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Noodles_SlowStir
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« on: March 18, 2008, 09:50:35 AM »

Just a heads up for SLWB members in New York area.  I came across an article on the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.  The festival is running from April 23-May 4.  The festival will include the New York premiere of the OUATITW restoration.  They are going to show the film in Italian with English subtitles.  Couldn't find a specific date for the showing.  It's a collaboration with the  Museum Of Modern Art.

Here's the blurb on OUATITW 
 

Once Upon a Time in the West (C'era una volta il West), directed by Sergio Leone, written by Sergio Donati and Leone, English dialogue by Mickey Knox. (Italy, USA, 1968) - New York Premiere Restoration, Narrative. What is there to say except "restored--at last." This breathtakingly beautiful and unforgettable film, as much an opera as it is a Western, has been both adored and reviled since its initial release, but it's been almost impossible to see the way it was intended to be seen--until now. Italian with English subtitles. Restoration made possible by support from The Film Foundation and The Rome Film Festival, in association with Sergio Leone Productions and Paramount Pictures. Screening is a collaboration with the Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.



Here's a link for the article with additional festival information.  Includes the list of other films.  They're also going to have a special showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey with a special panel and discussion.

http://www.indiewire.com/ots/2008/03/tribeca_08_trib_2.html

If I see any more details on the OUATITW showing .... will update.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2008, 01:22:59 PM »

well I'll be in the city on the 3rd doing a presentation, I'll just cross my fingers  Afro

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2008, 02:07:12 PM »

Is this the one FC saw and was so disappointed with? He didn't say anything about seeing it in Italian . . .       

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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2008, 02:29:51 PM »

Not sure Dave.  Couldn't find any more information.  That particular link I spotted posted the info yesterday.  I would think that it's the same print.  Perhaps the theater or venue had the option to select which language when obtaining the print.  I did check MOMA and Tribeca site and I didn't find anything else.  Will keep an eye on those sites and the Times.  Whatever the merits of the restoration, at least the film will run in some theaters so people who may want to catch it again or for the first time will have some opportunity to do so.

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Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2008, 09:52:06 AM »

Haven't been able to find too much more information on this showing.  Looks like the date has been set for April 30th @ 7:00PM.  It was originally supposed to be shown at the museum.  Looks like that's undetermined at the moment.  There are other film exhibitions on the museum schedule for that evening.  This is page from online Tribeca Film Festival Guide.

http://www.tribecafilmfestival.org/filmguide/16736456.html

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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2008, 04:31:20 PM »

Is this the one FC saw and was so disappointed with? He didn't say anything about seeing it in Italian . . .       


No, I didn't see it in Italian. It was virtually the same print that we all have on the Paramount dvd (too really prove this I would have to have side by side screenshots to determine if the picture is better or not).
If this is the same print don't buy a word about this "It's uncut" malarky.

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stamper
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2008, 01:08:18 AM »

Hi FC you probably saw a regular print "restored" back in 2003, I don't think it was the new print, the colors would have leaped at you.

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Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2008, 04:51:20 PM »

If this is the same print don't buy a word about this "It's uncut" malarky.
Noticed in rereading the little information from the Tribeca film festival guide, they have the duration of the film as 165 min.  Same length as the DVD.

I find it amazing there is such little information out there on the restoration work.  Unless I'm overlooking something, Paramount had absolutely nothing on their site.  The only info that really was out there was the brief release from The Film Foundation in October 2007.  This has been posted somewhere before on another thread.  Nothing really new.  It does clearly state "several shots not included in previous presentations were added, making this restoration the most complete version to date".  Too bad there isn't a detailed analysis offered somewhere that specifically compares previous theatrical releases, the DVD release and this release.

http://www.film-foundation.org/common/news/articles/detail.cfm?Classification=news&QID=4940&ClientID=11004&BrowseFlag=1&Keyword=&StartRow=1&TopicID=0

The Tribeca site continues to state that the film will be showed on April 30th.  MOMA has an update which indicates there will be multiple screenings at the Museum on May 1st and every day through the 5th.  According to the Museum, there will be a screening at 2:00 PM on Saturday the 3rd.   The Museum had this additional information on the restoration process:

Since it was shot in the Techniscope format—which hasn't been in use since the early 1970s—restoration of the film required that an interpositive be printed from the original negative to create a new preservation internegative. As a result, the new prints offer a sharper image and finer grain than even the original prints. In addition, the color was completely restored to capture the rich earth tones of the original photography, and the audio for both the Italian and English soundtracks was restored from magnetic masters, significantly improving upon the original optical soundtracks.    

