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MatViola
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« Reply #540 on: December 15, 2012, 09:12:49 AM »

So first the film was removed from theatrical circulation. Now the Blu-Ray is being removed from circulation. Just how far is Andrea Leone's head up his ass? Does he even bother, ya know, like, watching the film before releasing it? In a 1984 interview with American Film, Sergio said he had "a wretch of a son." Is this being borne out?

Mat

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« Reply #541 on: December 15, 2012, 02:28:24 PM »

For him, SL's legacy is just a way to get D&D's money.

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« Reply #542 on: December 15, 2012, 08:36:42 PM »

For him, SL's legacy is just a way to get D&D's money.

 Grin

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« Reply #543 on: December 17, 2012, 03:36:10 AM »

Another recent review of the new Blu-ray:

www.badtaste.it - English Translation

www.badtaste.it -Original Italian Review

It's has some information on the picture quality and states that the disc is region free.

Some viewers are claiming that the picture quality is not that bad but on my normal 40" LCD TV with default video settings it is unwatchable.  Possibly on LED, Plasma, Projection and CRT TVs with different video settings it may look better.  A glossy or matte screen may make a difference.

I'm ignoring the brightness being turned up in the first scene, the lack of detail in the shadows, the faded look of the colors and the quality of new scenes.

Most of the movie looks very grainy.  When the movie is paused, it's revealed that the grainy effect is caused by the merging of artifacts and extraneous items.  It's still noticeable on smaller TVs, a 19" and a 22".

00:39:08 Part of the scene where Noodles is watching young Deborah dancing

On the positive side, there are hints that there may be more definition in the new version.  It just needs a proper transfer.  Noodles face and the grass in the left part of this comparison photo has slightly more detail than the corresponding items in the 229 min version on the right.

 

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 07:06:21 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #544 on: December 17, 2012, 03:41:56 AM »

Hm yes, on the other hand... is this real definition or just a basic "increase sharpness" filter that just recreates artifacts from blurred areas?

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« Reply #545 on: December 17, 2012, 03:54:18 AM »

The masters are said to be excellent and hopefully we'll get to see a much better version in the not too distant future.  If it is region free it's good news. I can't help wondering what WB's 229 min BD would look like with a better treatment.

 

« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 05:10:35 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #546 on: December 17, 2012, 04:27:16 AM »

why would the "original" 229 minutes look worse than it does on the WB dvd and blu ray? nevermind the fact that supposedly, there was a major restoration of those 229 minutes as well -- why would they look worse than they did previously?  As for the possibility that it's the size of the file: is there really that much of a difference between a 229-minute file and one that is 250 minutes? Or is it possibly because the restoration caused the original 229 minutes to be a much larger file than it was on the WB disc?

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« Reply #547 on: December 17, 2012, 04:44:43 AM »

The compression rate on WB's 229 min BD is worse than the new BD.

There was some criticism when the 229 min BD was released and given a better treatment, it would of course look better. There's no definite news about versions outside Italy and a better Italian or American version would kill off WB's original BD.

 

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« Reply #548 on: December 18, 2012, 03:45:09 AM »

why would the "original" 229 minutes look worse than it does on the WB dvd and blu ray? nevermind the fact that supposedly, there was a major restoration of those 229 minutes as well -- why would they look worse than they did previously?  As for the possibility that it's the size of the file: is there really that much of a difference between a 229-minute file and one that is 250 minutes? Or is it possibly because the restoration caused the original 229 minutes to be a much larger file than it was on the WB disc?

The "original" scenes on the new BD were not taken from WB's DVD or BD, so they can look better or worse, there is no direct relationship. The restored "original" scenes came from the original 35mm camera negative, which is conserved in the vaults of Twentieth Century Fox.

http://www.gucci.com/us/worldofgucci/articles/once-upon-a-time-in-america-gucci-restoration

There are quite a few before and after shots already on this thread including:

http://www.faubourgsainthonoreguide.com/mode_/gucci-sheds-light-on-sergio-leone

I've not seen the 4K restoration but it is said to be excellent. The problem seems to lie in the transfer process to the new BD. A better compression rate would help but there may be other factors - filters, effects, DNR etc which may need to be corrected.

