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13711  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Wow, this movie is genius! on: April 30, 2005, 07:13:06 PM
The cheapness (or the appearance of cheapness) is in the storyline.

Where should lie the difference between this and the previous movies's storylines?
Well, this movie starts out with a slob pissing on some ants. Then this slob hitches a ride and we get to see close-ups of people eating. Then the slob's trashy family shows up, allowing the slob to rob the men and rape the one woman. Then the slob drops his victims naked into the mud with a bunch of pigs.........

Can you think of any other film with a less promising beginning? And then the whole gets transmuted into something incredibly sublime. Amazing.
13712  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: What do all these terms mean? on: April 30, 2005, 01:52:25 AM
"Neo-noir" is the term often used for films exhibiting noir qualities that were produced after the classic film noir period (1941-1955).
13713  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Fistful Of Dynamite SE French R2 'First Look' on: April 29, 2005, 05:15:18 PM
hi all ,i am new to this, but does this uncut version you are talking about contain the full rape scene by juan  near the opening of the movie ,which some say was in the early french widscreen video release,also the extra long flashback at the end is the the same as i have on the L,D release which has both endings
thanks for any info
I don't know which LD you are talking about, but I have a copy of the one MGM released in 1996. The only difference (beside improved image quality, 5.1 sound, etc.) between it and the new DVD is the restoration of the long flashback. The LD had the short flashback (30 seconds or so) and also included the ending without a flashback. The long flashback is over 3 minutes long and it is quite a revelation.
13714  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Wow, this movie is genius! on: April 29, 2005, 05:08:42 PM
The cheapness (or the appearance of cheapness) is in the storyline. Of course, great production values are evident in the casting, the set design, the music, etc. from the very beginning.
13715  Films of Sergio Leone / A Fistful of Dollars / Re: The infamous prologue on: April 27, 2005, 05:27:10 PM
Yeah, the same shot appears twice. Talk about the mark of quality!
13716  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Special Edition DVD on: April 27, 2005, 05:20:42 PM
Frayling mentions in his DYS commentary that the final flashback was not included in the very first showings of the movie. The Italian exhibitors, apparently, thought audiences would get bored and start to head for the aisles before the flashback ended, thus missing the explosive climax. The implication is that the flashback was intended by Leone from the very first showing, that the exhibitors cut it against his wishes. So it was rightfully restored in the 1996 Italian re-release.
13717  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Wow, this movie is genius! on: April 27, 2005, 05:05:30 PM
I think you've nailed it. The movie starts out as cheap exploitation and changes into the greatest buddy movie ever, with amazing political commentary along the way. It's one of the greatest conjuring tricks in cinema. A work that only a genius could produce.
13718  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Special Edition DVD on: April 25, 2005, 10:34:32 PM

As for Coburn's friend's character being called Sean, I can see that as being a possibilty. When Steiger first asks Coburn's character for his name, he replies "Sean". Not only does he reply "Sean", but he does so in an intonation to suggest that his mind is elsewhere, thinking or daydreaming, most certainly about his friend. Listen to the way he responds "Sean", then corrects himself with a more confident sounding "John", as if awaking from deep thought or coming back to the present moment.
  I think this in line with the way Coburn is haunted throughout the film about his friend; he thinks about him, & even momentarily makes a slip of mentioning his name when not paying attention.
What I don't buy is that he betrayed his friend first, that doesn't seem to fit & seems to be a stretch. I think his friend did betray Coburn & the others, Coburn judged him as a traitor there & then in the bar, & killed him. It haunts him, not just because he killed him but because of the unique relationship which they both shared with the girl which Coburn probably ended up losing as well.That particular piece of music when the flashbacks occur is very nostalgic & sentimental, which is appropriate, given that Coburn is thinking back to his memories in Ireland & about his friend. What sense would it make to have "SeanSeanSean" on the soundtrack,  & have it be about Coburn's character? Just to reinforce the fact that this is Coburn's character reflecting? No. The fact that we see his name as "John" in the newspaper is also a clear indication & was probably there in the film intentionally, so there would be no mistake as to what his name really was.
Even if his friend's name appeared as "Nolan" in the script, this could have been a temporary name, a "working " name for the script, or could be his last name. Scripts aren't always final & often change by the time the film is made. Either way, everything points to his friend being called Sean, & this is even accentuated in the soundtrack.

This pretty much follows the line of thinking that's used in the documentary on disc 2 of the new SE DVD. The problem with this approach is not that it isn't a possible interpretation, just that it isn't the most likely one. Why does Coburn say "Sean" but then immediately change it to "John"? It could be that Sean is not his name; or it could be that it is his name but he prefers to go by John now; or, to help Juan out, he decides to use an anglo form of his name that a man from Mexico would be more familiar with. All of these explanations are possible. But Coburn is a man on the run, and such people often use a variety of names. This could explain the newspaper article: "John" might be one of Coburn's AKAs. So giving one name in an unguarded moment, then immediately thinking better of it and giving another, would be consistent with the actions of a fugitive.

