Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 07:58:28 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Once Upon A Time In America (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Cahiers Du Cinema
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Cahiers Du Cinema  (Read 14721 times)
once
Guest
« on: April 11, 2011, 04:28:51 AM »

Shortly after Once Upon A Time In America was first released, Sergio Leone did a lengthy interview with Cahiers Du Cinema.  Some of his comments are similar to ones made at other times but some of the details he gives are more specific and candid than many of the other quotes I have  read.  Interesting to read Sergio Leone's own words, from April 1984, when the memories of events were still fresh in his mind.

Subjects covered include the cuts to the movie, the disputes, a long version, director friends, Harry Grey, the garbage truck, filming, research, sound, De Niro, Eastwood, Bronson, My Name Is Nobody, his father and mother, cinema, other genres, Blade Runner, future projects.

Roughly translated:

Cahiers. Why did the film take so long to complete?

Sergio Leone. I already wanted, you know, to make this film before I did Once Upon A Time In The West. The Americans asked me to make a Western again first, which started me on a new trilogy.

I had many problems getting the rights to the book. They had been taken by the director Dan Curtis; then there was Genoves and Lebovici who wanted to produce it in France but they failed to get the rights; then Grimaldi managed to get them, but he went back on our deal because his recent films, notably with Fellini, had not been going well, so I went to court against him because he made me lose two or three years where I was immobilised.

Finally, Arnon Milchan purchased the rights from Grimaldi. To acquire the rights, Grimaldi had been obliged to make a replacement film for Dan Curtis in the States, a tale of terror, Burnt Offerings with Bette Davis ... that did not do well.

Cahiers. How did this disagreement over the duration of the film happen?

S. Leone. It's a complicated story. They gave me carte blanche to do four and a half hours with the idea that it would be made in two parts, that is to say two films coming out together.

But four months after the start of filming, they said to me no, it is not possible, because in the U.S. (that's what they told me, I do not know if it is the truth), a sequel can not come out less than three months after the first part, for competitive reasons, because operators are not necessarily the same for both parts. If it were possible for both parts to be released simultaneously, it would result in unfair competition from operators who have a single theater. It therefore seems that some operators cannot handle a double distribution. They demanded that I cut the film.

I did not want to go back to the first concept which was three hours. I cut as much as I could, and I arrived at the 3hours 40min version which you have seen. But then they wanted me to cut a further hour, especially in the beginning. The only possibility would be to remove the flashback construction, and I did not want that. We'll see. I have retained a very good French lawyer, Leo Matarasso (the lawyer of Orson Welles), because the contract was made in France under the Napoleonic Code. I also have a lawyer in the U.S. to try to stop distribution in a truncated version. But my first course of action must be against the producer, who is in France.

I have proved my good intentions by agreeing to cut to the limits of the comprehensibility of the story, and also from parts constructed in flashback, the battle is about to begin, we'll see. But the truth, in the USA there is no-one to speak to, no boss. The Alan Ladd Companies depend on Warner, and at Warner there is not a single executive, but many people who think the same way and are bound by the rules. If they say, less than three hours, we cannot discuss further because they also need to change the mindset of retailers and everything else. They do not want to engage in a battle with the distributors or take any responsibility.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 07:54:37 AM by once » Logged
moviesceleton
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3927


The glance that makes holes in the silver screen


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 07:35:47 AM »

Thanks Afro Is there any way to get the full interview (translated)?

Logged

"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
noodles_leone
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5049


Lonesome Billy


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 09:37:51 AM »

Wasn't there already a post about this article? Anyway, I have the magazine, so I can translate some parts. We should share.

Logged


New music video: ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE https://youtu.be/p968oyMo5B0
www.ThibautOskian.com
noodles_leone
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5049


Lonesome Billy


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2011, 03:58:10 AM »

Great work! Thanks a lot for this!

