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1  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 11, 2016, 10:11:39 AM
It's just on a dirt road out of nowhere. It is not inside of Monument Valley although it still belongs to someone, I guess.

That's wild. It almost makes you a little afraid to bring attention to it. It's actually done pretty darn well over 50 years.


Anyone KNOW if Leone himself was at this location for the shoot in 1968?  I might guess that this was too-important of a scene to allow a 2nd unit director to handle....my thinking would for Leone and Fonda to fly into Las Vegas or Phoenix and drive there, it's not to close to anything big.

I'd be interested to know how it all went down too. I know the location was carefully scouted for the best background, but it seems like no one compromised at all to make it a slightly less inaccessible destination. All that equipment, material, and personnel had to be hauled out so far away from every convenience.

It's one of the things that makes this site so unique...its isolation has to be remarkably rare for a film location.
2  Films of Sergio Leone / Other Films / Re: The Hateful Eight (2015) on: July 10, 2016, 10:29:52 PM
Just watched the Blu Ray. Like "Django Unchained," it's so damned pretentiously talky and profane, and Tarantino manages to make respectable actors seem dull and in over their heads. (Kurt Russell was terrible.)

It actually got better as it went on...but on and on it went.
3  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 10, 2016, 10:13:48 PM
Get the 3-D printer operating! It's gonna take a heck of a lot of filament, though . . .

Well I just read they've made a whole house out of the stuff now...
4  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 10, 2016, 03:00:08 PM
Here's what a little "skewing around" in Photoshop can get you:

5  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 10, 2016, 10:30:21 AM
Here are a couple of shots I found online. What's odd is that they're both at the Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood park in Almeria but they appear to be in different locations, even though they're taken from opposite sides.

Even if there's enough room behind it to take the shot into the little town, you can see cactus and other things that don't match up. But the asymmetry of the two bases looks very consistent.





But whether it's the same arch or not, it's a lot wider than the original.

6  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 09, 2016, 08:17:22 PM
Seems from the comments I have read here that no one in the Navajo Nation would know much or care much about it; you can do whatever you want and nobody would bother you. Asking permission would create problems; just do what you wanna do. My guess is that would be the best way to go. Take a brick and break it up and see if it sells. Restore it. Whatever. Doesn't seem like anyone would bother you. Just a guess.

Here's a possibly really dumb question: When you go out on this little road that leads to the arch, have you gone through a "national park" gate at some point, or a "now entering Navajo Nation" checkpoint? Are there rangers or docents or some kind of official Monument Valley caretakers driving around?

In other words, is it really just a place off the highway like any other little pile of rocks you might encounter anywhere else? Does it "feel" like you're in a park or on a reservation, or are you just on a road in the middle of nowhere?? I don't ask to see what you could "get away with," just to get a sense of what this area is like.
7  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 09, 2016, 08:04:35 PM
We just need a coupla hundred grand* for some 3-D imaging of the remaining structure merged with an artist's 3-D model of the original, with pieces cut (or printed?) from the result, then assembled and finished onsite.   Afro

*Totally made that up.
8  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 09, 2016, 02:24:34 PM
I hunted around a little on Google last night just for bucket-list kicks, and the nearest airport is a 3-hour drive away. (Apparently you can get chartered flights to come a bit closer, which I guess is what they did when they originally built the thing and filmed it?)

The presence of the dolly tracks makes it a particularly substantial presence as a "site" I think. I just bought some styrofoam and plaster-of-paris to play around with a model, and I expect to be able to skew the photos and get some screen grabs to make the shape pretty accurate. I believe prop/set-design people could interpret the original on film to see how it was made, which may very well have been scored foam across the arch, since the tall vertical "pieces" fit together so well. Of course a lasting restoration would be more on par with the kind of faux stonework you see at a Disney park.

My guess is the permission to do anything would come from the Navajo Nation, or the Parks Department, or both. There might be some help from film-preservation/historical groups, at least for guidance, and remember that's a pet cause of Scorcese, one of the film's most high-profile admirers.