The biggest obstacle to the "John is not Sean" theory, however, rests with the use of the Sean Sean Sean theme. As Frayling and others have pointed out, Leone tends to assign themes to his major characters in an operatic way. That is, a theme is not "about" the character, or about the situation the character is facing, or in some way an index of his inner state; the theme "is" the character, a musical representation of that person in their entirety. These musical calling cards supplement and expand the characters they are associated with (and as such there is no reason for these motifs to develop, even when characters change). The themes are part of the characters, and this is the way Leone consistently uses the device in his mature work.

So, for "Sean,Sean,Sean" not to refer to Coburn, Leone would have to be using a musical theme in a way not consistent with his usual practice. A possibility, surely, but not a likely one.

(Hey, here's an idea: BOTH Mallory and Nolan were named Sean. Just another indication of how close the two were!)
13719  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: Misprint on new SE R2 DVDs on: April 25, 2005, 05:17:10 PM
Of course, OUATIA was a Warner DVD, so that's a different art department. Although they screwed up in that case, Warner is usually pretty good. MGM's art department, however, seems to have trouble all the time. Perhaps their new Sony masters will straighten them out. If we make enough noise on this board, maybe they'll fix all the problems for the eventual R1 releases.
13720  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: My name is nobody rerelease on: April 25, 2005, 05:05:09 PM
This is what Glenn Erickson says in his DVDSavant review:

"Image and International Media Films' DVD of My Name is Nobody is a bright enhanced transfer of flawless film elements, with a clear soundtrack to enjoy the Morricone music. I've become more wary of 25 fps PAL-speed conversions lately, but this disc clocks at 115 minutes and six seconds, and doesn't look sped up to me. Only a couple of wide shots show tiny flaws of inadequate compression. "

I find these remarks rather odd. I don't know what kind of system Erickson is using for playback, but I found a lot of annoying artifacting throughout the R1 disc. One scene that is particularly bad is the pool table scene which exhibits dot crawl like you wouldn't believe. Did I say dot "crawl"? The dots are leaping back and forth like jumping beans.

There are, of course, many scenes that look great, but there are enough like the pool table scene to make this a less-than-desirable transfer.

13721  General Information / General Discussion / Re: The Ultimate Leone Poll on: April 25, 2005, 01:53:10 AM
I'm rooting for a tie.
13722  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: Misprint on new SE R2 DVDs on: April 24, 2005, 09:33:13 PM
To clarify: There is indeed a misprint on the FOD SE DVD. The documentary in question has the same title as the one on the FAFDM SE DVD. However, they are two different documentaries (or rather, two different parts of the same documentary). I can't believe how screwed up MGM's printing department is.......
13723  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Special Edition DVD on: April 24, 2005, 09:11:52 PM
Hey, did you know "the story takes place in Mexico during the revolution against the Spanish"? That's what it says in the less-than-helpful booklet that accompanies the DVD. MGM has all these resources to use on picture restoration, but they can't be bothered to hire a guy to write copy for their packaging who knows anything (nor are they able to edit out stupid howlers like the above). I guess Sony bought the company none too soon...
13724  Films of Sergio Leone / For a Few Dollars More / Re: Frayling's commentary on: April 24, 2005, 06:11:30 PM
Getting the location of Tucumcari right is a whole lot easier than telling us what Carlo Simi had for breakfast one morning in 1968. I mean, all you have to do is do a Google search on "Tucumcari."

If that were Frayling's only mistake I'd let it pass, even though it's a howler, but he makes so many that you have to fact-check almost everything he says. Here is another for-instance. (This is not on the commentary, but on the interview documentary on disc 2.) While making a point about the use of religious symbols in Leone's films, we are shown the scene in FAFDM where Indio climbs into the pulpit to deliver his "sermon." Frayling mentions (in passing) that there are 12 people listening, no doubt to cleverly suggest that the gang is a kind of unholy version of the 12 Disciples (this is before Sancho rejoins the gang). This would have been a great point to make, except for the fact that there are 13 people listening to Indio. All you have to do is freeze frame the scene and count heads, but Frayling, apparently, didn't bother to do that (if he had he could have still made his point, using 13 as the number for an Unholy Dozen).

Yes, Frayling has done wonderful things for Leone studies; yes, his heart appears to be in the right place. But he's still an ass.

(BTW, I had never thought of counting bodies before as a way checking continuity, but I just did and it checks out. Monco kills Blackie, Chico and Paco. Mortimer kills Hunchback. Nino kills Silm, Indio kills Knife. Mortimer and Monco between them kill 3 sets of pairs (Sancho is in there somewhere), Groggy kills Nino, Monco gets Groggy. That's 14).
13725  Films of Sergio Leone / For a Few Dollars More / Frayling's commentary on: April 22, 2005, 11:41:32 PM
On the commentary for the new FAFDM SE DVD, Frayling actually tells his listeners that Tucumcari is in Mexico! He's making the point that all the towns in the film south of the border look like hell, and all those north of the border look nice. And he uses Tucumcari as an example of a town that looks like hell. Does Sir Chris really not know where New Mexico is?
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