the film normal for a first timer? on: June 11, 2009, 07:12:56 AM
Because it isn't a very good film and time will not be kind to it like the other Leone films.

Uncknown, you've got to elaborate a little more after a comment like that on a forum like this! Personally I find it to be one of the greatest films I have ever seen that continues to age beautifully.
1472  Other/Miscellaneous / Ennio Morricone / Re: Morricone Oscar Night on: June 11, 2009, 06:35:18 AM
My wife was watching "So You Think You Can Dance" last night (one of those reality TV shows where amateurs vie for a dancing contract)

I could have sworn one of the songs used was a remix of the main theme to DYS. By the time I made it over to the TV it was just finishing so I couldn't be sure.
1473  Other/Miscellaneous / Ennio Morricone / Re: Morricone Oscar Night on: June 11, 2009, 06:22:27 AM
Nice, thanks for posting  Afro.

I assume Eastwood's translation was prepared in advance.

Of course he doesn't pronounce Morricone as an Italian would. Even if he could speak Italian, it would be strange for him not to pronounce it as an English speaker; it might even come across as pretentious.
1474  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Heaven's Gate (1980) on: June 10, 2009, 04:29:52 PM
I saw this for the first time over the weekend.

Here's my take on Ebert's review:


We begin with a fundamental question: Why is Heaven's Gate so painful and unpleasant to look at? I'm not referring to it's content, but to its actual visual texture: This is one of the ugliest films I've ever seen. Its director, Michael Cimino, opens his story at Harvard, continues it in Montana, and closes it aboard a ship. And yet a grim industrial pall hangs low over everything. There are clouds and billows of dirty yellow smoke in every shot that can possibly justify it, and when he runs out of smoke he gives us fog and such incredible amounts of dust that there are whole scenes where we can barely see anything. That's not enough. Cimino also shoots his picture in a maddening soft-cous that makes the people and places in the movie sometimes almost impossible to see. And then he goes after the colors. There's not a single primary color in this movie, only dingy washed-out sepia tones.

I know, I know: He's trying to demystify the West, and all those other things hotshot directors try to do when they don't really want to make a Western. But this movie is a study in wretched excess. It is so smoky, so dusty, so foggy, so unfocused and so brownish yellow that you want to try Windex on the screen. A director is in deep trouble when w do not even enjoy the primary act of looking at his picture.

I thought the cinematography was beautiful.

At either length it is so incompetently photographed and edited that there are times when we are not even sure which character we are looking at.


By the movie's end, we can identify only one of them for sure. She is the Widow Kovach, whose husband was shot dead near the beginning of the film. That makes her the emblem of the immigrants' suffering. Every time she steps forward out of the mob,somebody respectfully murmurs "Widow Kovach!" in the subtitles.

Interesting, my version had no subtitles for the immigrants (although I noted that in other languages it did).

The ridiculous scenes are endless. Samples: Walken, surrounded by gunmen and trapped in a burning cabin, scribbles a farewell note in which he observes that he is trapped in the burning cabin, and then he signs his full name so that there will be no doubt who the note was from.

To quote Cigar Joe: Walken's Character Nate Champion was a real life person and his death was depicted much like it actually happened but it occurred a year after Averill's & Watson's lynching.

Here's my take on Queenan:

While it may disappoint those who welcome my occasionally unconventional opinions, I am firmly in the camp that believes that Heaven's Gate is the worst movie ever made. For my money, none of these other films can hold a candle to Michael Cimino's 1980 apocalyptic disaster. This is a movie that destroyed the director's career.

Actually he was given another chance with Footloose but was later removed. The Footloose incident destroyed his career because he was perceived to have not learned his lesson.

This is a movie that lost so much money it literally drove a major American studio out of business

Now whose fault is that? Partly Cimino's of course, but talented directors often need restraint to stay within budget. The studio acted irresponsibly too and must take a significant share of the blame.

