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Author Topic: NEW DIRECTORS CUT  (Read 225250 times)
Don Rogers
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2007, 11:10:11 AM »

This would clean up some loose ends in the existing story -- mainly by answering the question, Where the heck did that Eve character come from?

On the other hand, it appears to do nothing at all to the loose end represented by Frankie Minaldi. We see him in a hospital lobby, and then -- nothing.

On the whole, I wouldn't classify most of these additions as in any way essential to the story, and it's an open question whether Leone would have wanted them 'restored' at this point.

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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2007, 01:19:45 PM »

Derbent 5000 thanks for the posting.  Interesting information.  Last night I was going through a few books I had picked up and was going through a book I picked up sometime ago called Italian Filmmakers Self Portraits: A Selection Of Interviews by Jean A. Gili.  I decided to buy the book for a two part interview with Bernardo Bertolucci, but had forgotten there was a 1984 interview with Sergio Leone.  I haven't read the Frayling biography or the Adrian Martin BFI analysis yet.  I think the Gili interview is cited in both those books.  There were a couple of passages in the interview that I thought fit in with your thread so I thought I would post them.

Gili:
With the passing of the years had the final screenplay become very different from the first adaptation?

Leone:
Yes, it had changed a lot.  For example, there  were, shall we say, historical things in the 1968 part that were clearly understandable; with the passing of the years, they became less so.  We eliminated those.  Initially the film was supposed to begin in a completely different way.  I had written the first part with an American screenwriter who afterwards made a movie with Frankenheimer; he practically stole that first part by giving it to John Frankenheimer's
99 And 44/100 Dead.  The film was released and it was a bad film; there's this sequence in the beginning that I wanted to do, a cemetery along the Hudson River.  So, we changed the original screenplay a lot.  I first started writing with Medioli and Arcalli, and then Arcalli died and I worked with Benvenuti and De Bernardi.  I gave them all the childhood part, a little because I remembered a film that they had written with Franco Rossi, Friends For Life.  Ferrini did the last part, that is, he collaborated with us on the writing of the final script, but the treatment was already finished when he joined. (p 118)

Gili:
Did the long period of waiting and the screenplay's long development help the film?

Leone:
I don't know.  One thing is absolutely sure: the way it was conceived, the film was more than one film, it was two.  Grimaldi, in fact, was hoping it would become two long episodes, a bit like 1900, and this, for better or for worse, was something that remained.  Even after the cuts, it was constructed like that.  This was so true that I still have an hour more to add for TV, an hour already edited but not dubbed, that would make the film four and a half hours long.  Maybe you can tell where it was cut.... nevertheless, the film is rigorously structured.  Clearly, the film might be a little  bitter  to taste, since it is born out of nothingness, that is, out of the  limbo of opium.  There's this character who appears and who,  suddenly, in twenty minutes of the film, goes into oblivion and returns without the public knowing the characters' or story's background.  Then little by little there's a  long flashback to his childhood,  which to me is crucial, since childhood, of course, is the platform  for the entire story of this great friendship between two characters.  It's a little like Once Upon A Time In The West , a dance of death with a man plunging into oblivion .  If the film had a subtitle, it could also be called, " Once Upon A Time A Certain Kind Of Cinema".
It's a homage to things that have interested me; we find here a preoccupation with death which, after fifty, comes automatically.  I see that I've started reading the obituary columns now, though I never read them before.  (pp 118-119)


Gili:
How long did the shooting take?

Leone:

It lasted six or seven months, with a few short breaks and one month devoted to traveling.  In fact, Once Upon A Time In America is equal to two films.  If you consider that I shot Once Upon A Time In The West in  fourteen weeks, automatically I needed thirty for this one. (pp 119-120)

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Kurug3n
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2007, 03:26:32 PM »

does it have any commentary?

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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2007, 10:01:45 PM »

Does anyone know anything about the strange moment where De Niro is being stalked by a frisbee, then the film cuts to him getting out of prison? I remember in Richard Schickel's DVD commentary he mentions that there may be footage cut here.

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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2007, 07:42:50 AM »

At the end of filming, Leone had about 8 to 10 hours worth of footage. With his editor, Nino Baragli, Leone trimmed this down to about 6 hours, and wanted to release the film in two three-hour parts but producers refused
I don't know why they don't just go the whole hog and release the whole 6 hours or at least the longest possible version so long as there is an audio track to accompany the footage.
Or are they going the cynical route by extracting as much dosh from us as they can by releasing stuff in bits and bobs? Sad

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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2007, 08:15:48 AM »

It might of been interesting as an experiment to put everything back in but as Sergio's no longer around whose not to say, having seen everything put in, he might have said take that out etc. To have them seperatly allows us to enjoy them restored without making a 'restorers cut' of the film rather like the 2006 Pat Garett Cut.

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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2007, 08:19:23 AM »

But to quote Derbent 5000:-

"With his editor, Nino Baragli, Leone trimmed this down to about 6 hours, and wanted to release the film in two three-hour parts but producers refused"




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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2007, 05:31:08 AM »

Does anyone know anything about the strange moment where De Niro is being stalked by a frisbee, then the film cuts to him getting out of prison? I remember in Richard Schickel's DVD commentary he mentions that there may be footage cut here.

