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Messages - Walton

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Other Films / Re: The Proposition (2005)
« on: October 18, 2005, 01:24:34 AM »
Ok, this film has opened in Australia and I went to see it on the weekend. The good news - it does have a bit of a Leone-esque feel, probably more OUATITW than any of the other westerns. The production design and the cinematography are outstanding and the film is brutally violent. The casting, costumes and especially the casting of extras with distinctive faces is quite Leone-esque as well. It has a strong Australian flavour which resonates if you live here, but should carry pretty well overseas. John Hurt has a nice cameo as a twisted, nasty bounty hunter and Danny Huston is extraordinary. He manages to bring a depth and sense of enigma to his character that is not on the page. My criticisms of the film - which are pretty minor - are all to do with the script, not the filmaking. I don't want to ruin the film for anyone, though, so I'll keep quiet on this subject. Overall, I would think that fans of Leone and members of this board will find a lot to like in The Proposition and given the lack of new films in this genre, it is well worth a trip to the cinema to see, if only for the look of it, the cast, the locations and some pretty nasty, tough violence. 

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: THE ROAD WARRIOR
« on: September 20, 2005, 12:44:27 AM »
I live in Australia, and have seen Chopper, although I'd imagine it might be a bit hard to find outside Australia (I think it's on dvd in the UK). Eric Bana is incredible in the film, an amazing job of playing the real Chopper Read.

Years ago, Eric Bana was a stand up comedian, and I used to go and see him playing comedy gigs in pubs in front of fifty or so people. He was always really good, but I don't think any of us would have guessed he'd get so big. I've also met the real Chopper Read, who has become something of a celebrity down under, after a series of best selling books about his crimes. He does stand up comedy routines with another famous Aussie crook, corrupt police officer Roger Rogerson, believe it or not. Yes, we Australians certainly like our criminals.

Sergio Leone News / Re: Fistful/For a Few Dollars SE released in Australia
« on: September 05, 2005, 10:45:56 PM »
Yes, those are the ones. They are in a plastic two disc pack which I've only ever heard described as a 'keep case' but it seems to be the most commonly used dvd packaging. I actually haven't heard the terms Amaray and digipak, so I'm not sure which of these it is...

Sergio Leone News / Re: Fistful/For a Few Dollars SE released in Australia
« on: September 05, 2005, 12:04:17 AM »
Will do - I asked at my local dvd store when they thought Dynamite would be out but they had no release date for it. I'll let you know as soon as it appears...

Sergio Leone News / Fistful/For a Few Dollars SE released in Australia
« on: August 24, 2005, 01:01:57 AM »
The Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More SE dvd's have just been released in Australia. I picked up the FAFDM dvd and it seems to be exactly the same as the UK release (from what I've read). The transfer is far superior to the last one available and it's great to have a nice new version. I'm not sure when Dynamite will be out here, but I guess it won't be far away. The question is, I suppose, when will MGM release the new editions in the US?

General Discussion / Re: Tonino Delli Colli RIP
« on: August 22, 2005, 01:32:11 AM »
Very sad news - he was one of the greats. Still, he left behind a hell of a legacy. RIP

Once Upon A Time In America / Fan encounter
« on: August 16, 2005, 06:02:34 PM »
I remembered this the other day and thought I'd post it up. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and there are not too many Leone fans around, but I did have a somewhat odd chance encounter with one about five years ago.

I had to go into the city (or, downtown if you prefer) one day and, being early, decided to grab a coffee. I went into the nearest cafe and right away heard the unmistakeable soundtrack to OUATIA playing on the cafe stereo. I ordered a coffee and read the paper, listening to the soundtrack, figuring the owner must be a fan.

There were only two other girls in the cafe, and they went up to pay, had a brief chat to the guy behind the counter, then left. I went up to pay as well and I heard the guy talking to someone else in the kitchen. He said, in a somewhat disdainful tone, 'those girls asked me what the music was and I said I didn't know'.

Right away, I said, 'I can tell you what it is, it's the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in America'. He looked at me, surprised. 'You know it?' 'It's one of my favorite films' I replied, 'I've seen it at least 20 times'. He said it was his favorite film too, that he owned it on vhs (this was pre-dvd days) and he played the soundtrack all the time in his cafe, but never liked telling people what it was because 'if they don't know, they don't deserve to know' (this was clearly a hard-core fan here).

