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Author Topic: Conversation(s) avec Sergio Leone - Noel Simsolo  (Read 59072 times)
Noodles_SlowStir
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« Reply #45 on: August 19, 2009, 02:14:40 PM »

HG, thanks for all your work in posting and translating the OUATIA chapter.  I enjoyed reading it.  I find it amazing that this work hasn't been published in other languages so it could reach more people. I would of thought that to be important to Simsolo as well. 

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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2009, 01:42:42 PM »

has anyone tried to get in touch with someone about an english release of the book?

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #47 on: March 28, 2011, 02:34:04 AM »

I have been reading some of the arguments here RE: the Dream Theory. and I am just wondering: for those who do not support the dream theory (specifically Groogy & dave jenkins), what is the significance of the final shot in the opium den and Noodles's final smile?

and RE: dave jenkins's earlier question of how the Dream theory helps the movie or makes it anything other than  Twilight Zone episode: the Dream Theory here isn't simply "and then he woke up..." There is a level of fantasy with all 3 of Leone's "Once Upon a Time..." films. Simply put, with  West, it was the fantasy of the Western that Leone had grown up with; with Revolution, it was the dashed fantasy of revolution; and with America, it was a reflection on Leone's childhood dreams of America, land of the free, which as he grew older, he learned had as much to do with fantasy as reality. As Leone stated in some of HG's earlier posts  of the Simsolo interview, Noodles's dreams are representative in a way of Leone's dreams of America; a hazy mixture of reality and fantasy. And of course, Leone was very influenced by his conversations with Harry Grey; when he realized that the old man was mixing his real-life experiences with fanatasies he must have seen in the movies -- without realizing himself what was real and what was fantasy -- that surely influenced Leone to explore that theme in the film: the mixing of reality with fantasy; an old man trying to make sense of time that has passed him by. In a sense, the Robert De Niro character is really playing (Leone's interpretation of) the real-life elderly Harry Grey that Leone interacted with, as opposed to the Noodles of The Hoods.

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« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2011, 03:43:55 AM »

but again -- I don't see how you have explained the significance of final flashback and smile.... (I can't compare it to the ending in "The Hoods," cuz he had really gotten away there)

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« Reply #49 on: March 28, 2011, 05:48:15 AM »

I think the beauty of that ending is that everyone can make of it whatever he/she wants, without drastically affecting the journey of the story/characters that preceded.

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« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2011, 06:42:13 AM »

I think the beauty of that ending is that everyone can make of it whatever he/she wants, without drastically affecting the journey of the story/characters that preceded.

Coward.

(but i agree)

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« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2011, 09:23:12 AM »

I don't see that it necessarily needs to be greatly significant.  Just my personal view, a nod to Harry Grey, the real Noodles, and possibly Jill from Once Upon A Time In The West.



I agree that it's a nod to Harry Grey, but in a different sense; Grey had spent the later years of his life imagining things he had been a part of and mixing reality with fantasy; so yeah, I think the Noodles character in the movie is based more on the real Harry Grey than on the Noodles character in the book

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« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2011, 09:37:51 PM »

at the 4:30 mark in this vid, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFLua0roJnI Leo Benvenuti states that Leone specifically mentioned the possibility of the Opium Dream Theory in response to an audience member's question about the final smile after an early screening in Rome

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« Reply #53 on: May 09, 2011, 10:48:33 AM »

Leone had a wicked sense of humor and his words were preceded by "maybe just maybe...", indicating to me that he wished to keep some ambiguity.

Ambiguity is very irritating to those who need to compartmentalise things but it's fine with me.  It mirrors the world in which these gangsters lived and the book on which the movie was based.  


I agree that it may have been meant to be ambiguous. But I strongly disagree with  those who completely discount any possibility of the dream theory

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« Reply #54 on: May 15, 2011, 07:32:52 AM »

According to Mickey Knox's autobiography, this gangster was Jimmy Blue Eyes.

Knox: "Before starting Once Upon a Time in America, Leone got a rare meeting with the real but elusive head of the Mafia in the States Jimmy Blue Eyes.

Jimmy Blue Eyes avoided all publicity and was unknown to the public; as they say in professional circles, he kept a low profile.

How Leone got the meeting with Jimmy is unclear. In speaking about the meeting, Leone inferred that he had arranged it with a lawyer who handled Mafia legal affairs, but I had the sense that this wasn't the whole story.

Leone sat across from Jimmy at a back room table of an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. Leone told him that he was going to make a film about gangsters in the 1920s. Jimmy listened, his eyes staring down on the table, never looking at Leone. When Leone finished, Jimmy spoke in little above a whisper: "You no makea dat movie."

Leone quickly got the message and added, "My movie is about Jewish gangsters in the 1920s."

Jimmy Blue Eyes slowly lifted his eyes to Leone and replied, "Dat movie you make." (Jimmy Blue Eyes had very dark brown eyes.)"


why was the gangster with heavy accent speaking in English to the director who spoke no English?

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« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2011, 08:37:12 AM »

I believe that he eventually learned some English after Fistful.

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« Reply #56 on: May 15, 2011, 10:54:19 AM »

I believe that he eventually learned some English after Fistful.

yeah he did speak some English by the time of OUATIA, according to Frayling. But it still seems strange that an Italian gangster with a heavy accent (ie. presumably without the greatest command of the language) would be conversing in English with Leone

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« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2012, 09:36:56 PM »

Just want to add my thanks to HG for translating and posting this great interview.
HG, would you mind if I copy and paste it and make a PDF document to put on the Once Upon a Time in America website (onceuponatimeinamerica.net)? I'll acknowledge you of course - but I only know you as 'HG'! Get in touch to give me your real name if you like.
cheers,
Simon

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« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2012, 05:28:14 AM »

Yeh I'd also like to thank you for your posts HG-thanks a lot mate-insightful! Smiley
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2012, 09:09:09 AM »

why was the gangster with heavy accent speaking in English to the director who spoke no English?

Dramatic license? I doubt Knox was present.

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