Regarding copyright and rights - WB are often quoted - they are in fact held by Regency Enterprises which is a group of companies founded by Arnon Milchan.

A bit more about the restoration process from Davide Pozzi, director of L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory:

The original 35mm camera negative, which had been carefully conserved in the vaults of Twentieth Century Fox, was scanned at a resolution of 4K at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging (MPI). The scanned files were then worked on at 4K resolution in Cineteca di Bologna’s L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, where the complete frame-by-frame digital restoration was carried out.

The most demanding and delicate phase of the restoration was without doubt the color correction, working to recreate the sooty and smoky atmosphere of the ‘20s and ‘30s and the colder, more pallid atmosphere of the late ‘60s. As a reference in this phase, Martin Scorsese’s own positive copy - conserved at MoMA, New York - was fundamental, as were the contributions of numerous people who worked on the original production and lent their experiences and memories of working on Leone’s set to the restoration process.

The soundtrack for Once Upon a Time in America was restored in mono and remastered into 5.1 channel stereo at Chace Audio in Burbank, California in 2001, under the supervision of Regency Pictures and Elissa Loparco (Senior Vice President of Post-Production and Music), Schawn Belston (SVP, Library and Technical Services at Twentieth Century Fox), and Robert Heiber (CEO of Chace). To create this track, Chace engineers used a 35mm 3-track magnetic sound track containing the mixed composite, the mono music and the mono sound effects. Now, ten years later, the soundtrack’s definition, dynamic and spatialisation have been further improved by the use of the latest audio technologies at L’Immagine Ritrovata and optimised for digital theatrical release.

The main challenge faced was represented by the desire to re-insert the scenes cut by Sergio Leone. A team of film scholars worked for months researching all available information and testimonies. Ever aware of the delicacy of the intervention, these scenes, previously considered lost, were inserted in an extended version in the most harmonious way possible. Technically, the homogeneity of the unedited scenes was the biggest problem, as unfortunately the negatives for these scenes no longer exist.

The only materials available were discarded strips of working positives which had been badly preserved. Making this task even more difficult was the fact that the working positives had been printed without particular care, as originally they were part of the working copies which circulated between the assistant editors and sound editors as a work reference. The images in these sequences were ruined, not just by their poor state of preservation, but also through their use as working copies.

  

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 07:05:56 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #549 on: December 18, 2012, 08:09:49 AM »

yes, this info was all posted here previously; around the time of the Cannes festival. Does it implicate the issues with the blu ray?

Also, I don't think it was very clear whether the reason they only restored half of the cut 40-50 minutes is cuz that's all they could find in decent condition, or if it was a conscious decision for some other reason? In other words, is restoring the remaining 20-30 minutes a matter of finding copies of that footage which are in decent shape, or was there some other reason (eg. too expensive to do all of it at once or whatever)? I am just wondering if they are holding out on us here with those additional 20-30 minutes.


I want the missing scene where Noodles buys Eve the bras as a gift... only to learn that her big tits are actually falsies; she's flat as a fucking table. That occurs after the scene where Deborah stiffs him at the train station, but before they go to Florida. Ie. even after he first brougt Eve to his hotel room, he still was dreaming of Deborah; it's only after Deborah "shuts him out of her life" at the train station that he goes back to Eve and really falls in love with her. Which explains why they are so close from the Florida scene on.


Also, there is a scene where the young gang rats out Bugsy to the Prohibition cops for transporting the Capuano Bros. liquor; the cops smash the liquor, and Bugsy goes to jail, then we have the scene where the gang goes to the Capuana Bros. and says "we want to do what Bugsy did..." and show the salt invention. This isn't a huge deal, but without that scene, it doesn't make sense why the boys say " we want to do what Bugsy DID. With that scene, it's all explained why they se past tense: cuz Bugsy is in JAIL!" (And that further explains why Bugsy wants to kill them once he gets out).


