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Author Topic: "Something to do with death"  (Read 54803 times)
stanton
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« Reply #120 on: May 20, 2011, 09:24:12 AM »

Back to the same clothes.
Maybe Leone wanted  to make sure that really everybody understands that Harmonica was the young boy. Maybe he used another simple western convention in which the people always wear the same clothes. Whatever.

Ok, I have meanwhile checked the scene. The coat is similar, but it is not the same ( who the fuck claimed that?). It has a different design and the trousers have a different color, they are much darker.
At least it seems that Harmonica hasn't changed his general style of clothing over the years. Wink


(Phew, somehow I'm really glad they are different)

« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 09:25:13 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #121 on: June 03, 2011, 03:43:37 AM »

Here is Frayling in Spaghetti Westerns:

end of p. 198

"Charles Bronson ('Bernardo, the gentle mercenary who becomes a hero and an example to the Mexican children in The Magnificent Seven) is cast as an almost supernatural Avenger in Once Upon a Time, all of whose actions are calculated to provide a suitable setting for his revenge: he has no identity apart from this quest; when asked  "Who are you?' by Frank, he replies with a list of dead men - 'all alive until they met you': Cheyenne knows him as Harmonica (the musical instrument which plays a key role in the death of his elder brother, and which, after the final flashback shared by Harmonica and Frank, tells Frank who the Avenger is, without a word being spoken). The massacre at Cattle Corner station, which opens the film, ends with four bodies lying near the railroad line -- Harmonica on one side of the line, Frank's reception committee on the other: but, some hours later, one of them rises from the dead, with work still to be done. Harmonica represents no recognisable moral lessons, since, with his almost supernatural command of time and space, he exists in a different dimension to the rest of the characters -- an inscrutable version of Sturges' Bernardo with no attachments to anyone living (just to his own family memories). He only kills Frank's men, while Cheyenne deals with Morton and employees."

Last paragraph on p. 202 (discussing the unique entrance styles of each of the three main male characters)

"Leone creates the impression throughout the film that Harmonica is always there, just out of the frame, ready to step in and help Jill when he is needed: Harmonica is forever eavesdropping (on Cheyenne's conversation, or Frank's meeting with Wobbles), watching (Frank's movements in town, Jill's behaviour after leaving the Chinese laundry), or warning Jill that she ia about to hear 'that sound' of a rifle being cocked. At one point, Leone cleverly suggests that Harmonica is watching in two places at once: he cuts from the sequence showing Frank and Jill in bed to the auction sequence in Flagstone, splicing in a brief shot of Harmonica peering through some lace curtains, as a 'bridge' between the two scenes."
Frayling then goes on to discuss the entrance styles of Cheyenne and Frank, before returning to Harmonica: "In contrast to these two characters, Harmonica slides into the frame from the side, usually photographed in extreme close-up. On the shooting script of Once Upon a Time, Leone simply writes of his appearances, 'The Man enters the scene in his usual way.' Apart from his first entrance (discovered standing the other side of the railroad tracks, after the train has pulled out), Harmonica always 'enters the scene' as if he has been standing just out of frame all along, only making an appearance when he is needed. He slides into the frame from behind a post, from the bottom of the stairs in the Sweetwater stables, or viewed through a window. More characteristically, he just appears.



I am not sure why Frayling says that Harmonica rises "some hours later." As soon as he is shot, we see his eyes open, and he gets up and puts his arm in a sling. (I think I once may have heard that the US theatrical release -- which cut about 25 minutes minutes, and which I have thankfully never seen -- cuts this part out of Harmonica rising and putting his arm in a sling; can someone confirm whether or not this is true? If it is, perhaps Frayling was referring to this cut version when he said that we don't see Harmonica rise till some hours later?)




« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 04:10:22 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #122 on: June 03, 2011, 06:42:30 AM »

and here is Frayling on p. 274 of "Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death," discussing Bronson:

"As a figure of death, his character is vaguely supernatural: always there, just out of shot, ready to appear when he is needed. At such times, he seems to slide into frame: from behind a railway carriage, or a post, or seen through a window. He is usually photographed in profile, and in extreme close-up. During the final duel, the camera zooms slowly into Bronson's piercing blue eyes, and lingers for some twenty-two seconds, in the tightest close-up of any Leone film..... Harmonica is presented to us as an avenging ghost."