I felt like we were in the Freemasons or something, identifying ourselves with secret insider knowledge. We chatted about other Leone films for a few minutes, then he refused to let me pay for my coffee! So there you go, a chance encounter with a fellow fan and a free cup of coffee into the bargain!

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Censorship
« on: July 25, 2005, 05:20:39 PM »
Great Hitler quote - here's another one (as accurate as I can remember it): 'People often stumble across the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and move on as though nothing had happened' Winston Churchill.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Censorship
« on: July 25, 2005, 03:25:39 AM »
In as much as I can tell - and I'll try to look into it further - the film Mysterious Skin is being attacked and considered for banning here simply because it deals with the subject matter of child molestation. Naturally, the people wanting it banned don't seem to have actually seen it - they are reacting in a twisted, Pavlovian dog fashion to the very idea. Well, fine - but don't try to stop me from seeing the film if I want. If it contained actual, real abuse of children, then it would never have initially recieved an 18+ classification from our rating board. Ah, hell, maybe I should just go live in Europe or somewhere enlightened.

Off-Topic Discussion / Censorship
« on: July 25, 2005, 01:27:53 AM »
I'd love to know people's positions on this one - film censorship. It's been on my mind lately because, in Australia, there is an ongoing effort by politicians, egged on by religious lobbyists, to try to have certain films banned. The latest attempt concerns a film called Mysterious Skin, which was passed here with an 18+ certificate, but the Federal Attorney General, after lobbying by a Christian group, is trying to change this and have the film banned. Why? Because it deals with the subject of child molestation.

Now, I haven't seen the film (something I have in common with the people trying to ban it) but from what I've read, I'm pretty certain it's a serious attempt to deal with the subject and the devestating effects it has on its victims. This is simply the latest in a seemingly never ending battle where filmmakers creating more controversial films have to fight the forces who don't want such films seen.

My issue is this - where is the line drawn? In Australia, we have a pretty good classification system which does a good job of rating films for different age groups, but it is always a tricky area when you get to really extreme movies. Do we accept some censorship, with clear guidelines? If so, how far does it go? What's permissable for adults to see or not see? Who makes that decision? It's a really thorny issue. My personal feeling is that censorship rarely works and anyway, with the internet, it almost seems pointless - anyone with a broadband connection can find material more extreme than anything in mainstream movies. As I understand it, America seems to have a good system - if a film is refused classification, it can be released unrated, it just means a potential drop in audiences.

It does piss me off when Politicians get on their moral high horse about films - I see it like this - the next time a filmmaker invades a country and causes the deaths of untold thousands of people, then filmmakers and Politicians will be on a level playing field to discuss morality, but until then, they can butt out!

Would love to know what people's views are...

General Discussion / Re: Gets me angry
« on: July 23, 2005, 05:36:53 PM »
Absolutely - the end-of-the-run matinee is almost always the best bet.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Irréversible (2002)
« on: July 23, 2005, 12:31:39 AM »
Good film, but I tell you what, his other movie, I Stand Alone, is in some ways more disturbing and nasty than Irreversible. Try and catch it if you can.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: biggest film dissapointment of my life
« on: July 23, 2005, 12:13:05 AM »
That bad, huh? I've never seen it. For some reason I've only watched the Hitchcock films from Shadow of a Doubt onwards - which is a great film.

The only one I know of for sure occurs in the Roman Polanski film Bitter Moon. At one stage, Peter Coyote is watching TV and OUATIA is playing, the scene where Noodles and Deborah are at the seaside restaurant. Tonino Delli Colli shot Bitter Moon, which may be partly why the reference is there.

General Discussion / Re: Gets me angry
« on: July 22, 2005, 11:54:19 PM »
I'm quite sure that most of the people who tend to sit through end credits, taken as a whole, probably couldn't care less if you decide to leave or stay. Perhaps I should have been more specific - my gripe is the kind of situation Poggle describes where he was unable to read the epilogue credits on Cinderella Man because of a sudden mass exodus to the doors. Other than that, I watch the credits because I work in the film industry and I am always curious about technical details, locations, camera equipment, print stock, music etc.

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