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Author Topic: Final Flashback?  (Read 23229 times)
DJIMBO
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2004, 09:05:38 AM »

You're not alone, it also took me several viewings before I got the fact of Sean's suicide. I too think the fault lies with Leone. He *should* have made the end clearer.

glad its not just me then, lol.

This backs up why i think this is Leone's weakest film (COR aside), because theres little ambiguities in the film that taint the brilliance of individual scenes. Ive always thought its leone's strongpoint that everything hangs together (as long as you see his version of his films and not the cut version), but in Dynamite he doesnt always make things clear, perhaps reflective of the rushed way in which he took over the project.  Sad

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« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2004, 06:13:35 PM »

Djimbo, I can't agree that DYS is Leone's weakest film (even with a caveat for COR). It's true that Sean's suicide isn't clear, but that is merely a technical flaw. All of Leone's films have technical flaws (even OUATITW,  though it probably has the fewest).  Rather than just tally up the flaws in the films and give the title Best Picture to the one with the lowest score, I think we have to give greater weight to things like plot, character development, and the like. On that view, DYS has to rate very highly.

Since this thread is concerned with the final flashback, I'd like to use that as a way to demonstrate Leone's development as a filmmaker. Compare Leone's use of flashbacks in FAFDM and OUATITW. In those earlier examples, Leone uses flashbacks for essentially the same purpose, to fill in backstory details. That is, they are concerned mainly with plot. Leone uses this kind of flashback in DYS as well, but the final flashback is of a new and different kind. It exists, I submit, less for plot and more as an index of Sean's inner state (and maybe as a foreshadowing of his Final State). That is, the final flashback is mostly about character. Sean is a more developed character than either Mortimer or Harmonica, and part of the reason for that is Leone's more developed use of flashback (also, the plots of FAFDM and OUATIA, which are revenge stories, don't require avengers of any great psychological complexity).

Anyway, I think Leone got better at portraying character as he went along (OUATIA being an apotheosis in that regard). Character is not everything, of course, and one may prefer a movie like OUATITW which is populated more with types than characters. But I think we have to give Leone his due and say that DYS is every bit as interesting as the other films of his mature period.

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« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2004, 11:08:59 AM »

i can't say that DYS is inferior to any of leones movies... i don't see why so many others think so... very well said jenkins... you hit the nail on the head as far as flashbacks go... i knew these were different but i couldn't put my finger on it. thanks for the insight

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« Reply #33 on: October 24, 2004, 04:19:48 AM »

to help you understand what i mean, i am going to relay a nice little parable...

What i'm tryin to say guys, is essentially this:

I like DYS, i like Coburn's performance, Leone's direction, the flashbacks, and of course the start, which is great.

However, there are these weaknesses, which IMO i think are absolutely fundamental and mean that it is weakened more than any other leone film:

1) Sean's character, which i think develops ambiguously, he's supposed to be shattered by revolution at the start but needs to be told by Juan that revolution is a waste of time.

2) Humour works brilliantly in leone's films because its all a bit otherworldly, a bit tongue in cheek. In DYS the serious matter of revolution doesnt really chime with the vulgar humour to me.

3) Steiger and Coburn's attempt at Mexican and Irish accents, which are downright terrible.

4) Sean's suicide, which is ambiguously directed.

5) It's the one Leone film that drags for me, its shorter than OUATITW, GBU and OUATIA but it seems alot longer.

 Embarrassed

But id still give it a 7/10 its still Leone after all.

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« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2004, 07:32:47 AM »

Sean's suicide, which is ambiguously directed.

I find that Sean's suicide is not ambiguous...Leone shows very well Sean want's to die, sa if he says at Juan that they are going in America, for all the bank...(OUATIA???)
In OUATIA, the Max suicide is very ambiguous, I think...But I disagree with you about ambiguously Sean's suicide. Undecided

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« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2004, 02:06:41 PM »

If you watch the scene moments before the flashback he slowly and puposefully removes the lit cigar from his mouth and slowly lowers it towards the explosives.
There is no doubt it was a suicide.

