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61  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: High Noon (1952) on: June 27, 2017, 09:35:11 PM
Sounds good. I'm enjoying Frankel's book so far although haven't managed to read that much yet.

A great read. So good, I'm now thinking of picking up a copy of Frankel's book on "The Searchers".
62  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: "I Am Not Your Negro" (2016) - Raoul Peck on: June 23, 2017, 08:36:51 AM
James Baldwin's eloquence was bound to render this a profound viewing experience regardless of how this was put together. It goes without saying that his words are as powerful today as they were back when he wrote (and spoke) them.

In terms of pure craftsmanship...

- Samuel L. Jackson reading Baldwin's words reminded me a little of Kris Kristofferson bringing Billy the Kid back from the dead in Feinsilber's documentary "Requiem for Billy the Kid". The crucial difference being that Jackson is reading Baldwin's own words interspersed with clips and recordings of Baldwin himself, whereas we have nothing in Billy the Kid's own words. While Jackson does not, nor was he trying to, sound like Baldwin, by the end of the documentary you really felt like Baldwin was speaking to you through Jackson. Needless to say, the effect was quite powerful.

- Raoul Peck had clearly taken a leaf out of Kapadia's book by eliminating talking heads. This was very welcome, yet the result was not quite as effective as in Kapadia's "Senna" or his still compelling yet undeniably lesser "Amy" ("Amy" secured an Oscar as opposed to "Senna" no doubt because the judges were more familiar with her than him rather than out of any questions of merit - or perhaps they were making amends for the snubbing of "Senna"?). The problem seemed to lie in editing and use of footage that did not always weave the disparate source materials together as a complete story, but rather sometimes jarred you out of the moment. Sometimes this was for effect, with scenes from today being shown along with scenes of the past (to show how Baldwin's words still resonate today), but a better approach would have been to marry the old and new footage together better (I'm thinking of how Larraín combined real footage with newly shot footage in the JFK funeral scene in the film "Jackie").

All in all, this was still a cut above the rest in terms of presentation and definitely worth viewing even if only for its incredibly valuable content.
63  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968) on: June 19, 2017, 08:20:45 PM
Well there is a slight difference Smiley.
With the exception of CROSS OF IRON, Peckinpah's films after GARCIA of course are "lesser Peckinpah's",
but even those have a lot to offer and are still interesting today. While Corbucci (in my opinion  anyway)
wasted his talent after IL MERCENARIO, his last masterpiece. He lost interest in making significant films,
which I think is a shame. But I think as long as there are filmgoers who think COMPANEROS or any of his
later films can compete with his pre-1969 work, who cares Smiley. Meantime I start work on a SILENZIO Blu-ray,
can't wait to see the master later this summer...

I buy it easily.
He had so much talent, and he wasted it so often. After Silence and Mercenary, which are more than Django his masterpieces, the next 2 films he made contain still some excellent scenes, especially Companeros is full of stuff which belongs to the best I have seen in any western, but there are also scenes in Companeros which really bear a big "I don't care" stamp on them.
After Companeros it all went down very quick and later he made some really bad films, which show nothing of his once stylish craftsmanship, which really give me the impression that one can lose his talent completely. They look totally dull.

Well, I suppose I'm playing devil's advocate to a degree  Smiley

To be honest, I've avoided most of Corbucci's stinkers (which probably represent the larger part of his oeuvre), but I don't think anyone who supposedly didn't care that much could ever have come out with some of the stuff he did - I mean it was hardly accidental.

Regarding "post-Garcia Peckinpah": the first 20-30 minutes of "The Killer Elite" is top-notch Peckinpah - the rest is ruined by all the martial arts nonsense (in a weird way it makes me think of "My Name is Nobody" as something that could have been great being ruined by a separate incompatible agenda); "Cross of Iron" is an absolute masterpiece (as we all agree I think); "The Osterman Weekend" is not his very best but most people aren't evaluating the director's cut which does play much better and is nonetheless a very good flick (hey, not everything can be a masterpiece); "Convoy" isn't really a "Peckinpah film" for a variety of reasons (although it is entertaining nonetheless, but hardly a classic).
64  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968) on: June 19, 2017, 07:47:25 AM
Corbucci was a comparatively lazy director...