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Posted on: April 02, 2008, 03:08:18 AMPosted by: stamper 
Hi FC you probably saw a regular print "restored" back in 2003, I don't think it was the new print, the colors would have leaped at you.
By the statement from the Museum, I would think you're right.  By their account, the difference in image and color should of been noticeable.

Here's the new link the museum recently set up with the schedule and theater locations along with ticketing policy information.

http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/film_exhibitions.php?id=8387&ref=calendar

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Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 09:52:29 AM »

From New York Sun on film and showings.



MoMA Celebrates Leone's Greatest Western


By BRUCE BENNETT
May 1, 2008 updated 4:20 am EDT
 
It's fitting that the immaculate new restoration of Sergio Leone's 1968 magnum opus "Once Upon a Time in the West," which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, will be on display in screenings at the Museum of Modern Art for the next five days. Leone's film is perhaps the single most shameless modernist movie collage of tropes, scenes, themes, shots, and plot points from other films that was not intended to be satire.

The director's previous Westerns had all borrowed heavily from their American progenitors, but the story that Leone and co-scenarists Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento created out of the pieces of Nicholas Ray's "Johnny Guitar," John Ford's "The Iron Horse," Robert Aldrich's "The Last Sunset," and a dozen other American oaters of various vintages is a narrative Frankenstein. In making "Once Upon a Time in the West," however, Leone brought his movie monster to life by creating something remarkably fresh and timeless out of the conceptual scraps of the pictures he loved.

The story — in which a nameless, harmonica-playing gunslinger (Charles Bronson), a widowed New Orleans prostitute (Claudia Cardinale), a world-weary outlaw (Jason Robards), a terminally ill railroad baron (Gabriele Ferzetti), and his ruthless regulator (Henry Fonda, cast deliriously against type) mingle destinies — is doled out so gradually that it borders on the irrelevant. Late in the film, Robards's character, Cheyenne, describes himself and others who live by the pistol as being motivated by "something to do with death," and for much of its running time, that's about as specific as the film gets. And yet there is nothing vague or generalized about the emotions on display or the changing distances the characters keep from one another and from the inevitable oblivion of frontier history made at gunpoint.

"Once Upon a Time in the West" was brutally recut by Paramount Pictures, which shortened the film by some 20 minutes prior to its American release. Though shunned by stateside critics and audiences alike for decades, an unofficial restoration in the 1970s, undertaken by the 16 mm educational movie rental company, Films Incorporated, helped to begin a slow march to cult-film supremacy. That goal was finally achieved via a 35 mm release in 1984 of Leone's original 165-minute international cut and subsequent home-video editions.

The architects of the current restoration have taken particular care with the soundtrack of "Once Upon a Time in the West." This is only fitting, as the film's musical score, by Ennio Morricone, is arguably even more revered than the movie itself. Mr. Morricone's musical cues (the first of which doesn't arrive until well into the second reel of the movie) were written in advance of the film's script, and his music's extravagantly emotional surges and brittle, anxious punctuations account for much of the power and gravity that "Once Upon a Time in the West" sustains.

The film's symphonic tempo, in turn, gave Leone's actors an opportunity to stretch out. Italian films of that era required their multinational casts to do post-recorded dialogue after their scenes were shot. But this potential hindrance proved to be an unusual opportunity for Robards, in particular, who attacked what few lines he has in the film with epicurean relish.

As in the rest of Leone's 1960s work, the use of the bargain-price wide-screen format, Techniscope, adds much. Conventional wide-screen optics would never tolerate the luxurious depth of field and tight close-ups through which Leone told his stories. The Techniscope process — in which conventional lenses are used to create two wide-screen images per frame of film, rather than using a Cinemascope lens to squeeze a single distorted image onto the camera negative — allowed Leone to indulge himself to his heart's content. The camera work and composition on display in "Once Upon a Time in the West" is poetic, baroque, and stunning from start to finish.

Like the old saw about how, from an engineering standpoint, a bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, in some ways "Once Upon a Time in the West," a horse opera in which characters stare at one another far more than they shoot, shouldn't work at all. Long and slow, narratively obtuse and oblique, the film can seem to the uninitiated like a compendium of its director's stylistic obsessions run in slow motion. Its silences and spaces are vast enough to strand an impatient viewer in a three-hour movie purgatory. But Leone's tectonically paced lullaby to the Western is a result of an immense, brooding romanticism unequaled in any of the director's other films. It stands alongside Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," a movie that also turns 40 this year, as a pinnacle of '60s auteurism run magnificently amuck, and genre filmmaking redefined, re-invigorated, and forever changed thereafter.