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« Reply #36 on: October 25, 2004, 07:40:47 AM »

for me there is no doubt about sean's death! he doesn't want to smoke, he just wants to die (remember how clint shoots with the canon in GBU). And we can say that Juan had just found out it when he turns back quickly, screaming.
An other point is:
if it is not a suicide, why does sean thinks to his friend and his girlfriend? there is nothing in front of him that can recall him that... he prefers to die with this in mind... so he knows he's going to die.

To answer to some of you, who consider DYS as the worst leone's movie: think to the scene under the rain, with the trucks and the doctor denouncing his friends... with the flash back... with the gunshots... Damn, that's one of leone's greatest performances, with the final duel of OUATITW, the scene of the pie in OUATIA, Tuco running in the cemetary...

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« Reply #37 on: October 25, 2004, 12:53:55 PM »

this is entirely my point noodles_leone, i think individual scenes, esp those involving flashbacks, are fantastic, up there with Leone's best moments. But, there are too many weak points and overall i just dont think it hangs together as well as his other films.  Undecided

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« Reply #38 on: October 25, 2004, 04:59:22 PM »

i can find a lot of weak points in ffdm (even if i love this movie) and i prefer not to talk about Fistful of Dollars...

I have never seen the Colossus of RHodes (shame on me: i'm a huge leone fan, may be the greatest, and i havent seen all of his movies), but i'm not sure putting DYS under this one could be the greatest idea ever Smiley

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« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2004, 05:46:27 PM »

no, no my friend, i never meant to rank it lower than Colossus of Rhodes!!!  Shocked If u look at my earlier post i say apart from COR its the weakest leone film! To be honest tho COR seems to me to be just a run of the mill sword-and-snadal thing its not identifiable of the leone style at all, DYS def is.

But worry not...i think its better than COR cos to be honest COR is pretty bad.  Tongue

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« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2004, 01:40:18 AM »

that's what i think too... and that's why i'm afraid of seeing cor...  Undecided

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« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2004, 10:58:43 AM »

to help you understand what i mean, i am going to relay a nice little parable...

What i'm tryin to say guys, is essentially this:

I like DYS, i like Coburn's performance, Leone's direction, the flashbacks, and of course the start, which is great.

However, there are these weaknesses, which IMO i think are absolutely fundamental and mean that it is weakened more than any other leone film:

1) Sean's character, which i think develops ambiguously, he's supposed to be shattered by revolution at the start but needs to be told by Juan that revolution is a waste of time.

2) Humour works brilliantly in leone's films because its all a bit otherworldly, a bit tongue in cheek. In DYS the serious matter of revolution doesnt really chime with the vulgar humour to me.

3) Steiger and Coburn's attempt at Mexican and Irish accents, which are downright terrible.

4) Sean's suicide, which is ambiguously directed.

5) It's the one Leone film that drags for me, its shorter than OUATITW, GBU and OUATIA but it seems alot longer.

 Embarrassed

But id still give it a 7/10 its still Leone after all.

to reply
1) I guess i Don't see where you get the idea that sean was shattered by revolution at the start... it's pretty obvious he's in favor of the revolution even though it didn't go well back home.
2)I think the humor is fine... and i do think it works well... yeah it may be a little darker in this one and there may not be as much of it... but i think it still works
3)agreed, but compared to whose in the movie... i mean as far as this movie goes i think they work, cause we really don't hear any good ones...
4) just ambiguous enough to work... i love the way he did it... you know he did it... but you don't see him actually light the fuse... wouldnt have it any other way.
5)Not for me... but thats all opinion.

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« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2004, 10:03:10 AM »

when juan makes his initial gestures to sean, he replies: 'One was enough for me' and though i think theres humour in there i think he means it.

as for the suicide i dont think leone had to show him light it just make it more obvious than it was cos the way that scene is shot its not obvious and you have to remember back to when he had the explosives in his coat, i think its one of the few clumsy scenes by leone, tho the run up to it is very good, esp if you look at the final flashback.

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« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2004, 03:14:58 PM »

maybe i'm confused... how could he mean it when he was in the midst of carrying out a mission of sorts for this revolution... he obvously, to me anyways... and maybe i misunderstood it... is just covering himself and sounding neutrel or sarcastic

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« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2004, 06:37:12 PM »

it might just be me, i could be picking fault where there isnt any, its just to me it doesnt all add up. ho hum  Undecided

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