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| | |-+  "Somethin to do with dead" by Christopher Frayling
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Author Topic: "Somethin to do with dead" by Christopher Frayling  (Read 13609 times)
Pesci
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« on: July 26, 2003, 12:41:08 PM »

Everyone on this board says that this is a great book that covers really everything related to Sergio Leone.
So, the problem is that the book was never released here in Germany.
But it's possible to order the book from the USA, but I don't know if I can understand everything.
I got an A in English, but will I have problems to understand everything in the book?
Is it very difficult written or easily?

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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2003, 01:07:35 PM »

Pesci, from your post, you'll do fine with the book.  It's well worth it.  And it's an easier read than the other common Spaghetti book "Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone (Cinema and Society) ", also by Frayling.

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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 03:22:30 PM »

anyone know where i can get a copy of this book for less than 40$, i mean i want it and all but if i can't find it a bit cheaper it'll have to wait a while... btw, is this the book i should be looking for, or is there a better one about leone and his movies.

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2004, 04:36:18 AM »

its $38 at Amazon, and it is worth if for an indepth analysis of Leone, save up or check ebay.

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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2004, 06:16:37 AM »

You ought to get a copy of this one, it's fantastic. You might want to check out "Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys And Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone" as well. The latter deals with the entire genre, but a great part of the book is spent studying Leone's westerns. Both books are written by Christopher Frayling, and are hereby recommended.

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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2004, 01:43:10 PM »

i gave in and just bought it used for like 30$ on amazon a few days ago... should be here tomorow or damn soon... can't wait!

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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2004, 08:17:46 PM »

It's worth it.

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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2004, 07:58:43 AM »

It's an excellent book. I just miss more opinions from the author himself - I know that this is maybe not meant to be part of a biography, but still. Maybe it's just a problem I have with this genre: He did this, he said that, his friend then said this, and another one meant that.

Frayling is not afraid to expose that Leone was quite unsympathetic as a person though - sometimes he makes him seem like a blown up pseudo intellectual pretender who it must have been hell to work with. OK with me though, just show me the films and I don't care how he was. What I would like to know is whether Frayling writes more about his opinions on specific films in his "Spaghetti-Western"-book??

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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2004, 05:19:54 PM »

It's an excellent book. I just miss more opinions from the author himself - I know that this is maybe not meant to be part of a biography, but still. Maybe it's just a problem I have with this genre: He did this, he said that, his friend then said this, and another one meant that.

Frayling is not afraid to expose that Leone was quite unsympathetic as a person though - sometimes he makes him seem like a blown up pseudo intellectual pretender who it must have been hell to work with. OK with me though, just show me the films and I don't care how he was. What I would like to know is whether Frayling writes more about his opinions on specific films in his "Spaghetti-Western"-book??


I agree with you in wanting more opnions from the author. Frayling sure knows his films, and he is entertaining as h... in interviews and in commentaries.

I do not agree with you when you say that he paints a picture of Leone as an unsympathetic man. I feel that Leone was a truly passionate human being, with a special love for films. He made friends fast, and he made enemies fast. He had a wicked latin temper, but he was also quick to forgive and forget.
And while Leone tried to lie about reading heavy literature, Frayling casts no doubt about his vast knowledge of films, even the most minute details in obscure flops. Not to mention the masters open and outspoken admiration for actors and colleagues.

The mention of how Leone made Henry Fonda rehearse every scene four times as many as it was needed only because he loved to see him act - or even just walk - had me in stitches.    
 

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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 02:34:13 AM »

I think it's quite obvious that Frayling sees Leone as a man who, in situations with collaborators, "stages" himself. Likewise when he speaks to the press - remember the documentary with the man sitting like some emperor in what appears to be a dress of some sort. Speaking like an Oracle - he wants to communicate: "Pay attention, the Maestro is speaking.... bow in respect!!" OK, I'm exaggerating a bit here. I don't doubt his abilities as a filmmaker but in my opinion he overblows his own connection with "a certain cinema.."  - It's as if he was absolutely determined to place himself up there among the GREATEST. Which he is, no doubt about that, maybe it's just not a very sympathetic element in a man to want to appear the Greatest all the time...

I'm not trying to be a psychologist here but I dont think one could have made these film without having certain narcissitic tendencies. I too was very moved by some of the descriptions in the book but sometimes, just sometimes, I felt a little stitch of sadness -  is this really the man I have seen as THE BEST FILM MAKER  in the world?? I think, reading this, that it sounds more serious than I really mean it, but has no one else felt just a tad of this reading Frayling's book?

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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2004, 03:49:21 AM »

Its hard to judge what was going on at the time without being right there. Especially when one is not given the credit or accolades that one deserves. Look at the difference today.

Today there are a few directors who've make one movie and there career and opportunities skyrocket. There were strange forces aligned against Leone at the time for not only creating masterpieces in a genre preceived as reserved for Americans, but also for going against accepted conventions.

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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2004, 01:03:02 PM »

I fully agree. In Leone's time, it was inevitable that the movies has no succes in America (because as Cigar Joe says, the western was reserved for american directiors and because Leone went against accepted conventions).

Only 20 years later, at the end of the '80s, his movies were considered in american cinema universities as masterpieces of cinema.

It takes a generation to forget....

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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2004, 05:24:20 PM »

One director today that I can think of in a situation similar to Leone is Lynch, his movies are against accepted conventions, not for everyone, and are not top box office.

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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2004, 04:18:42 AM »

I think it's quite obvious that Frayling sees Leone as a man who, in situations with collaborators, "stages" himself. Likewise when he speaks to the press - remember the documentary with the man sitting like some emperor in what appears to be a dress of some sort. Speaking like an Oracle - he wants to communicate: "Pay attention, the Maestro is speaking.... bow in respect!!" OK, I'm exaggerating a bit here. I don't doubt his abilities as a filmmaker but in my opinion he overblows his own connection with "a certain cinema.."  - It's as if he was absolutely determined to place himself up there among the GREATEST. Which he is, no doubt about that, maybe it's just not a very sympathetic element in a man to want to appear the Greatest all the time...

I'm not trying to be a psychologist here but I dont think one could have made these film without having certain narcissitic tendencies. I too was very moved by some of the descriptions in the book but sometimes, just sometimes, I felt a little stitch of sadness -  is this really the man I have seen as THE BEST FILM MAKER  in the world?? I think, reading this, that it sounds more serious than I really mean it, but has no one else felt just a tad of this reading Frayling's book?

It might be that I just accept artists being a-holes... One of my absolutely most all-time favourite directors and movie personalities is Orson Welles, and he was, in very many ways, a pig. Arrogant, condenscending, self-centered, ruthless... As well as short tempered, self-indulgent and bossy.

I'm a huge fan, nonetheless, and I love to read about his excesses and eloquent put-downs of others.
Leone was a regular saint compared to Orson....

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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2004, 02:43:27 PM »

With all the great material in print on Sergio Leone I was wondering which is the most recomended. Has anyone read Something To Do With Dead? Is this book a good starting point?

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