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Author Topic: Fletcher Scene  (Read 33678 times)
Shambaby
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« on: May 19, 2012, 07:32:10 AM »

Leone: "I prefer is this one, that bit of reclusiveness is just what I like about it.  I saw the scene with Louise Fletcher.  It only answered very obvious things.  Sergio created his masterpiece by being to forced to whittle it down to the utmost important scenes.  And it give it that "reclusiveness" or sense of mystery that keeps us intrigued and using our brain throughout the movie.  Also, I dislike the razor-sharp focus of the new scenes.

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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 06:00:55 PM »

Just watched the scene (posted by MattViola in the other thread) I have to say the scene really bites; it is awkward and adds nothing of interest and actually hurts what was one of my favorite sequences of the film.

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 10:57:53 PM »

Abbreviations:
229MV = "229-minute version"
RV = "restored version"

----------------------------------------
I like that scene in the cemetery that is in the RV.

The issue of how the mausoleum and recording got there is one (of the many) that IMO was not explained properly in the 229MV.
It may not have required explanation as badly as, say, Noodles meeting Eve, but still, it is something that IMO was not as clear as it could have been in the 229MV, and I am glad that they have the explanation in the RV.

And the part where Fletcher encourages Noodles to get a cemetery plot, fits wonderfully with the theme of this movie, about death and passage of time. This is all a dance of death. (What OUATITW is to the Wild West and the Western Movie Genre; OUATIA is to the modern American Dream and the Gangster Movie Genre). For that line alone, this scene is great.

As for the part with limo, and then Noodles seeing it blow up outside the Bailey mansion: it explains why Noodles is following this story. In the 229MV, the movie cuts from the car in the river to the newscast of this story, with no explanation as to why Noodles cares about it. In the RV, now that we know Noodles has seen the car tailing him blow up, we know why he is following this story, and why fat Moe asks him if he knows any of the guys they are mentioning on the newscast.
And it puts the whole Secretary Bailey connection into focus a bit earlier and more clearly. Some may say it is too blatant, but IMO there is a lot that is unexplained in the 229MV, and I am happy for anything that the RV explains better.

(I just wish they'd say where Noodles got that party invitation from, and how he figured out that Deborah was living with Secretary Bailey. That still bothers me. Though I'd bet that the 6-hour version explains it  Wink )

« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 01:27:14 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 02:15:11 AM »


And it puts the whole Secretary Bailey connection into focus a bit earlier and more clearly. Some may say it is too blatant, but IMO there is a lot that is unexplained in the 229MV, and I am happy for anything that the RV explains better.


Films don't need too many explanations. If everything is explained into the detail films lose their secret. And often begin to drag. I admire directors which can tell in a short time span a complex story.

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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 05:09:42 AM »

Films don't need too many explanations. If everything is explained into the detail films lose their secret. And often begin to drag. I admire directors which can tell in a short time span a complex story.

When analyzing whether a scene fits, IMO it should be taken on a case-by-case basis, and not with general rules about telling complex stories in short time spans.

And I think that in the case of the Cemetery scene, it does help to explain certain parts of the story that are not explained as well as they should be. OUATIA is my all-time favorite movie, but it always bothered me how many plot points aren't explained better. (Of course, the mystery is part of it, and I don't want all the mysteries to be revealed right away!) But there are certain things that should have been fleshed out just a little better. How the mausoleum was erected and how the recording of Cockeye's Tune and the inscription got there, is something that always bothered me.... And the part with the limo explains Noodles's intense interest in the story of the Bailey scandal. In the 229MV, Noodles suddenly shows an intense interest in some political scandal unfolding, and there really isn't yet much justification  as to why he should be so interested in that story. (Unless he had already received Bailey's invitation; but we don't know anything about the invitation yet, and really never find out when/how he receives it, and that is another point that IMO definitely should have been explained).

Maybe you can argue that the limo scene is a bit too direct and could have been done in a little more subtly, but I still prefer it as it is more than what we have in the 229MV, in which there is really no justification for why Noodles should care about the unfolding Bailey scandal. Not everything should be told to Noodles right away, but as an audience member, I would like to know what Noodles knows. Knowing that some guy claiming to be Aaronson is responsible for this mausoleum helps explain a little.

And no matter what else is in that scene, the last line about Noodles selecting his own "haven" makes it all worth it!

« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 08:35:55 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 07:30:42 AM »

Films don't need too many explanations. If everything is explained into the detail films lose their secret. And often begin to drag. I admire directors which can tell in a short time span a complex story.

Agreed. With Leone's films in particular, their eliptical nature is often part of the charm. I never cared how/why Angel Eyes got to Betterville in GBU; the shock of seeing him there was enough for me without exposition. I don't need a depiction of the Cheyenne-Morton shootout in OUATITW for Frank's return to the train to work dramatically. I don't apply this universally to Leone's films (the initial shorter cuts of OUATITW and DYS were definitely deficient) but sometimes it's fine to leave well-enough alone.