There's also a scene where elderly Noodles shows the rabbi the letter about the cemetery, and the rabbi tells him that his 3 friends' graves have been accounted for, ie. all the stuff he later tells Fat Moe during their first meeting in 35 years. I suppose it's not all that important that we see the rabbi telling Noodles that, since Noodles repeats it all to Fat Moe anyway.

But what I REALLY wanna see, in addition to the further footage of Eve I mentioned previously, is the footage of elderly Noodles's meeting with Carol, where she further explains the circumstances surrounding that fateful night.

Also, I am not certain, but I think there may be more footage of young noodles's relationship with Deborah. If so, IMO that is hugely important. cuz in the 229MV, young Deborah shuts Noodles out of her life once she sees that he chooses the gangster's life (and gets beaten up by Bugsy). But, next thing you know, once he gets out of prison, Deborah is there to see him at fat Moe's and says she was counting the days till he got out and on their date at the fancy hotel, she says, 'Noodles, you are the only person i ever cared about..." Well, once Connely shut him out, why should McGovern care about him? However if it's true that there is a further scene of Connely making out with him, that shows that she takes him back, and that makes it more understandable why after he gets out of prison, we learn from McGovern that she was counting the days.


(Anyway, I am sure I wrote most or all of this shit way back somewhere in these 37 pages of this thread  Wink)

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« Reply #550 on: December 19, 2012, 04:17:06 AM »

A quick summary of the changes involving the new scenes during the last 15 years.

In Oreste De Fornari's 1997 book on Sergio Leone, he says: "A new edition of Once Upon A Time In America is being prepared which restores 31 minutes of footage that were sacrificed in the final version."
 
In 2000 Film4 released a documentary "Once Upon a Time: Sergio Leone". This included teasing images of 6 film reel cans labelled "Cemetery - Louise Fletcher", "McGovern - Shakespeare scene", "Eve out takes" and Arnon Milchan saying: "There's another half hour we're planning to put back and come with a full director's version. This time I know what to do."

At an interview with Raffaella Leone in 2006 she mentioned the 40 minutes of unpublished material they had found and a planned restoration with Sky.

When Andrea Leone acquired the rights from Arnon Milchan in mid 2011, he said:

"Mio padre aveva realizzato un montaggio di quattro ore e mezzo, che in Europa divennero tre ore e quaranta..."

My father made a version of four and a half hours (270 minutes), which was cut in Europe to three hours and forty (220 minutes).

At the same time Gian Luca Farinelli, director of Cineteca Bologna, commented:

"I 40 minuti di tagli, che fece lo stesso Leone, sono già in Cineteca in pellicola dalla fine di dicembre..."

The 40 minutes of cuts, that Leone made, have been with Cineteca since the end of December. (presumably December 2010)

In May 2012 it was announced that the extended version of the movie would be shown at Cannes and details of the six blocks of additional scenes with a total running time of 26 minutes were given.  However adding the running times together reveals a total of 22 mins 34 secs only.

This has been reduced further and the total running time for the additional scenes on the new Blu-ray is 20 mins 51 secs only.  The biggest change is the scene between Noodles and Arnon Milchan as the chauffeur where almost a minute has been cut.

According to an interview which Sergio Leone did in 1984 he cut 50 minutes from the movie including "une scène d'amour avec Deborah petite fille" - a scene of love with young Deborah.  Scott Tiler who played young Noodles has commented on the one occasion he kissed Jennifer Connelly which is just after Deborah recites her Song of Songs in the back room of Gellys:

"My beloved is white and ruddy.  His skin is as the most fine gold.  His cheeks are as a bed of spices - even though he hasn't washed since last December.  His eyes are as the eyes of doves.  His body is as bright ivory.  His legs are as pillars of marble - in pants so dirty they stand by themselves.  He is altogether lovable - but he'll always be a two-bit punk...so he'll never be my beloved.  What a shame."

