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Author Topic: My DYS Review  (Read 21283 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2009, 06:36:52 PM »

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In spite of what your average Joe Dipshit might believe, not all opinions are equal.

Ebert wrote a great article on this topic a few weeks back. I was glad to hear someone say it. Grin

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« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2009, 06:41:58 PM »

Ebert wrote a great article on this topic a few weeks back. I was glad to hear someone say it. Grin

But didn't Ebert build a career by appealing to the average Joe Dipshit?

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« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2009, 06:43:25 PM »

If so, they've turned on him.

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« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2009, 06:44:56 PM »

Was John's frequent flashbacks due to the guilt of trying to move on after Nolan?
I'd say it was guilt from having actually killed his best friend. Just because someone betrays you it doesn't mean that all that has gone on before between the two of you counts for nothing. Friendship and betrayal are the great irreconcilables in Life and Leone. Friends always betray friends to a certain extent, rarely, though, to the level we see in SL's films. But SL's highly dramatic presentation makes it possible for him to present his great theme in a compelling way.

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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2009, 07:21:33 PM »

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

My heart goes out to you.

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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2009, 07:23:55 PM »

If so, they've turned on him.

He should've learned from his favorite movie that "the people" are fickle.

I'd say it was guilt from having actually killed his best friend. Just because someone betrays you it doesn't mean that all that has gone on before between the two of you counts for nothing. Friendship and betrayal are the great irreconcilables in Life and Leone. Friends always betray friends to a certain extent, rarely, though, to the level we see in SL's films. But SL's highly dramatic presentation makes it possible for him to present his great theme in a compelling way.

I don't disagree with you but I've always felt that a part of Mallory feels that he should have shot himself after killing Nolan.  He is physically in Mexico but in his mind he's still in Ireland.  His death, and the final flackback that precedes it, are his homecoming.  Thats why I don't believe in the theory that Sean is angry with Nolan for taking his girl.  Mallory's demise is a joyous occasion except for poor Juan ("what about me").

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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2009, 07:30:33 PM »

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I'd say it was guilt from having actually killed his best friend.

Of course, and here's an interpretation that makes more sense than the others: the flashback never actually happened, in any form (with or without the 'idylization'), it is Mallory's dream of what could have been.

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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2009, 02:32:52 PM »

Of course, and here's an interpretation that makes more sense than the others: the flashback never actually happened, in any form (with or without the 'idylization'), it is Mallory's dream of what could have been.
I myself have suggested that as a possible reading.

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« Reply #38 on: August 12, 2009, 03:50:50 PM »

I'm thinking of a credited SL Encyclopedia entry?

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« Reply #39 on: August 15, 2009, 11:54:30 AM »


Grin Hahaha, you narcissistic old fart, don't sweat it, I was just joking. Grin

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« Reply #40 on: August 15, 2009, 06:23:35 PM »

Are you talking to yourself, DD? Grin

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« Reply #41 on: August 16, 2009, 12:37:48 AM »

Sure. Grin

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« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2011, 12:34:39 AM »

the way I always understood the last flashback (I believe this is the way Frayling explains it on the commentary) is that it serves demonstrate the depth of Sean's friendship with Nolan -- he smiles when Nolan kisses the girl, demonstrating that he is cool with it -- for the purpose of demonstrating the depth of Nolan's betrayal.
The point of showing how close Sean and Nolan were -- neither minded (too much!) that the other was in love (or "in lust?" to borrow a phrase from Amadeus Wink) with his girl -- was simply to emphasize the seriousness of the betrayal.

(I never agreed with the interpretation that Sean was happy to kill Nolan cuz Nolan was stealing Sean's girl, cuz if that were so, why would Sean be smiling when Nolan kisses the girl? One of the main themes of the movie is about betrayal; the issue of a possible triangle relationship in Sean's youth, ON ITS OWN, is so far removed from the themes of the movie, that I cannot believe it was placed in the final flashback for any reason other than to demonstrate the extent/seriousness of the betrayal).

However, what is now bothering me about my long-held interpretation, is that if it were true, I think it would be more appropriate to have that flashback earlier. I mean, we know that Sean and Nolan were friends, cuz we saw the earlier flashbacks with them driving through the countryside together and organizing the revolution together, etc. Therefore, we already understand that Nolan's betrayal is absolutely devastating, even if Sean and Nolan were not banging the same girl. Showing that they were perhaps accentuates the depths of the betrayal EVEN FURTHER, but i do not believe it adds that much to the seriousness of the betrayal that it warrants being placed at the crucial final moments of the film.


Therefore, I am beginning to think that the final flashback has a far different purpose than simply to demonstrate the extent of Nolan's betrayal. Rather, I believe the purpose of the flashback may be to contrast Sean's youthful idealism, with the cynicism he is currently experiencing as he is dying.

Sean once believed in the ideals and beauty of Revolution: it was as beautiful as the lush green countryside and a pretty girl, etc. Now, however, he is experiencing utter cynicism: there is a huge gunfight and carnage taking place all around him, he has just been shot, and he realizes that revolution is a bunch of BS, which is the main theme of the film: Duck, You Sucker. So at this moment of the apex of his cynicism, he is remembering and contrasting that with his youthful beliefs, at the apex of his idealism. And Leone is trying to show that though it may at first seem like Revolution is so wonderful, ultimately you will realize that it is ugly and awful, and it is best to just "keep your head down."