My problem with OUATIA isn't that certain things were unexplained; no gaping plot holes anyway. It never bothered me they never showed Noodles never met Eve and none of the info imparted in this Fletcher scene adds anything of import. I guess if you like everything explained to you in big bold letters they're fine. Maybe we can add a long epilogue explaining about the garbage truck, or an end credit caption telling the audience whether the film's a dream or not. I don't see how leaving things ambiguous, or allowing the audience their own interpretation, is at all bad.

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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:53:56 AM »

I think this is precisely what Leone meant when he said, "The other perhaps explained things more clearly and it could have been done on TV in two or three parts. But the version that I prefer is this one, that bit of reclusiveness is just what I like about it.

Mat

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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 08:21:22 AM »

t in analyzing whether a scene fits, IMO it should be taken on a case-by-case basis, and not with general rules about telling complex stories in short time spans.

It isn't a general rule. Haven't said that, haven't meant that.

Of course it depends what a film demands


Quote

And I think that in the case of the Cemetery scene, it does help to explain certain parts of the story that are not explained as well as they should be. OUATIA is my all-time favorite movie, but it always bothered me how many plot points aren't explained better. (Of course, the mystery is part of it, and I don't want all the mysteries to be revealed right away!) But there are certain things that should have been fleshed out just a little better. How the mausoleum was erected and how the recording of Cockeye's Tune and the inscription got there, is something that always bothered me.... And the part with the limo explains Noodles's intense interest in the story of the Bailey scandal. In the 229MV, Noodles suddenly shows an intense interest in some political scandal unfolding, and there really isn't yet much justification  as to why he should be so interested in that story. (Unless he had already received Bailey's invitation; but we don't know anything about the invitation yet, and really never find out when/how he receives it, and that is another point that IMO definitely should have been explained).

The Mausoleum and the invitation parts never made me ask for anything more.


Quote

Maybe you can argue that the limo scene is a bit too direct and could have been done in a little more subtly, but I still prefer it as it is more than what we have in the 229MV, in which there is really no justification for why Noodles should care about the unfolding Bailey scandal. Not everything should be told to Noodles right away, but as an audience member, I would like to know what Noodles knows. Knowing that some guy claiming to be Aaronson is responsible for this mausoleum helps explain a little slesh out


The limo scene on the other hand is probably something which makes the film slightly better, but I have to see it.

One thing which always irritated me was the short moment when we see Joe Pesci leaving the hospital. The directing seems to indicate that this has some importance for later, but the film comes never back to him. But this isn't explained in the new scenes nor have I ever read anything about it. I still don't understand it.

The only other thing I ever thought was that the role of Treat Williams doesn't make much sense in the 229 min narrative. It was the only character who seemed to be unfinished. His appearance in the film was either too long or too short. His new scene at the end could probably repair this narrative problem.



« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 08:23:32 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 08:25:34 AM »

Quote
One thing which always irritated me was the short moment when we see Joe Pesci leaving the hospital. The directing seems to indicate that this has some importance for later, but the film comes never back to him. But this isn't explained in the new scenes nor have I ever read anything about it. I still don't understand it.

I never thought there was any great mystery or significance to that scene. It's just a quick symbol of the Mob's continued hold on Max despite Noodles' attempt to maintain their friendship. Frayling's outline in STDWD doesn't indicate any extra scenes with Pesci's character.

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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2012, 08:36:43 AM »

I never thought there was any great mystery or significance to that scene. It's just a quick symbol of the Mob's continued hold on Max despite Noodles' attempt to maintain their friendship. Frayling's outline in STDWD doesn't indicate any extra scenes with Pesci's character.

Yes, I know.

But every time I re-watch the film I still think there's something missing, or it must have an importance I don't understand.

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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 08:52:47 AM »

The scene with Pesci at the hospital, like the scene with the Frisbee, is one that many people assumed was part of a bigger scene, but is actually not (based on everything I have read). And I've seen it explained well enough to satisfy me that it is indeed not part of a bigger scene.

The point of that scene is to show the connection between the Mafia, organized labor, and politics. Sharkey has visited with O'Donnell, and now Joe is visiting him as well. So the mafia is backing organized labor, politicians are getting involved, Max has thrown in with them. Noodles wants to continue living without any bosses, and Max has moved way beyond that. What started out as doing some hits for the Combination has now become a full-fledged partnership; and Max is about to start laying plans to get rid of the dead weight he is carrying around.

---------------------------

No Groggy, I don't need something in big, bold letters, though if you want to believe that, I'll let you enjoy that thought.
It's not that the movie makes no sense at all, like the 139-minute version. All I am saying is that there are some parts that should be explained a little better.