I'd at least like to see a marker there, and maybe a maintenance effort. Its isolation has been good for its relative longevity, but it sure makes this kind of project difficult. It's fun to run the thoughts through your head, though.
9  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 08, 2016, 05:43:02 PM
Yes you can see the concrete that was poured for the camera crew.

Oh, those are the dolly tracks! Awesome! Thanks  Smiley

That really makes the site feel more like a real landmark...there's more obvious history there; it becomes a film site rather than just a prop somehow. Almost a kind of archeological site.

I had no idea that they poured concrete for those kinds of tracks...I'd have assumed it was wood and removable. It's odd that the landscape was left with those long concrete tracks in place. With that nice little road around it, the place just cries out for preservation and/or restoration. What a cool dream...
10  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: The Deteriorating Arch—A Moral Question on: July 08, 2016, 01:17:47 PM
Is this it? It's the biggest satellite image you can get on Google:

https://goo.gl/maps/APc7Xn2BGcn

11  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: "OUATITW: Shot by Shot" by Frayling? on: July 06, 2016, 01:26:15 PM
I watched OUATITW again last night...there are so few films I can watch multiple times over just a few weeks. I realize "shot by shot" is a pun, but I do hope Frayling gets into the profoundly complex character motivations and actions, which a scene-by-scene analysis could really explore:

1. Why does Harmonica make an appointment with Frank rather than just seek him out?

2. What is Jill really doing when she ransacks the bedroom? Is she that craven to just be looking for money? She settles down when she finds the mementos from her wedding, but surely she wasn't that frantic just to find her dress and bouquet?

3. Why does Cheyenne question Jill about Harmonica as though they had not seen him together at the posado?

4. Why does Jill tell Cheyenne he can keep any money he finds, and then act like she's giving it all up to go "back to civilization," when just the day before she seemed so dedicated to building a life out of her new circumstances?

5. Is Harmonica's quoting of Cheyenne to Jill ("one more killing") supposed to suggest that Harmonica is slightly supernatural? Of all his actions, that's the only one (eavesdropping on that one line) that seems completely unrealistic. If not, doesn't it make him seem kind of creepy? What is the actual point of his lurking around the night before?

6. Does Harmonica rip the frills off Jill's dress to reduce her to her true nature as he knows it, so that she can be "real"? (He's been researching things, even if only an afternoon has passed, and Frank knows her history.) Or is he trying to make her look sexy to attract the bad guys outside? Or does he know she will become the water-bearing Queen Bee of a new city, and he's just getting her dressed for it?

7. Does he send her out for water to bait Frank's men, or to get her used to fetching water because he knows the purpose for Sweetwater?

8. Why does Cheyenne (who's shown holding his rifle as if prepared to use it) let Frank's men get so close to Jill rather than doing away with them before they pose such an imminent threat?

9. Does Jill approach Wobbles because she's angry and means what she says, or is she getting him to lead Harmonica to Frank? (The latter option is what I assumed upon first viewing, especially because of their conspiratorial acknowledgement of each other afterward, but only if Jill truly expects to deal with Frank herself does later plot development make sense, as discussed below.)

10. Why does Cheyenne, who has a gang, sneak onto Frank's train by himself, like Harmonica does? Why not just attack it, as they do later?

11. This is the big one for me: what does Harmonica mean when he says "there's another bastard and he's getting further away"? Presumably he wants to go save Jill, yet we find later that he and Harmonica are happy to let her "deal with" Frank without interfering, only lamenting that she'll come back "if she comes back." As Dave suggested in another thread I started, is it because the two heroes are "postmodern" in their motivations rather than traditional, and therefore content to "let Jill be Jill" because she's self-sufficient and independent, almost a peer of theirs (or a mother in Cheyenne's case)? If that's the case, was Harmonica just wanting to get back to Frank to react to the resolution rather than influence it?

12. Why is there an old railroad track buried at Sweetwater (as discovered by Cheyenne)?

13. Does Jill's affectionate behavior toward Frank simply show that she's trying to make him feel confident he has dominated her, or is there more? I'm reminded of the complexity of Capucine's motivations in "Walk on the Wild Side," which can be inferred to suggest that she's a nymphomaniac rather than a traditional 60's-movie unwilling victim of prostitution.

