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Author Topic: My DYS Review  (Read 21248 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2009, 12:50:34 PM »

Well it's some strange friends-around-girl company they're having, but the camera never goes far in order to disclosure the true nature of their happiness. They're smiling, they're kissing, they're running, they're dancing... Perhaps someone is jealous of someone else, perhaps someone loves someone more than is permitted, perhaps someone in the triangle dreams of something that is out of his reach... or perhaps it's all just a dream (!). It doesn't really matter.
Well, it IS an idyll.

I think it is presented as a moment of supreme happiness in the lives of the three people, at least in Mallory's memory, an Eden from which all have fallen. Unlike other flashbacks in Leone's work, I don't think the purpose here is to reveal plot elements. Thematic concerns are being put across. Perhaps we are merely being reminded of what Mallory has lost, thus underlining the angst in the conclusion. I prefer to see something more positive, though: Mallory, because of his renunciation of revenge and his commitment to self sacrifice, has been rewarded with a vision--a beatific one, if you will.  The vision itself my be all the reward he receives (an existentialist reading) or it may be indicative of his having achieved a final state of grace (a Catholic reading). Either way, the ending is very "up" (as the flames ascend, as the music soars).

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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2009, 01:03:38 PM »

Many people misinterpret the final flashback because of the incorrect music cues on the MGM dvds. I can't tell you how many people think that Sean felt jealousy over his friend and the girl just because in the MGM version the music changes when he gives the girl to his friend. The correct version of the music remains orchestrated and up-beat making us realize that there is no tension or jealousy in this relationship.


And it really kills me when they all start calling his friend Sean. The only evidence of this is from John Kirk who decided to change elements of the movie to suit his own interpretations. In the script the friend's name is Nolan.

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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2009, 01:13:40 PM »

That is the general consensus, though Sucker's interpretation is an interesting one, albeit not much believable. I mean, in the eyes of most people a scene with one woman sharing kisses with two men at the same time is strange and suspicious, it just doesn't feel right, blame it on whoever. Perhaps it was a bit excessive from Leone to use it, but given the circumstances it is obvious that that scene is there to reflect what Mallory felt at that point - profound happiness. The barriers of friendship, jealousy, morale, sexual attraction, etc., all collided in one point, the flashback, the idyll, the moment of absolute happiness and satisfaction.

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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2009, 01:34:58 PM »

OK, I rest my case based on what I saw first time round and what I see in the full DVD.
However, just to add that if I was in Mallory's position my happy memories of that day would end when I kissed the girl under the tree and I wouldn't be reminding myself who she passionately kissed after me Smiley  Afro


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And it really kills me when they all start calling his friend Sean

Agreed 100%.

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Colonel GŁnther Ruiz
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2009, 03:50:04 PM »

Also Coburn smiles as the girl and the friend embrace and kiss.  How do you explain that?

Have another look. He does smile at first but then..........?
You could even, if you wanted to  Smiley, lip-read Coburn's faded out last words as "Oh, fxxk".

I just watched the final flashback and Coburn continues to smile until the end of it.  You just can't miss that famous grin.   Grin

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« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2009, 04:19:45 PM »

It's all interesting interperetation, but I'm still not wholly convinced on this point. We've already seen Nolan's betrayal and the consequences thereof, I don't see a need for further emphasis of this point. Ms. Chandler's character only appears in these two flashbacks so her role up till now has been tertiary at best; we can infer interesting things enough ourselves without having them shown to us at unnecessary length. If Leone is attempting to show the consequences of betrayal as personal and political - well, that strikes me as rather heavy-handed and obvious, and apparently assuming the audience wouldn't get that from the scene where John shoots Nolan and the soldiers.

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« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2009, 06:37:10 PM »

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We've already seen Nolan's betrayal and the consequences thereof, I don't see a need for further emphasis of this point

Up until the final scene we have been led to believe that Sean had been betrayed to the British by Nolan, had killed him and the soldiers and fled Ireland. The purpose of the final flashback is to tell us that there was more to it than that. We could not possibly assume from the pub killing that the girl had anything to do with it. In that final flashback we see in retrospect that with the love aspect betrayal by the girl and Nolan the killing in the pub was a kind of double revenge (the judgment "once in my life") after which Sean knew he could never remain in Ireland with both Nolan and the girl gone from his life forever. (Apart from being a wanted man).