I've never entirely bought that argument. He certainly said things to that effect as part of his jokey personality, and he certainly wasn't like Leone in his attention to detail, but I put the idea of Corbucci being "lazy" in the same category as Peckinpah having made nothing worth watching after "Garcia" - commonly stated, but a gross generalization.
65  Films of Sergio Leone / The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Re: Kino Lorber 2 - Disc 4K Blu-ray 2017 on: June 16, 2017, 11:47:35 PM
The Leone group has one 1966 print still in their archives. The fan group I'm a part of has 2 (one full/one partial.) having the two prints allows us to make some conclusions about the original 1966 cut.

That shortening of the train scene so the music doesn't fit anymore is just bizarre.

For some reason, not only does the 98 dvd incorporate some (but not all) of the Italian version shots into the American version - it actually re-orders a few of them. So effectively someone at MGM recut their own version of the scene, and it matches neither the 1966 Italian cut, nor the 1967 International (U.S) cut. Hopefully Kino will match the 1967 International (U.S.) cut as seen here on a 1967 35mm print and a 1990 laserdisc reference, as that is Leone's approved shorter version.

There are a couple of great transitions in the Mondo and 4k ones absent from the others:

- at the 0:17 mark the dust coming out from the gun cleaning leads into the dust kicked up by the horses
- at the 0:27-0:28 mark there is a nice glide of the cart off screen replaced by the head of the gang member gliding on screen.
66  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Thoughts on this film on: June 16, 2017, 11:46:43 AM
I really need to rewatch this again - I've seen it twice but it was long ago. Any advice on which version to get, since I know there are quite a few? Which one is the fullest?

Looks like the Leone film group just re-released it:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Giu-la-testa-Blu-ray/174747/

I'm assuming it's the same as the old Italian BD?
67  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) on: June 16, 2017, 11:43:15 AM
Looks like I'll make my first interview-featurette on Leone later this summer.

Can you tell us more...?
68  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968) on: June 16, 2017, 11:42:14 AM
Sometimes I wonder whether GRRM knows this movie.

 Huh

Welcome back btw!
69  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965) on: June 14, 2017, 08:28:11 AM
A perfect rendition of the book. Only gripe I have is that no german talk is heard, apparently all the german judges and lawyers can speak a perfect english.

That's how it always used to be in old movies - no different here.

Dubbing is the worst. There should be a law against it.

I remember once watching "Last of the Mohicans" in French. The whole thing had been dubbed into French which rendered really odd the scene when one of the characters compliments another on his ability in French!
70  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) on: June 12, 2017, 08:47:45 AM
A shame Warner doesn't include supplements produced by free-lancers any longer.
I shot interviews with 5 people who had worked on the film. Well at least it
is finally available.

Is that a corporate policy? Is it too much work for them or too expensive?

Meantime I finished work on the JUNIOR BONNER Blu-ray...

Looking forward to that.
71  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Jackie (2016) - Pablo Larraín on: June 03, 2017, 08:04:19 PM
Forgot to mention,..

Lovely cinematography shot on Super-16 film preserving its standard 1.66:1 aspect ratio.
72  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Rover (2014) on: June 03, 2017, 08:00:06 PM
Even the camerawork and editing lack vision.

Agreed - so weird it's the same guy.

Or maybe directors aren't actually . . . auteurs?  Shocked

The good ones are; the less good ones very occasionally are; the vast majority aren't.
73  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017) on: June 03, 2017, 07:57:11 PM
I suspect that might be the case for me too. If it weren't for n_l's posts above I wouldn't be interested since the trailers aren't doing it for me, but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
74  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Jackie (2016) - Pablo Larraín on: June 03, 2017, 05:15:51 AM
Even though Michôd disappointed me with his latest offering "War Machine", Larraín most definitely did not with "Jackie". This was incredibly powerful simply because of how Larraín decided to film it (I actually watched it more out of interest in the director than the topic). The camera was often moving and often very intimate and up close - never did it seem overdone and at one point we even got a complete movement in followed by a 360 degree turn and then a movement out to create an incredibly evocative moment during what otherwise would have been a boring shot of people talking. I cannot wait to see "Neruda" now.
75  Films of Sergio Leone / For a Few Dollars More / Re: New Restoration? on: June 02, 2017, 09:24:12 AM
Anyway, I'm not dying for a new version of FAFDM. The MGM BRD of FAFDM looks nice and has great bonus features.

If I remember correctly, the MGM release of FAFDM was actually the only one presented really well in their original BD box set.
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