That's just a weird assumption based on nothing.  The transition (frisbee to suitcase) as it is works fine - it's a very jarring moment, but it doesn't need to be anything deeper.

Keep in mind that the original post was taken from Wikipedia, which includes material contributed by me. . .  Grin So take it with a grain of salt.

The scene with Noodles pointing a gun in bed was probably taken from the deleted scene where Max and Carol barge into their hotel, saying they need to go to the beach.  This was covered by the scene in the hospital lobby in the final film, so I don't think it's necessary (unless of course I'm wrong.)

Also, do we really need to find out that Eve "killed herself"?  Because clearly she didn't, and Noodles knows about it. . . That would just make things much more confusing.  I know that was in the original script, but it definitely wasn't in the film.

And why does everyone assume Joe Pesci's character should have more screen time?  Read the outline of the original script in Frayling's bio, there wasn't anything other than the two scenes he was in (though he was called Esposito rather than Minaldi).  Also, while I'd like to see more of the Danny Aiello/Treat Williams subplot, it would only be if it doesn't make the film awkward.  I would like to see the intro to Eve (although, though her unannounced appearance makes little sense, somehow it never bothered me), some of the cut 1922 sequences, and the scene with older Max and O'Donnell, but otherwise, I'm fine with the film as it is.

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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2007, 08:28:03 AM »

I always thought the frisbee was a rather cool transition back in time.  The scene is full of tension.  Noodles has this case of money.  He's been away and the area looks more run down.  He's really concerned about walking alone with that suitcase full of cash.  Then the frisbee unexpectedly comes swirling by; the suitcase transitions us back to when Noodles is released from prison.  All the other transitions are done so seamlessly.  Lights blending into other lights, old Noodles looking into the peephole becomes young Noodles.  This was one of the few segues that was kind of abrupt.  I think also it was effective because it sort of fits in with the dream quality of the film.  The slow pace, long held shots and the very abrupt actions from time to time.... like in dreams.  The other thing i was thinking about the frisbee was that maybe it could be viewed as metaphor.  The circular structure of the film....beginning and ending in the opium den.  Perhaps the frisbee as a spinning object in the air or space.....could be representative  of the way Leone destroys time for the viewer with the structure of the film.  Maybe that's reading too much into it and it could just be Leone's wicked sense of humor..... Smiley

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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2007, 03:22:03 PM »

Good point Slowstir.  It's a weird, bizarre, surrealistic moment in a weird, bizarre, surrealistic film - why does it need to be part of a bigger scene?  This is a huge presumption on somebody's part.  Huh

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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2007, 03:35:50 PM »

In total agreement with you Groggy.  I thought Schickel was off track when he made that slight suggestion in the commentary.   What could be possibly missing from that scene?  Do we need to see kids walking around beforehand with a frisbee in their hands.  It has to be a sudden happening for it to be effective in the scene.  I guess because of the editing history of the film there's always that speculation and conjecture. 

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Derbent 5000
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2007, 08:29:24 PM »

It might of been interesting as an experiment to put everything back in but as Sergio's no longer around whose not to say, having seen everything put in, he might have said take that out etc. To have them seperatly allows us to enjoy them restored without making a 'restorers cut' of the film rather like the 2006 Pat Garett Cut.

check ot this page some intresting material about movie maybe some facts too

http://articles.dhwritings.com/m16a.html

http://articles.dhwritings.com/m10.html

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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2007, 08:39:21 PM »

Thanks for those articles. Interesting read. The US Theatrical we basically taken out of Sergio's hands which is such a crying shame. I'm glad we have the 'Cannes version' on DVD now. An editor I worked with is convinced that he's seen a longer version then the Cannes cut. Not sure if thats true though...

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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2007, 08:41:19 PM »

Hang on I'm confused, they are restoring the footage back in to a new version? Another article posted here said about a new DVD release with the footage avaliable sepertatly not restored back in. The thing is if Leone and Baragli did this six hour cut then there must be a version of this somewhere. In editing it works like this. You first have the work print which collects all the footage together so the editor and the director have something to work from. The next version to be made is called the directors cut. This is the version of the movie the director feels is his and how he sees it. This is then often screened to the studios and producers who make their own versions till a version is made which both sides agree on. So in theory the 6 hour version would be Leone's directors cut which also means there must be a copy of this to go back to when creating the new restoration version. If they can find this they they should be able to use this a guide. Of couse I would like to see how they're going to do the dubbing (i.e impressionists or the original cast)

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« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2007, 05:02:06 AM »

Hang on I'm confused, they are restoring the footage back in to a new version? Another article posted here said about a new DVD release with the footage avaliable sepertatly not restored back in. The thing is if Leone and Baragli did this six hour cut then there must be a version of this somewhere. In editing it works like this. You first have the work print which collects all the footage together so the editor and the director have something to work from. The next version to be made is called the directors cut. This is the version of the movie the director feels is his and how he sees it. This is then often screened to the studios and producers who make their own versions till a version is made which both sides agree on. So in theory the 6 hour version would be Leone's directors cut which also means there must be a copy of this to go back to when creating the new restoration version. If they can find this they they should be able to use this a guide. Of couse I would like to see how they're going to do the dubbing (i.e impressionists or the original cast)
Very interesting insight into this part of the  filmaking process LA Afro

Do you think it's likely that the directors 6 hour version would contain the Morricone score throughout?

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