According to this interpretation,  however, you may ask:  Would it not suffice if we just had an extended flashback of youthful scenes in the beautiful countryside, to represent the youthful idealism of Revolution? ie. what does the kissing scene add to it? I do not have a great answer, but perhaps its that the kissing scene -- which, as we discussed, emphasizes the extreme seriousness of the betrayal -- serves to further bring out this contrast between the youthful idealism and the later cynicism; and that some of the very things that made the youthful times so wonderful -- eg. the girl, the friendship, etc. -- can in an instant be turned into your biggest curse (ie. Nolan, the person with whom you most closely shared your Revolutionary idealism), nearly led to your demise... and his betrayal was possibly the beginning of your cynicism about Revolution.

So Sean and Juan are sharing the main theme together: at the same moments, Juan is realizing that the Revolution took from him everything that he held dear (ie. his family and his new friend Sean); similarly, Sean realizes that his youthful beliefs in Revolution caused him to lose everything he had -- his home in the beautiful Irish countryside, his friendships, and ultimately his life -- and were just a load of crap.

During these final moments, when it is already too late, they both realize: we should have just kept our heads outta this.


« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 06:13:16 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2011, 08:30:12 AM »

We know from careful study of OUATITW that Leone likes to use an important flashback as a dying man's final thoughts. In West, Frank, at the point of dying, re-lives the moment that Harmonica has been carrying around inside for so many years. You could say that Harmonica, through the simple act of placing a harmonica in the other man's mouth, actually transmits the flashback to Frank. Frank then understands, under judgment for a past crime, that he is receiving his final reward.

In DYS, the flashback is not shared between Juan and John/Sean, obviously; however, it is occurring in John/Sean's mind (and is not merely an "objective" flashback) because he is at the point of dying. The music makes clear what the slow-motion also indicates: this remembrance is a beautiful thing. Characterize it anyway you wish, but I think Leone is telling us that John/Sean understands, under judgment for a past crime, that he is receiving his final reward.

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« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2011, 11:00:29 PM »

We know from careful study of OUATITW that Leone likes to use an important flashback as a dying man's final thoughts. In West, Frank, at the point of dying, re-lives the moment that Harmonica has been carrying around inside for so many years. You could say that Harmonica, through the simple act of placing a harmonica in the other man's mouth, actually transmits the flashback to Frank. Frank then understands, under judgment for a past crime, that he is receiving his final reward.

In DYS, the flashback is not shared between Juan and John/Sean, obviously; however, it is occurring in John/Sean's mind (and is not merely an "objective" flashback) because he is at the point of dying. The music makes clear what the slow-motion also indicates: this remembrance is a beautiful thing. Characterize it anyway you wish, but I think Leone is telling us that John/Sean understands, under judgment for a past crime, that he is receiving his final reward.

That is a very  interesting point you are making: Just as in OUATITW, where Frank's final flashback served to show how he was paying for his crimes, similarly, in DYS, Sean's final flashback -- in depicting that Nolan was such a close friend --  serves to emphasize the extent of the crime he is about to pay for with his life.

However, I still prefer the interpretation I said above (that the flashback serves to contrast Sean's earlier idealism with Revolution, to his current cynicism of it). Here is why:
Firstly, according to your interpretation, we have to believe that Sean's killing of Nolan was a bad thing; and I am not so sure that we are supposed to believe that. After all, Nolan did betray Sean, and almost got him killed. Sure, it is possible that Sean is now regretful that he killed Nolan -- or at least he is feeling somewhat guilty or unsure, questions whether it was the right thing. But I don't think that we are supposed to believe that it was a clear-cut bad thing for which Sean deserves to die.


Secondly, I prefer my interpretation because IMO that is a better ending to the film, at least insofar as bringing out the theme: that at the end of the film, as Sean is about to die, and Juan is about to lose his friend, they are both realizing the theme of the movie, (ie. not to get involved in Revolutions).
Even if we are indeed supposed to indeed believe that Sean was wrong to kill Nolan and that Sean's death is a punishment for that crime, I don't think  that issue is, by itself, a major part or theme of  the movie. Rather, it would be there to help emphasize the theme (ie. they were only in this awful situation of Sean's close friend betraying him, Sean killing him in revenge, and Sean now being punished with his own death) because they got involved in Revolution in the first place.

So now, in his dying moments, Sean is remembering the cause of all the sad things that have happened
(eg. the betrayal and death of Nolan, the death of Juan's family, the general carnage of the battlefield, and culminating in Sean's imminent death): the youthful idealism and involvement in Revolution.

Two final notes:

1) I am not necessarily disputing that (at least one purpose of) the final flashback is intended to show the closeness of Sean's friendship to Nolan. Indeed, it may well be so; however, I believe the purpose of showing that is to further emphasize the ultimate theme: that getting involved in Revolutions can be so bad, that it can even lead to very close friends betraying and killing each other

2. According to my interpretation of the final flashback, the music is therefore actually quite cynical: the beautiful music reflects Sean's youthful beliefs in the beauty of what is occurring [the beautiful Irish countryside, the lovely girl, the great friendship with Nolan, and above all else, the idealism of Revolution] and is actually in quite a stark contrast to what the dying Sean now believes.



« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 12:25:42 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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