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31  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Bogdanovich on: July 23, 2005, 12:19:02 AM
Well, I base that particular opinion on books I've read, interviews, dvd's etc. However, as I've never actually met the man, I'm left to draw my conclusions from the evidence available to me.

I do agree with your observation that directors will often sacrifice everything/everyone to bring about their vision, but it's not a blanket description that can be applied to everybody. Of the four working film directors I personally know, I could only apply that particular description to one of them - the other three are reasonable human beings who treat the people they collaborate with in a respectful way. Like anything, it depends on the individual and how they operate. That said, of course, that's just my personal experience in the film business and maybe I'm lucky to know decent people.

If anything, the people in the film industry I've found to be the worst are actually the distributors, who lie, cheat, steal and burn bridges like there's no tomorrow... but that's a whole other discussion. (Oh, and critics and journalists aren't a particularly wonderful mob either, I'd be attacking them far more readily than artists)

32  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Gets me angry on: July 22, 2005, 07:42:39 PM
Yeah, the walking out during the credits thing bugs me too.

I pretty much figured the situation was the same everywhere. Oh well, get that home cinema constructed, I guess. In the meantime, I've found that if you go to early sessions on days like monday or tuesday, or when the film has been running for a while, you get less people in the cinema and less liklihood of background chatter...

Maybe all we can hope for otherwise is a cosmic shift and politeness comes back into vogue.
33  General Information / General Discussion / Gets me angry on: July 21, 2005, 02:03:58 AM
Ok, I need to vent on this one. Is it just me, or is the instance of people talking (and, even worse, making cell phone calls) in cinemas these days getting worse? I don't know if it reflects a general increase in the lack of simple respect and politeness, but I've been an avid moviegoer for years, and once, in a long lost world, when the lights faded down, people SHUT UP and watched the goddamn movie.

Now, I haven't been to a film for the last two years, that I can recall, where there wasn't somebody talking in the cinema. Mostly (not always) they shut up when shhhssd, but I find it unbelieveable that people will pay to go to a movie and talk all the way through it! Not only is it rude to the other audience members, it's also disrespectful to the filmmakers, who have put a huge amount of work into trying to craft a story that people might want to pay attention to. I mean, why go to a movie in the first place if you intend to chatter during the screening? They have bars and cafes for that!

I know this is sounding like a rant, but it's really pissing me off, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one - do people experience this in other countries? I recently went to Land of the Dead and War of the Worlds in Toronto and people were talking in both sessions, so is it across the board? Please tell me no! (I live in Australia, BTW)
34  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: My first reaction to Leone (and SW) on: July 21, 2005, 01:49:36 AM
My first Leone experience was watching For a Few Dollars More on TV in Australia when I was still in high school. I simply couldn't believe what I was seeing, especially astonishing to me was the eccentricity of the score and sound design - I vividly recall being gobsmacked at the scene where they shoot each others hats into the air, with accompanying SFX. I remember thinking that here was a western totally unlike any I'd ever seen, and I was hooked for life.
35  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: City of God aka Cidade de Deus (2002) on: July 18, 2005, 01:28:06 AM
Couldn't agree more. It's an amazing film. And especially astonishing that it's true - the real life interview at the end with one of the gang members knocked me for six. Lil Z is the scariest psycho put on film - this guy would kill you with about as much thought as having a glass of water.

The good news is that the same director has done an adaptation of John Le Carres novel The Perfect Gardner. Same cinematographer as well. The trailer is up now at www.apple.com/trailers