It may be pure speculation but on other boards and blogs it has been suggested that this is the scene that Leone described as "une scène d'amour avec Deborah petite fille" which was originally intended as one of the deleted scenes, reducing the running time to 220 minutes, but was re-inserted prior to the release in theaters in Europe bringing the running time back up to 229 minutes.

There are obviously another 20 minutes or so of unreleased footage and it is difficult to imagine that they are in a worse state than the recently restored new scenes.  Perhaps the further scenes between Noodles and Eve or Noodles and Carol cannot be simply reinserted, perhaps they contradict other parts of the movie or cannot be made homogeneous.  Hopefully one day we will find out and get to see them.  In the meantime if, as Davide Pozzi says, the negatives for the new scenes no longer exist and the only materials available are discarded strips of working positives, was anything in those six film reel cans in the Film 4 documentary from 2000, were they just film props or has something happened?

  

« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 04:51:42 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #551 on: December 19, 2012, 04:34:27 AM »



There are obviously another 20 minutes or so of unreleased footage and it is difficult to imagine that they are in a worse state than the recently restored new scenes.  Perhaps the further scenes between Noodles and Eve or Noodles and Carol cannot be simply reinserted, perhaps they contradict other parts of the movie or canot be made homogeneous.  Hopefully one day we will find out and get to see them.  In the meantime if, as Davide Pozzi says, the negatives for the new scenes no longer exist and the only materials available are discarded strips of working positives, was anything in those six film reel cans in the Film 4 documentary from 2000, were they just film props or has something happened?

  


The only thing I can thing of that contradicts other parts of the movie, is part of the scene with elderly Carol at The Bailey Foundation's nursing home. She tells Noodles how Eve waited for him to return, got depressed waiting in dark hotel room, downing pills, and eventually killed herself. Obviously, this is inconsistent with the opening scene in the movie, where Eve is killed by the Combination's hit men.

Was the opening scene added later (necessitating the removal of that part of the scene with elderly Carol), or is it intended that she doesn't know what she's talking about?
Of her comments to Noodles that are included in the 229MV, she is partly correct (Max put it in our heads to tip off the cops), but partially wrong (that Max planned his own suicide), although that's really the point, that Max tricked everyone into thinking he was dead. So, even though she is wrong about that point, that doesn't mean she is necessarily supposed to be an unreliable source.

Anyway, other than that footage of her describing a false account of Eve's death, none of the other deleted scenes conflict with the 229MV. (you can download the deleted scenes at A1's site http://msb247.awardspace.com/ just click "Links and Downloads" on the left side of the page, then click "Additional Scenes" on the bottom right of the page.

I believe that the shooting script that's available on that page includes these deleted scenes as well.

« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 04:36:15 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #552 on: December 19, 2012, 06:52:13 AM »

The only thing I can think of that contradicts other parts of the movie, is part of the scene with elderly Carol at The Bailey Foundation's nursing home. She tells Noodles how Eve waited for him to return, got depressed waiting in dark hotel room, downing pills, and eventually killed herself. Obviously, this is inconsistent with the opening scene in the movie, where Eve is killed by the Combination's hit men.

Was the opening scene added later (necessitating the removal of that part of the scene with elderly Carol), or is it intended that she doesn't know what she's talking about?
Of her comments to Noodles that are included in the 229MV, she is partly correct (Max put it in our heads to tip off the cops), but partially wrong (that Max planned his own suicide), although that's really the point, that Max tricked everyone into thinking he was dead. So, even though she is wrong about that point, that doesn't mean she is necessarily supposed to be an unreliable source.

I can't remember Sergio Leone using narration/voice-overs much in his movies.  In the Carol at the Bailey Foundation scene her words "Max made fools of us Noodles..." is off camera and could have easily been transferred from another scene.  When we do see Carol, it's difficut to tell initially if her lips are in sync with the words spoken.  As you say Carol talking about how Eve committed suicide with pills wouldn't make sense if simply re-inserted.