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 06:43:38 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #123 on: June 03, 2011, 06:49:40 AM »

1. Frayling makes no mention  of the theory that Harmonica was actually killed by Frank as a child. (and I certainly do not believe he was)

2. One thing that always bothered me in general about the stdwd theory was why Harmonica needed to follow Wobbles to Frank. If Harmonica has this supernatural command over time and space, and is always in the right place at the right moment, why does he need to trick Wobbles into leading him to Frank; doesn't he already know where Frank is?  (Once you say Harmonica has supernatural control over space and time, you have to say he has this control always, not just some of the time in some situations). However, a possible answer I was thinking of is that the reason Harmonica tricks Wobbles into meeting Frank is not that Harmonica wants to find Frank; he can "find" him without Wobbles. Rather, Harmonica did it to get Wobbles to meet with Frank so that they will have a conversation about their plans which Harmonica can eavesdrop on; this way, he will find out the full story of Frank's plans

« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 06:54:43 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #124 on: June 05, 2011, 03:30:33 AM »

Frayling doesn't say he is superantural, he is only "almost supernatural", or "Leone creates the impresion" and thiongs like that.

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« Reply #125 on: June 05, 2011, 03:41:04 AM »





I am not sure why Frayling says that Harmonica rises "some hours later." As soon as he is shot, we see his eyes open, and he gets up and puts his arm in a sling. (I think I once may have heard that the US theatrical release -- which cut about 25 minutes minutes, and which I have thankfully never seen -- cuts this part out of Harmonica rising and putting his arm in a sling; can someone confirm whether or not this is true? If it is, perhaps Frayling was referring to this cut version when he said that we don't see Harmonica rise till some hours later?)





Frayling assumes it was a few hours later, but as the scene is actually presented we must assume that he did not stand up immediately, but we don't know how much time has gone.
Well, it is a railway station, and it is bit unlikely that he lies there for several hours unconcious with nobody else finding him.

And for the Rissing scene it was the other way round. The scene wasn't part of the theatrical versions in Europe, but Frayling asumes that it was then put in the 145 min English version to show that Harmonica has survived the shoot-out. In the 165 version this is told much later in the trading post scene by simply showing the bullet hole in his coat. But that long scene was cut completely from the short version, so they needed something else, and this short unused scene fitted the task.

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« Reply #126 on: June 05, 2011, 03:44:50 AM »

Frayling assumes it was a few hours later, but as the scene is actually presented we must assume that he did not stand up immediately, but we don't know how much time has gone.
Well, it is a railway station, and it is bit unlikely that he lies there for several hours unconcious with nobody else finding him.

And for the Rissing scene it was the other way round. The scene wasn't part of the theatrical versions in Europe, but Frayling asumes that it was then put in the 145 min English version to show that Harmonica has survived the shoot-out. In the 165 version this is told much later in the trading post scene by simply showing the bullet hole in his coat. But that long scene was cut completely from the short version, so they needed something else, and this short unused scene fitted the task.

1. so you're saying that in the USA theatrial release where they completely cut the trading post scene, they did include the scene of Harmonica rising?

2. I see no reason to believe he doesn't rise right away. There is nothing to indicate any significant passage of time between when Harmonica is shot and when he rises

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« Reply #127 on: June 05, 2011, 05:14:26 AM »

1. Yeah, but that's not a secret. I thought you know this.
There is only some debate now if this Rising wasn't included already in the English 165 version which premiered in NY.
Fact is neither the Italian, German and French theatrical versions included this Rising scene. And Frayling said in his old SWs book, that it was included only in the short English version cause of the absence of the trading post scene. Which makes sense for me.

2. As I said we have no clue.
But the way as it is filmed and cut, with the scene beginning with the windmill, makes me sure that Leone wanted us to think that this scene does not happen immediately after the shoot-out. But I don't know what made Frayling think that it happens several hours later.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 05:30:52 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #128 on: June 06, 2011, 09:45:56 AM »

2. As I said we have no clue.
But the way as it is filmed and cut, with the scene beginning with the windmill, makes me sure that Leone wanted us to think that this scene does not happen immediately after the shoot-out. But I don't know what made Frayling think that it happens several hours later.
[/quote]



If you look carefully you can see the lighting of the rising scene is different - the shoot-out occured in bright sunlight. When Harmonica wakes up, the sky is overcast (see the windmill shot that begins the scene) and there is no longer direct sunlight on the wooden planks he's laying on.