Through May 5 (11 W. 53rd St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues, 212-708-9400).

http://www2.nysun.com/article/75665


Brief blurb on artdaily.org with nice close up capture of Bronson.
http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=24050

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Jordan Krug
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 01:21:50 PM »

thanks for posting that - I wonder if there's any difference in the actual cut....maybe if they took it from the italian negative it would be the italian version? Obviously there's only one negative....

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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 09:19:48 PM »

Enjoyed reading that a lot, he knows what he's talking about, but I have to quibble with a couple things he said:

Quote
...and a dozen other American oaters of various vintages...

Could we make that more like, uh, 30?

Also, Cheyenne's line about "something to do with death" is not self applied, or given as a general pronouncement. It is intended to reference Harmonica specifically. Cheyenne offers the observation to Jill when she seems interested in Harmonica and he's warning her off. Presumably, he's prepared to offer himself by way of contrast (although he knows the gesture would be futile). Cheyenne is a character who, in spite of being a bandit, very much has something to do with life.

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 08:00:19 PM »

I have a question to all of those old enough to see West during its original theatrical run: when did the 2001 comparisons start? Let me rephrase, when did West's mention with 2001 as the real shakers of 60s cinema begin? It's certainly deserving in my mind.

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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 09:39:04 PM »

Never heard of that back then.  I also felt 2001 sucked; and I like science fiction.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2008, 07:56:13 PM »

Well I was at Orvis today doing a slide show and was able to get out of there at 1:35 so I scooted the 9 blocks up 5th Ave. to 53rd Street and Moma and sawthe 2:00 PM showing of OUTITW for the first time on the big screen, WOW. 

The theater was practically brand new & posh with very comfortable seats and about 1/2 full with an enthusiastic audience. I'd say it was the same as the last DVD release.

One thing I sort of noticed this viewing time around and this goes with my, Harmonica-is-not-what-he-seems-spiritual-avenger, take is that the bullet hole in his matchcoat disappears. At least I didn't see it at the final duel, I guess this will be a good excuse for all of us to pop in the DVD again.  Afro

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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2008, 03:47:30 PM »

CJ, glad your schedule allowed for you to go see it.  Sounds like it was another great theater experience.   Afro



Enjoyed reading that a lot, he knows what he's talking about, but I have to quibble with a couple things he said



Here's another one from some critics for Filmcritic.com that made the rounds of Tribeca.

Wave Of Mutilation: The 2008 Tribeca Film Festival by Chris Barsanti, Chris Cabin, Paul Brenner

They give their observations on the festival and various films that were featured this year.  Here's what Brenner had to say about OUATITW.  Obviously, he's wrong about Claudia Cardinale.  Absolutely nothing wrong to these ears with any or all of her notes.

   

Quote
One of the high points of the Tribeca Film Festival was a restored print of Sergio Leone's magnificent, towering revisionist western Once Upon A Time in the West, brought to new life by The Film Foundation and The Museum of Modern Art. There is no added footage; it is same version with the missing 20 minutes that has been making the rounds for a few years. But now the colors have been improved and are sharper and finer-grained, lending a substantial weight to Leone's compositions -- since Leone preferred the widescreen format of Techniscope (a format that utilized a normal lens, resulting in distortion-free images with everything in focus in both foreground and background), which permitted him perfect latitude in framing his now iconic compositions, allowing him to shoot normal looking faces in extreme close-up so that faces, eyes, and hat brims (which cut into the frame from off-screen like a knife in the eye) can consume an entire widescreen image. More stunning are the restored audio tracks, with formerly unnoticed background sounds now heard sharp and clear and front and center -- howling wind, creaking wheels, singing locusts, screeching trains, ticking clocks, cocking guns, and brain-numbing weapon blasts. And to top it all off, one of the great Ennio Morricone scores. Leone's film about an outlaw "ancient race" stepping aside for encroaching civilization overturns the fast paced shoot-'em-up western genre and transforms it into a La Scala operatic aria of stately and leisurely set pieces that usually end in an explosion of violence. In this western inversion, Henry Fonda is now the bad guy, Charles Bronson the nominal good guy, and Jason Robards the comic bandito -- and all are given big star entrances. For most of the film, a sexually charged woman (Claudia Cardinale -- the film's one false note) calls the shots (the non-bullet kind). In the end that doesn't even matter as Fonda meets up with Bronson for their big slow-dance shootout, saying, "Nothing matters now. Not the land. Not the money. Not the woman. I'm coming here to see you." PB

Here's page link with everything:
http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/Wave-of-Mutilation-The-2008-Tribeca-Film-Festival



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