If you haven't seen it, a great movie trailer site
36  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / War of the Worlds on: July 15, 2005, 11:04:29 PM
What did people think of War of the Worlds? I felt it was a film of brilliant sequences and bravura moviemaking with some appallingly dumb elements - for example (spolier alert if you haven't seen it) the aliens buried their tripods a million years ago, and have come down now to pilot the tripods to wipe out humanity... so their technology hasn't produced a better fighting machine in a million years? And if they came to earth a million years ago to bury the damn things, why not just take it over then?
37  Films of Sergio Leone / Duck, You Sucker / Re: Bogdanovich on: July 11, 2005, 12:27:36 AM
Not that I wildly disagree with any of this, but in some small defence of Bogdanovich, he put together an essential book on Orson Welles (pretty much a whole book of interviews - a great read) and publicly defended Welles against unjust attacks like Pauline Kaels scabrous, full-of-lies book on Citizen Kane which cost Welles financing on two movies. Bogdanovich has also been actively attempting to have Welles last film, The Other Side of the Wind, finished and released. I think Bogdanovich is probably a better film historian than director, but at least his heart seems to be in the right place.
38  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: one for Aussie fans on: June 23, 2005, 07:59:01 PM
Hey Warwick, hope you can make it down and see it. I'm going overseas for two weeks on the monday, so I'm just getting a chance to see it on sunday before I go, fortunately. Can't wait!
39  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Batman Begins on: June 19, 2005, 01:26:14 AM
Ok, just saw it and was pleasantly surprised - I'm not really a fan of super hero movies, but for the most part, I thought BB delivered. It has a well written script that is mercifully free of too many 'Hollywood' moments, and a production design which echoes Blade Runner without too directly ripping it off. As far as this kind of popcorn movie goes, it's worth a look.
40  General Information / Sergio Leone News / one for Aussie fans on: June 17, 2005, 01:51:56 AM
Ok, I'm not sure how many Australian fans check this board, but if there are any, the Astor cinema in Melbourne is running an 11 day season of the fully restored, 157 minute print of Fistful of Dynamite, starting June 26 and going through until July 6.

The Astor is a fabulous old Art Deco cinema with a huge screen and good sound - a great environment for seeing FOD on the big screen.

Details can be found at www.astor-theatre.com
41  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Why We Fight on: June 14, 2005, 08:28:48 PM
I agree - this is primarily a film board and I have no desire to get into arguments with anyone - I simply mentioned it as it seemed like similar territory to the aforementioned doco, and if anyone had seen the doco, it might be interesting related reading. Viva Leone!
42  Other/Miscellaneous / Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Why We Fight on: June 14, 2005, 03:14:56 AM
Sounds intriguing - fascinating subject for a doco. Ok, it's not a movie, but I stumbled across an amazing little book some time ago, written in the 1930's, entitled 'War is a Racket', by US Marine Major General Smedly Butler (two time Congressional medal of honour winner). He certainly had some interesting comments on the topic... Sounds like the doco might touch on similar material.
43  General Information / Sergio Leone News / Re: New Book Due Out soon on: June 06, 2005, 09:33:50 PM
I just saw a copy in one of my local bookshops - only had a quick look through, but it looks like a ripper -  it covers the westerns only, has interviews with many major players from cast to crew to writers -  from what I could see, all the ones you'd expect (Morricone, Delli Colli, Simi etc are included) and it even has an interview with Martin Scorcese where he discusses his feelings on Leone. I'll probably pick up a copy soon -  it looks like it might be a must.
44  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / romantic vs realist on: June 04, 2005, 04:47:44 AM
Watching OUATIA again, I was struck by a minor theme that Leone seems to develop about the contrast between cold-hearted realists and those who are more romantic.

Noodles seems like a romantic - he loves and yearns for Deborah, loves 'the stink of the streets' and values his friendship with Max above everything. He ends up lonely, betrayed and broken. By contrast, Deborah and Max are both ruthless pragmatists, ready to sell out any ideals (or anyone) they may have, to, in Deborahs words, 'get to where I'm going'. Deborah and Max climb to the top of their respective worlds whereas Noodles and Fat Mo end up destitute - in fact, Noodles observes that Deborah and Max are both alike. Also, they end up together.

In the scene where Noodles gets out of prison and sees Deborah at the speakeasy, Fat Mo dims the lights and strikes up the band to play a romantic tune - he knows how much Noodles loves his sister and seems to want to see them get together. 'Your brother's a real friend', observes Noodles,  to which Deborah says, to my mind, quite contemptuously, 'he's a romantic', as though this is a naive thing for someone to be - in her world (and in Max's world) being a romantic is a sure fire way to finish last. Maybe this is why Noodles and Fat Mo, both romantics, are, in their declining years, in such a sad, dismal state.

I wonder if this was a comment by Leone on the fact that those who are dreamers, or romantics, will finish last simply because they lack the ruthlessness to do what has to be done in order to get 'to the top'.
45  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In America / Re: Leone's debt to Peckinpah on: June 04, 2005, 04:20:15 AM
I seem to remember from Fraylings book that there was a whole host of gangster movies Leone used as inspiration and reference, although I can't recall mention of The Getaway - might have to have another read...
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