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« Reply #129 on: June 06, 2011, 09:56:48 AM »

the only version of Leone's films I have ever seen is the version in the Special Edition dvd's (and iTunes, which I am nearly certain is the same version)

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« Reply #130 on: June 06, 2011, 10:02:53 AM »

1. Yeah, but that's not a secret. I thought you know this.
There is only some debate now if this Rising wasn't included already in the English 165 version which premiered in NY.
Fact is neither the Italian, German and French theatrical versions included this Rising scene. And Frayling said in his old SWs book, that it was included only in the short English version cause of the absence of the trading post scene. Which makes sense for me.

2. As I said we have no clue.
But the way as it is filmed and cut, with the scene beginning with the windmill, makes me sure that Leone wanted us to think that this scene does not happen immediately after the shoot-out. But I don't know what made Frayling think that it happens several hours later.

1. yeah, I guess the windmill shot that we see between the moment Bronson is shot and the moment he opens his eyes could be meant to indicate a passage of time.

2. are the massacre at Cattle Corner and the massacre at the McBain ranch supposed to take place at the same time? If so, I am not sure how long could have passed between Harmonica's death and his rising, considering that he is at the trading post by the time Jill gets there (unless you say that with his stdwd powers, Harmonica doesn't need any "time" to get over there).... how much time did we say passes from when Jill arrives at Flagstone station till she decides to set out to Sweetwater on her own?

3. Something bothers me about Harmonica making himself the sling: if he has these stdwd powers and recovers from the wound, why would he need a sling? and (whether or not he has stdwd powers) once he indeed needs a sling, it makes no sense that he wouldn't need it anymore by the time he gets to the trading post on the same day

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 05:38:15 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #131 on: June 06, 2011, 12:20:04 PM »

The miraculous disappearing gunshot wound is for me as already mentioned not more than a simple continuity error.

The bruises in Harmonica's face are due to a cut scene another one.
These are particularly clear on the new Blu-ray. At the trading post, Harmonica doesn't have them. Then, at the McBain ranch, suddenly he does (the crescent under his left eye is very noticable). After that, following Wobbles to Morton's train, they're gone again. It would be ridiculous to attribute these on-again off-again bruises to anything justified by the narrative. Occam's Razor favors "continuity error" as the explanation.

Even in the most meticulously crafted films continuity errors exist. This is because no production ever goes exactly to plan, and changes are always being made, even in post-production. One cannot  dismiss out-of-hand the possibility of continuity errors in any film, even a carefully crafted work like OUATITW.

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« Reply #132 on: June 06, 2011, 12:47:00 PM »


2. are the massacre at Cattle Corner and the massacre at the McBain ranch supposed to take place at the same time? If so, I am not sure how long could have passed between Harmonica's death and his rising, considering that he is at the trading post by the time Jill gets there (unless you say that with his stdwd powers, Harmonica doesn't need any "time" to get over there.... how much time did we say passes from when Jill arrives at Flagston station till she decides to set out to Sweetwater on her own?

3. Something bothers me about Harmonica making himself the sling: if he has these stdwd powers and recovers from the wound, why would he need a sling? and (whether or not he has stdwd powers) once he indeed needs a sling, it makes no sense that he wouldn't need it anymore by the time he gets to the trading post on the same day

Hmm, you still think he was dead ...

Why should he die from a shot in his shoulder?  Western heroes never cared for shots in arms legs and shoulders. I'm sure Leone respected this good ole tradition.

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« Reply #133 on: June 06, 2011, 01:34:30 PM »

At the trading post, Harmonica doesn't have them. Then, at the McBain ranch, suddenly he does

Yes he does have the hole(s). That's why Cheyenne is playing with him in first place: to see if he can hold a gun. Perhaps it isn't as noticeable to the audience as it is to Cheyenne, or at all, I don't remember any more, but it makes little difference. Cheyenne's act is very self-explanatory to me.

Or perhaps Cheyenne has ''something to do with death'' inside him also, that's why he knows of bullet holes that do not show...

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 01:40:05 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2011, 01:39:46 PM »

Yes he does have the hole(s). That's why Cheyenne is playing with him in first place: to see if he can hold a gun.

Jenkins talks about the bruises in Bronson's face from the cut scene of his beating by some deputies. This bruises are visible in the scene at the McBain ranch, but later on they are gone.

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