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: Siege of Leningrad  ( 8188 )
tucos
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« : July 24, 2007, 05:32:14 AM »

Does anyone of you, maybe, know something about this, or came across "the draft" of the film that (I find and read this somewhere) Leone was planing to make - the film about a siege of Leningrad in WWII? I would be very thankfull to anyone who can say anything about this (about his plans, potential script, cast...).


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« #1 : July 24, 2007, 05:37:20 AM »

It was called the 900 days of leningrad. there is a topic about that somewhere... try to look for it... There are discussions about Robert DeNiro beeing inside or not, and the opening sequence is described.
if you cannot find it, i'll may be translate the chapter of Conversations Avec Sergio Leone that is about it, there is the whole plot (and, again, the opening sequence) one of these days...


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« #2 : July 24, 2007, 11:49:35 PM »

I would be very thankfull to you if you translate that to me. Once again, thank you in advance.


But if you miss you had better miss very well. Whoever double-crosses me and leaves me alive, he understands nothing about Tuco.
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« #3 : July 30, 2007, 02:41:20 AM »

I would be very thankfull to you if you translate that to me. Once again, thank you in advance.

I have not forgoten, i'll do it in a few days.


tucos
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« #4 : July 30, 2007, 05:26:14 AM »

I have not forgoten, i'll do it in a few days.

I was afraid thet you forgot about it.  :-\ Thank you very much.


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« #5 : July 30, 2007, 10:20:46 AM »

Does anyone of you, maybe, know something about this, or came across "the draft" of the film that (I find and read this somewhere) Leone was planing to make - the film about a siege of Leningrad in WWII? I would be very thankfull to anyone who can say anything about this (about his plans, potential script, cast...).

There was no script. Sergio got the financing and the green light from russian authorities based just on a very short treatment and an opening sequence he described to some people. This opening sequence is stunningly described in Christopher Frayling's book "Something to do with death", page 464 - 465.
It would have made history, as he planned a single long shot (15 minutes or so), with the camera travelling from the inside of a window (with somebody playing the piano) to the city of Leningrad, showing the besieged city (people lining up for food, drunks, killings etc) and travelling to the outskirts, where the camera would show 1.000 german panzers (yes, one thousand!), until you hear a german commander ordering: "Feuer!". With the first cannon shot, the opening credits would start with "A Sergio Leone Film".
It would have been the most expensive single shot in cinema history.
Music would have been by Morricone, the cast would have included Bob De Niro and Mickey Rourke, who spent two months with Leone before he died.
When I read the opening sequence as described by Leone, I could actually see it and it blew my mind! I highly recommend you buy Frayling's book, as it is a must for anybody who admires Sergio's work.

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« #6 : July 31, 2007, 12:10:17 AM »

It would have made history, as he planned a single long shot (15 minutes or so), with the camera travelling from the inside of a window (with somebody playing the piano) to the city of Leningrad, showing the besieged city (people lining up for food, drunks, killings etc) and travelling to the outskirts, where the camera would show 1.000 german panzers (yes, one thousand!), until you hear a german commander ordering: "Feuer!". With the first cannon shot, the opening credits would start with "A Sergio Leone Film".
It would have been the most expensive single shot in cinema history.
Music would have been by Morricone, the cast would have included Bob De Niro and Mickey Rourke, who spent two months with Leone before he died.
When I read the opening sequence as described by Leone, I could actually see it and it blew my mind! I highly recommend you buy Frayling's book, as it is a must for anybody who admires Sergio's work.


Oh!!! I didn`t know this. What an opening sequence it would be... What a film it would be... What a genius... One in a million years genius...

Thank you for this comment Leonardo.  O0 It left me speachless...

« : July 31, 2007, 01:44:19 AM Bill Carson »
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« #7 : June 24, 2012, 04:04:32 AM »

Sergio´s WW II movie...


who would you trust to take over the reigns of this movie



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« #8 : June 24, 2012, 12:01:09 PM »

Frayling discusses The Siege of Leningrad project extensively in the final chapter of Something To Do With Death... Leone had big ideas for the movie, but there was no script. Just some basic ideas. The only specific scenes Leone had in mind were the first and the last. I will describe briefly some of what Frayling says about it (in that chapter, he discusses all the projects Leone was involved in after OUATIA; but they were all in very early stages; he died before any of them could be completed. (I believe there is one script that was actually completed or maybe partially completed that was printed a few years ago in a French magazine; I forgot the name; it's been mentioned somewhere on these boards). If you are an English-speaking Leone fan, you must, must, must buy Frayling's book. IMO it is the single most essential item for any Leone' fan's collection, after the movies themselves.


Anyway, I'll describe a little of what Frayling wrote about The Siege of Leningrad.

The basic idea of the story was to show the siege of Leningrad, and how the Russian people persevered through those awful times. It was to be filmed in the USSR, with cooperation of the Soviet government, and be a major international co-production. Frayling says that Leone first became interested in doing the project after reading a book called "The 900 Days," (1969), by Harrison E. Salisbury. Later, Leone discovered the "even more splendid" historical account in a book called "The Book of the Siege," by Danil Granin and Alex Adamovic. Leone said "I can't mention Salisbury over there, because the Russians don't have very good memories of him."