I suppose it depends if Leone made the cuts and submitted the movie to the Ladd Co or if, after removing the deleted scenes, he irreversibly altered some of the original scenes.

Before the falsies scene, Noodles meets Eve in the hospital elevator so Max saying that he has a yen for the seashore himself, Noodles asking "Do you wanna go swimming?" etc and Joe Pesci's appearance at the hospital would have to be altered.

Beginning and end frames and obsolete themes and phrases may be a problem.  Suicide was originally a recurring theme and the movie was originally going from Noodles at the Bailey Foundation looking through a window at the darkness outside and saying "Suicide" followed by Deborah as Cleopatra re-enacting one of the most memorable and famous suicides in history.

I've not seen any evidence that scenes such as Bugsy's arrest or Noodles conversation with the Rabbi in 1968 were filmed but yes it would have been good to see them and some of the scenes would have added to the story and assisted interpretation and understanding.

(Anyway, I am sure I wrote most or all of this shit way back somewhere in these 37 pages of this thread  Wink)  

Avmagazine.it are now on page 70 of a similar thread.

Some further news about the new Blu-ray.  It's back on sale at Amazon.it at a reduced price and can be ordered via Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.  Some reviewers are saying that it looks better on Plasma TVs. Glossy and matte screens may also make a difference.

http://www.movieplayer.it/homevideo/articoli/il-blu-ray-di-c-era-una-volta-in-america-extended-cut_10325/

http://www.movieplayer.it/homevideo - English translation

I'm not sure how this reviewer can give 3/10 for extras when there aren't any. Perhaps it's 6/10 for picture quality of the original scenes and 3/10 for the additional (extra) scenes.
  
 

« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 07:02:06 AM by chris » Logged
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« Reply #553 on: December 19, 2012, 07:01:51 AM »

Some reviewers are saying that it looks better on Plasma TVs.
No doubt. But then, everything does.

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« Reply #554 on: December 19, 2012, 07:08:07 AM »

I can't remember Sergio Leone using narration/voice-overs much in his movies.  In the Carol at the Bailey Foundation scene her words "Max made fools of us Noodles..." is off camera and could have easily been transferred from another scene.  When we do see Carol, it's difficut to tell initially if her lips are in sync with the words spoken.  As you say Carol talking about how Eve committed suicide with pills wouldn't make sense if simply re-inserted.

I suppose it depends if Leone made the cuts and submitted the movie to the Ladd Co or if, after removing the deleted scenes, he irreversibly altered some of the original scenes.

Before the falsies scene, Noodles meets Eve in the hospital elevator so Max saying that he has a yen for the seashore himself, Noodles asking "Do you wanna go swimming?" etc and Joe Pesci's appearance at the hospital would have to be altered.

Beginning and end frames and obsolete themes and phrases may be a problem.  Suicide was originally a recurring theme and the movie was originally going from Noodles at the Bailey Foundation looking through a window at the darkness outside and saying "Suicide" followed by Deborah as Cleopatra re-enacting one of the most memorable and famous suicides in history.

I've not seen any evidence that scenes such as Bugsy's arrest or Noodles conversation with the Rabbi in 1968 were filmed but yes it would have been good to see them and some of the scenes would have added to the story and assisted interpretation and understanding.

 


Yes, you are correct; the dialogue in that scene with elderly Carol was taken from somewhere else (I think in Carol's own room in the nursing home). Obviously, it's essential to show that scene, cuz that's where Noodles finds out about Deborah, but since the dialogue was spoken in Carol's room in the nursing home, it was used a voice over, so you don't see a closeup of Carol speaking. Now that you mention it, yeah, it would therefore be really tough to re-insert the whole elderly Carol scene into the movie, cuz you'd have to change a scene from how it appeared in the 229MV. (Additionally, you have that dialogue about Eve committing suicide which doesn't fit), so I guess that scene was never going to make it into the new version.

Otherwise, I don't think any of the deleted scenes clash with anything in the movie

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