A friend of mine, now deceased, was working for the public relations company handling Heaven's Gate when it was released. He told me that when the 220-minute extravaganza debuted at the Toronto film festival, the reaction was so thermonuclear that the stars and the film-maker had to immediately be flown back to Hollywood, perhaps out of fear for their lives. No one at the studio wanted to go out and greet them upon their return; no one wanted to be seen in that particular hearse. My friend eventually agreed to man the limo that would meet the children of the damned on the airport tarmac and whisk them to safety, but only provided he was given free use of the vehicle for the next three days. After he dropped off the halt and the lame at suitable safe houses and hiding places, he went to Mexico for the weekend. Nothing like this ever happened when Showgirls or Gigli or Ishtar or Xanadu or Glitter or Cleopatra were released. Nothing like this happened when The Hottie and the Nottie dropped dead the day it was released. Heaven's Gate was so bad that people literally had to be bribed to go meet the survivors. Proving that, in living memory, giants of bad taste once ruled the earth. Giants. By comparison with the titans who brought you Heaven's Gate, Paris Hilton is a rank amateur.

Right, and back to reviewing the movie itself...
1475  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Is my reaction to the film normal for a first timer? on: June 09, 2009, 05:53:51 PM
AMERICA will always be a seriously flawed film Cry

Why do you say that?
1476  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: EUROCRIME! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled The 70's (2009) on: June 09, 2009, 01:31:14 PM
Although I have  been aware of their existence via the abundance of old Spaghetti Western stars like Franco Nero etc, I don't think I've ever seen an Italian gangster film.

Well that trailer certainly made me want to watch some now. Firecracker, it seems to me like you and Mike Siegel are the ones on this forum to talk to as the insiders when it comes to documentaries on cinematic things Italian and/or Western. Looking forward to the release! 
1477  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Western Books on: June 08, 2009, 04:24:27 PM
I didn't say you were wrong, just that no one was agreeing with you. And I do empathize...
1478  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Western Books on: June 08, 2009, 06:59:59 AM
Not officially.
There is no doubt he ghost wrote most of the score.
If you listen to the action music it sounds nothing like Ennio. The rest is unmistakably him.

I remember you fighting a losing battle over this on the SWDB: Who really wrote the music for 'The Price of Power'? It sounded a lot like my main argument regarding the barber's shop scene Grin

I'm not really a musician so it's hard for me to judge. Really nice score nonetheless: Il Prezzo del potere.
1479  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: Is my reaction to the film normal for a first timer? on: June 07, 2009, 08:35:06 AM
But what was your guys' initial reaction to the film after you first watched it?

I actually loved it from the get go. I remember it coming on TV once and me remarking to my Dad that it was so cool how no-one spoke and how it was filmed.  My dad simply responded that it was the Sergio Leone style.
1480  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: Il mio nome è Nessuno aka My Name Is Nobody (1973) on: June 07, 2009, 08:24:31 AM
If this wasn't made by or in the responsibility of Leone, than it was the best copy of a Leone scene I have seen in any SW.

Agreed that Leone was definitely extremely influential.

(Even most of the pure comedy scenes are done in this style. These comedy scenes are better directed than their equivalents in the Trinity films. And Clucher was a good, but not a great director, more interested in the comedy aspects than in the framing of his images.)

Yes, even if you don't like the slapstick stuff, several of the scenes are extremely well shot.

I would even say that in MNIN is more Leone than in Giu la testa.

Can't say I'd agree with that.

I would like to make me a private copy, to cut out some of the pure comedy moments which are a bit in odds with the rest of the film. A few moments which are not part of the story, in which there is only slapstick for slapstick reasons. Only about 1 or 2 min, but I think it would improve the film a lot.

I like the shooting of the scenes with Hill in the fairground and the saloon sequence. The content/story is less good, in particular I don't really like the following: the face slapping in the saloon; the hall of mirrors; the spinning dummy.