Take for example  some scenes with Bugsy (which were not restored): the gang asks the Capuano Brothers to have Bugsy's job, then we see Bugsy going after the gang and trying to kill them. In deleted scenes, it turned out that the gang ratted on Bugsy and got a shipment he was escorting smashed by cops, and Bugsy arrested. Then, they took over Bugsy's job. So yeah, it makes a little more sense now when they say they want Bugsy's job, and when Bugsy eventually gets out, he comes gunning for them. Does the movie work without it? Yes. Is it better with it? Yes. Ditto for the Fletcher scenes and the limo scenes.

You know who agreed with me? Sergio Leone. At least if you believe Frayling, who says that Leone very reluctantly had to cut 45-50 minutes of what Leone called "significant material."

As for those GBU restored scenes which you seem to hate, they were all in the Italian print. Leone wanted them in. The only scene he wanted removed was the Cave scene (and it certainly should not be in any print). Otherwise, he wanted all those restored scenes in there, and it is only United Artists who made them be removed. There is no justification for Angel Eyes showing up at Betterville otherwise. But maybe Sergio Leone liked to have everything in big, bold letters?

And more importantly, not every scene is necessarily there cuz it is essential for the story. Eg. Leone was really upset that the desert sequences with Tuco and Blondie were trimmed, because he said that Delli Colli shot them so beautifully, like the great surrealist paintings. (I don't think anyone will argue that they were necessary for the narrative, but narrative isn't everything, especially in a Leone film). Of course, you have every right to disagree with Leone's preference, (just as I have every right to disagree with Hitchcock's final shot in Psycho  Wink ) But wanting certain points to be explained better does not mean that I think the narrative doesn't work without them


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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 09:02:26 AM »

I'll make the general point that no sane director wants their work to be cut. Especially one like Leone, who had quite a bit of trouble with studio editors. It's more important, to me, that Leone was ultimately satisfied with the 229 minute version, even calling it "my version." "Significant material" does not mean essential. And if something is near-perfect it's best to leave well-enough alone.

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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 09:12:34 AM »

I find it amazing: A year ago, we were all excited beyond belief at hearing that we would be getting new Leone material. This was a day that we never ever thought would ever happen for the rest of eternity: NEW LEONE MATERIAL! We were all overjoyed! And when it turned out that the amount of new material released was only half as long as we had believed it would be, we were all upset because we wanted to have as much material as possible. Our goal was to have as much Leone material as we could possibly have. We were all eagerly anticipating it! And now, when that long-awaited day has finally arrived (actually, it will only arrive when it is actually widely released, but still, it has arrived somewhat...) there is all this complaining about whether this stuff is truly necessary.

I, for one, am thrilled beyond belief that this material is released, and I hope that more will eventually be released. If you think the 229MV is the best version, relax -- there won't be any Leone Police going around confiscating your 229MV! Enjoy it. Imagine what you'd feel if you were told that this new restored version is all a hoax -- I think you would be mighty disappointed. So my suggestion is to be glad for the new release. And even if you think some or all of the material is unnecessary or even bad -- which you have every right to believe you have every right to believe -- then at least enjoy it as an extra, as a piece of trivia, and feel free to consider the 229MV the "true version." (and feel free to be thankful for studio execs forcing Leone to trim to 229 mins  Wink)

(and btw, will never believe that the 229MV is Leone's truly preferred version, even though he did say something in the late 80's to the effect that it was, but at that point he probably believed that no longer version would ever be released, and he wanted to put a brave face on it and promote that version. In my heart of hearts, I truly believe that if he had cart blanche, he would have put out a significantly longer version). Therefore, while there is no way to ever know the precise version he would have released if he would have been given the opportunity to do so, I am supremely confident that the restored version is closer to what Leone wanted than the 229MV is.

BE GLAD!!!!  Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2012, 09:17:35 AM »

I find it amazing: A year ago, we were all excited beyond belief at hearing that we would be getting new Leone material.

I wasn't.

Quote
And now, when that long-awaited day has finally arrived (actually, it will only arrive when it is actually widely released, but still, it has arrived somewhat...) there is all this complaining about whether this stuff is truly necessary.

Is there some point you think you're making Drink? One can have high expectations that are dashed by reality. I guess if something doesn't live up to the hype we shouldn't complain?

Anyway, I'm not going to "appreciate" something Leone-related just because it exists. That's a very simple way of thinking. When I watch GBU it's the 161 minute cut not the Kirk restoration and I suspect this would be the same. The scenes in and of themselves are interesting but why integrate them into the existing film? That's what special features are for.

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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2012, 09:22:01 AM »

Quote
while there is no way to ever know the precise version he would have released if he would have been given the opportunity to do so,

It seems you missed my point entirely. Not surprising.

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