Logged


New music video: ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE https://youtu.be/p968oyMo5B0
www.ThibautOskian.com
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13630

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2011, 11:59:25 AM »

Great work! Thanks a lot for this!
I second that emotion:  Afro Afro

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
moviesceleton
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3927


The glance that makes holes in the silver screen


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 02:07:03 PM »

Yes, awesome work Afro

Did anyone else notice that "a love scene with Deborah as a young girl" would make a huge difference if it is with Noodles? (I'm taking it that "a love scene" means more than just holding hands...) In the current 229 min cut Noodles never has sex with Deborah before he rapes her. And even if that love scene was with somebody else it would be just as (or maybe even more) dramatic.   

Logged

"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1517



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2011, 02:40:20 PM »

Great work! Thanks a lot for this!
I second that emotion:  Afro Afro
Yes, awesome work Afro

Indeed  Afro Afro

Logged
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12597


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2011, 05:23:11 PM »

 Afro Afro Afro

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1517



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2011, 01:18:44 PM »

Cahiers. Is it true that you worked as a director on Tonino Valerii's My Name Is Nobody which you produced?

S. Leone. I led the second team. To help complete the film more quickly, I led the first battle and the final, while Tonino did the rest.

What's the exact wording of this bit? By the first battle, does he mean the one where Fonda faces the Wild Bunch? I'm hoping he's not claiming to have directed the introductory barber's shop scene!

Logged
Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1517



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 05:24:43 PM »

Cahiers. Est-il vrai que vous avez travaillé sur la réalisation de Mon nom est personne signée Tonino Valerii et produit par vous?

S. Leone. J'ai dirigé la seconde équipe. Pour aider à terminer le film plus vite, j'ai dirigé le début, la bataille et le final, pendant que Tonino faisait le reste.

It should probably be translated: "...I directed the beginning, the battle and the ending..."

- - -

It's similar to the statements he made in Simsolo's Conversation Avec Sergio Leone:

Simsolo: Est-il vrai que vous en ayez tourné plusieurs séquences?

Leone: C'est exact. J'ai mis en scène le début, la bataille et le duel final. J'y étais obligé parce qu'Henry Fonda avait un stop-date. C'est-à-dire qu'à partir d'un certain jour, il devait quitter le plateau pour une pièce de théâtre ou un autre film. àfin de tenir le plan de travail, j'ai dirigé la seconde équipe.

Thanks Once. That's interesting because with the Simsolo interview I always wanted to assume that he said "mis en scène" rather than "dirigé" because he set everything up for Valerii to direct without actually directing himself.

However in the Cahiers interview he is saying "dirigé" so there's no room for ambiguity there.

Apart from it being an obvious homage to OUATITW, I just can't see the Leone touch in that first scene and tend to believe Valerii when he says that Leone hadn't even arrived in the US at that point. There's photographic evidence of him helping in the Wild Bunch Battle and the end duel but I haven't seen anything with him there for the opening scene.

One thing for sure is that he directed Terence Hill as he wondered round the fairgound, in the saloon with the glasses and during the peeing sequence, yet Leone doesn't mention any of that.

Logged
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13630

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 09:03:38 PM »

Perhaps he wanted credit only for the parts of the film he thought successful.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2934



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 02:24:22 AM »



Apart from it being an obvious homage to OUATITW, I just can't see the Leone touch in that first scene



But I see it. In every second of it.
Even in an unspectacular scene like Fonda talking to the telegraphist. In his previous 4 westerns Valerii never achieved one scene which achieved half of the beauty of this shots.


To repeat me:
There are only a few ordinary looking shots in the whole film, while Valerii's other films are mainly consisted of average material.
Nobody is an elegant film, while Valerii unfortunately was a clumsy director.


The 3 scenes which Leone mentions are the 3 which most obviously contain the Leone touch, so it was quite generous of him to claim them all for himself. Wink

« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 02:27:11 AM by stanton » Logged

Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1517



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 04:17:12 AM »

There's photographic evidence of Leone doing the scene with Hill at the barber's shop at the very end. Maybe he's just confusing it with the one with Fonda Huh Grin


Logged
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12597


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 05:23:25 AM »

I've seen the photographic evidence at the end in New Orleans, but not the barber shop.

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Novecento
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1517



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2011, 05:32:48 AM »

Check here:

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=126.msg133644#msg133644

Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.039 seconds with 19 queries.