I do however love the pissing scene which many, Valerii included, appear to dislike. I think it is brilliantly done!
1481  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Western Books on: June 05, 2009, 10:41:51 AM
At least Valerii never did a scene in his 4 previous westerns which was half as good as the Nobody opening scene. Compare his lousy 1972 SW A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (also written by Gastaldi) with Nobody, and you know who was responsible for MNIN's qualities.
Valerii was only an average director, and his 2 better westerns are as good as their screenplays.

Dubbing James Coburn into English in the full length version of "A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die" is absolutely ridiculous. I didn't finish the movie cos I just couldn't take it! I'd need to watch it again to give it a fair shot but I certainly wasn't enjoying it enough to ignore the dubbing.

What about "The Price of Power"? I've always quite enjoyed that one. Plus it has an excellent score which isn't Morricone's for once! I think the man who directed that could easily have directed the barber's shop scene. Valerri also has some nice touches elsewhere: How about the horseback duel in "Day of Anger"?
1482  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Western Books on: June 04, 2009, 05:50:39 PM
Grin so, in other words, you're saying Leone was lying?

Have had a bit of free time recently (as exemplified by my numerous postings which will decline again in number soon) and have been reconsidering this topic. This is particularly due to Simsolo's comments in his interview regarding other authors putting Leone in a bad light.

Leone's words in Simsolo's book are "J'ai mis en scène le début, la bataille et le duel final." Notably he uses the verb "mettre (en scène)" here rather than "tourner" which he uses regarding the introductory scene of "Genius": "j'ai tourné le prégénérique où l'on voit l'attaque des faux Indiens".

Now I need Noodles_Leone's help here regarding my interpretation of the French but I am thinking that the photographic evidence of Leone helping Valerii with the battle and the final duel is solid support of this "mise en scène" but this does not necessarily imply to whom the verb "tourner", regarding the camera, can be applied and when. Consequently, I think that Leone must have been breathing very heavily down Valerii's neck during the introductory sequence (particularly due to it being a send up of OUATIW) which would allow him to classify himself as having done most of the "mise en scène". This does not, however, necessarily mean he was ever behind the camera.

So no, I do not think Leone was lying but I think his statement is easily open to misinterpretation.

So I just want to know more about Valerii's style and how it's so distinct in My Name is Nobody.. in other words, how can you be sure that he directed the barber shop scene?

I am watching the barber's shop scene right now. I know Jenkins wants me to elaborate here too, but I'm not sure how to express it. I may well be fooling myself into believing I can see something which I cannot, but I really do not find it to look like a Leone directed scene. The camera just doesn't seem to me to move in the way it does when Leone is at the helm. I am, of course, quite possibly wrong in all of this but like to think I'm not  Smiley.   
1483  General Information / Trivia Games / Re: How many corridas? on: June 04, 2009, 02:16:52 PM
I'm usuing a broad definition of corrida, think again  Afro

I know Frayling uses it, but I'm not sure if "corrida" is the right word cos that specifically refers to the "running" of the bulls. Not that I can think of anything better...
1484  General Information / Trivia Games / Re: How many corridas? on: June 04, 2009, 02:14:27 PM
I wonder if Leone got the idea for these circular duels from Hidden Fortress where the "corrida" is made up of soldiers. By the way if anyone has ever seen the incredibly hard to find "The Taste of Violence/Le Goût de la Violence" by Robert Hossein (director of Cemetery without Crosses), would they agree that there is quite a similarity between them in terms of basic plot structure and balck&white mountain photography? No "corrida" duels in Hossein's one tho...
1485  General Information / Film Locations / Re: OUATIA locations on: June 04, 2009, 11:45:59 AM
DJ & CJ will be starting a "Fat Moe's Tours" of NYC Leone Locations, lol, payment will be rendered at McSorleys Old Ale House.  Afro

We recomend you leave the wife at home.  Afro

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