Frayling says that Leone estimated that "the researching and writing of the script would take a year (five months of it in Leningrad), the filming another year, and the post-production six months. So it would be a two-and-half-years-project, at least." (p. 472) It was to be a co-production between the USSR and some others; it may have been some Americans. Although Andrea Leone says "it was to be a co-production between Italy and Russia [an RAI/Soviet consortium]." (p. 473)

Leone wanted to portray it as the resilience of the Russian people helping them to withstand the siege and defeat the Nazis. The heroes would be the resilient citizens. But this may have caused some problems with the government, who wanted to make sure that the Communist Party would be portrayed as the heroes, not the individual citizens   ::) (FUCKING COMMIES!)


The basic story would have been about an American newsreel photographer (possibly played by Robert De Niro) documenting the siege,  falling in love with a Russian girl. But no script was prepared, I don't even think a treatment was prepared. Leone basically had these pages on which were typed the words, something like THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD, A FILM BY SERGIO LEONE," just so he could get a copyright on the title and have something to show investors. But there was no real story yet. Just the basic idea of showing the siege, through an American neqwsreel photographer falling in love with a Russian girl; I think they may have a baby together as well.
As for specific scenes, Leone basically only had the opening scene and the closing scene:
Delli Colli would be the cinematographer, and Morricone would have made the score, although Dmitri Soskatovich's 7th Symphony, called the "Leningrad Symphony" was to be a big part of the score. The major opening scene, which Leonardo described above, would begin with "a big close-up of the hands of Dmitri Soskatovich, playing his piano." (p. 464) After all the hell described in the opening scene, we cut (the very first cut of the movie!) to a packed concert hall where Shostakovich is playing his 7th. 150 musicians and 4,500 spectators. Toward the end of the film, after the siege is finally over, there would again be a scene with the same symphony playing in the same hall, with everything looking the same... except that there are only 9 musicians and 46 spectators. Everyone else had been killed.

The final scene would have the woman in a theater, watching newsreels And she knows that it is her lover who is shooting them,  from his unique style of photography. As she is watching the newsreels in the theater. Suddenly, the camera falls and spins.... she realizes that he has been shot and killed. This was to be the final scene (although it seems Leone at various times changed his description about this scene, and sometimes described it with a happy ending. And who knows what would have actually happened if the movie would have been made?) But as far as we know, all Leone had was that basic story, and those few scenes.

It seems that this may have been the most ambitious movie project of all-time.

Sadly, Sergio died way too early  :'(

Now do yourself a favor and buy STDWD. It's available cheaply on Amazon and eBay  ;)

« : October 21, 2018, 02:09:16 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #9 : June 24, 2012, 07:22:16 PM »

Sergio´s WW II movie...


who would you trust to take over the reigns of this movie

Well it seems Giuseppe Tornatore will be the one doing it. I for one am very happy about that. 

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« #10 : June 24, 2012, 07:38:02 PM »

No one.



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« #11 : July 15, 2012, 07:13:44 AM »

Frayling describes that opening scene  of The Siege of Leningrad at 41:00 of this clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RfqQGJh5C8

« : October 21, 2018, 02:10:00 PM drinkanddestroy »

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« #12 : October 21, 2018, 06:31:59 AM »

There were different topics for that film, so I didn't really know where to post this but this one seems to be the best fit. So, here are some pics I took at the Leone exhibit in Paris the other day. If anybody who speaks italian could translate them, it would be great.









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« #13 : October 23, 2018, 03:37:46 AM »

I know we have italian speakers on the board. Come on, you lazy bastards!

Here is the gibberish that an automatic translator gives me:

Quote
-1
We are (in order Olfabetico as USA
From
These parts) Leo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi and
Mrico from a very few days we have ADCRI —
To the proposal of Sergio Leonc to Invorate again
Once he had to work with him n this project for
A
Film about the 900 days of Leningrad. We can get away
Strange and difficult mind writing a letter to the U
REPUBBL Soviet Socialist for Dichia —
Our narrative intentions and our pros —
Structural positive and general tone "maybe Tut
The world's producers are the same, even Rus
Is. Market vices or political scruples at the bottom
are equivalent and authors professions balanced STI
(c) Managers must be able to consider Legi T Timi
And the one and the other, they must take
and to be able to adapt their own esi —
Rrx ' I do that the end result is not
A
Bad compromise nn always an effective work
And
Sincere.
A between thing that cowardly for now
There
Is the fact that it is still not possible to
To demand from us concrete proposals. Authors
Of the first nomination in a project in the bud, not
They have ideas, they only have feelings. We still think
Interesting to examine them: the films are born from
These.
The prim feeling is of professional joy, of
Commitment, of profound conviction that with the
The conception and the write Ttur • A of a film
How this justifies and illuminates an ' entire VI to
of work.

« : October 23, 2018, 03:42:09 AM noodles_leone »

LITTLE BIG MAN
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« #14 : October 23, 2018, 12:29:13 PM »

My niece is studying languages (Italian) at Uni Noodles
I’ll ask her to take a pass at it 👍

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