14. Does Harmonica turn in Cheyenne because they have a conspiracy to help Jill? I would say yes, of course, yet the later deleted sequence where Harmonica turns his gun to face Cheyenne at the Sweetwater gate could be interpreted as indicating he feared Cheyenne would be holding a grudge. Normally I wouldn't bring up this point, because their plot seems so obvious, but the gun sequence also makes me wonder why the Judas dialogue seems so unironic.

15. Why does Harmonica call her "a remarkable woman"? Because she just coordinated a "solution" with Frank, including a rape he didn't try to intervene to stop? Do Cheyenne and Harmonica see an earthiness, a "manliness" in her that they admire? Do they not care about her honor because they don't view women and sexuality like traditional Western heroes? (And why does he seem so initially perplexed when she congratulates him? He just won her property in an auction!)

16. Do Cheyenne and his gang confront and kill Morton and his henchmen (newly "acquired" from Frank) to finally avenge Frank's framing of them for the McBain massacre, or to resolutely save Jill from their threat (while Harmonica took care of Frank himself), or both? (I've read that this confrontation was a result of Cheyenne's escape, but surely this was a different train altogether from the one taking Cheyenne to Yuma.)

17. Does the eye contact that Harmonica's brother makes with each one of the members of Frank's gang imply that he was one of them? If so, it suggests a more complicated nature to Harmonica's grudge, that his quoting of names to Frank throughout the film implies that he views Frank as a betrayer of men as well as a killer of them. (Also, how do I get a piece of that arch, LOL.)

18. Actually, this last one is a movie-making question, not a character-motivation one: Does the camera linger on Harmonica at the end (and the music switch to Cheyenne's playful theme) to make us wonder if Harmonica is going to turn around? There is a moment when their path veers to the left...is that a tease, or are they just avoiding something in their way?

I'm putting all this here because they are some of my own "shot by shot" questions and thoughts. They're not criticisms...quite the opposite; they're discussion points, and proof to me that this is a brilliantly complex movie about not only the Old West but about that Ancient Race itself.
12  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: 30 Westerns in Once on: July 05, 2016, 09:03:18 PM
Not a reference to a Western, but I've watched the OUATITW several times now, and every time Jack Elam lifelessly drops his forearm on the station master's shoulder—rather than grabbing it with his hand like anyone else would—I immediately think that's exactly what Boris Karloff did (though from behind) upon seeing Basil Rathbone for the first time in "Son of Frankenstein," a culty entry in that series. Maybe he did it in other films too as the monster, but I really remember it in SOF.

It's funny to remember that, but I guess it was kind of an iconic gesture and I don't remember seeing it done in any other films.
13  General Information / General Discussion / Re: Fan Art "A Fistful of Colors" (Paint-along Art) on: July 05, 2016, 05:05:42 PM
no worries. you're not the first one to make a thread on his own art  Wink

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=11639.msg164570#msg164570

Those are great! They didn't show inline (a problem I'm having with a lot of images within threads) but I started checking out your Facebook page.


OK removed the other Fan Art and added "Fan Art" to this one the right one, lol.

Thanks! (Note my new signature...sorry for the confusion.) If you want to remove my info from the topic title and just call it "Fan Art," we could post other stuff here too.
14  Films of Sergio Leone / Once Upon A Time In The West / Re: "OUATITW: Shot by Shot" by Frayling? on: July 05, 2016, 04:52:08 PM
CJ, can you move this thread to the OUATITW board? i think that's where it belongs

I agree. Again, sorry...I'm doing penance through my new signature line.
15  General Information / General Discussion / Re: "A Fistful of Colors" (Paint-along Art) on: July 03, 2016, 10:41:18 PM
Well I guess it would be a "fan art" thread. Maybe the title of this thread could be changed to "Fan Art" and then the thread moved to General Discussion? I don't want to presume too much.

Those other two threads were about "real" art...not sure I'm comfortable there Wink
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