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I just watched the final flashback and Coburn continues to smile until the end of it.  You just can't miss that famous grin.

If you watch the sequence closely this is my interpretation of it as it happens:

1. The three run to the tree. Sean kisses girl up against the tree. Nolan is close up.

2. Sean pauses kiss, looks up at Nolan and pulls girl away - Nolan moves close again.

3. Sean/Girl kiss passionately again.

4. Now things begin to happen. Girl in middle of kiss glances up at Nolan but resumes kiss.

5. Nolan taps Sean on shoulder - girl looks up at him again - Sean kisses girl.

6. Nolan pulls at Sean - girl looks at Nolan again.

7. Now more begins to happen. Sean looks around inquisitively at Nolan and then looks back at girl whom he tries to recommence kissing but but she goes to Nolan instead as Sean is moved aside. Nolan and girl kiss passionately. The hat goes across the screen.

8. Sean looks on with huge grin but then there is an ever so minutely noticeable fading of the grin as he begins to realise what has been going on. As the scene goes out of focus his pained expression and lip movements are on the lines of "oh fxxk".

I just can't see that if the final flashback was there just to make things cuddly for Sean at the end it would have ended with Sean/girl's first kiss at the tree as, indeed it did in the trimmed versions. Hollywood likes luvvy duvvy endings. But, no, it goes on until the love betrayal is revealed and, with that memory, he blows his unhappy life to smithereens.

The above is taken from some notes I made a while ago. Sorry to go into such length and I know I said earlier that I rest my case but, well, there it is.

Now, it's way past my bedtime. Smiley so goodnight to you all!!


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« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2009, 06:45:16 PM »

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The purpose of the final flashback is to tell us that there was more to it than that.

Yeah, sure, but, what puts your interpretation in front of the others?


Maybe there really is more to that flashback... Following your logic; one could easily assumpt the guys were fags. I mean, why not, maybe that's the right ''more to it''. Maybe that's why she was kissing them both so casually, and maybe that's why one of them looked jealous.

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« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2009, 09:15:14 PM »


LMAO Grin

Boys and girls, I was expecting your opinions, why the silence all of a sudden? Undecided

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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2009, 04:16:39 PM »

Yeah, sure, but, what puts your interpretation in front of the others?


Maybe there really is more to that flashback... Following your logic; one could easily assumpt the guys were fags. I mean, why not, maybe that's the right ''more to it''. Maybe that's why she was kissing them both so casually, and maybe that's why one of them looked jealous.
Right. Once you decide you can read anything you want into the flashback, there is no reason to privilege one "interpretation" over another. The idea that Malory and Nolan were homosexual lovers is just as valid as the one about Malory being jealous about Nolan and the girl. The film offers the same amount of evidence for either view--none.

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« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2009, 05:06:59 PM »

It's all subjective.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2009, 05:23:40 PM »

No. There is actually "evidence" that one can build a theory around: things that are actually present in the film.

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« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2009, 06:09:07 PM »

If I've learned anything from my film classes, it's that you can read anything into anything.

I actually read a very lengthy article arguing that DYS was a literal love story between Juan and John on IMDB once.

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« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2009, 06:33:11 PM »

If I've learned anything from my film classes, it's that you can read anything into anything.

I actually read a very lengthy article arguing that DYS was a literal love story between Juan and John on IMDB once.

Was John's frequent flashbacks due to the guilt of trying to move on after Nolan?

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2009, 06:34:38 PM »

If I've learned anything from my film classes, it's that you can read anything into anything.
Of course. But that is very different from the "it's all subjective" meme. There are very concrete things (dialogue, music, gesture, gaze, et. al.) you can point to in making a point about a film, and the fact of such things is not subjective. Interpretations are subjective, but one can still distinguish between well-argued interpretations and those that are unpersuasive. In spite of what your average Joe Dipshit might believe, not all opinions are equal.

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