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Groggy
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This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


« #45 : July 20, 2012, 06:02:06 PM »

Quote
Leone intended there to be a double meaning, ie. that viewers should say that it could be viewed as a dream. But I don't think the intent was that some will say that it was not intended to be a dream


Thanks for contradicting yourself. It saves me the trouble. :D



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« #46 : July 21, 2012, 09:21:22 PM »



Thanks for contradicting yourself. It saves me the trouble. :D

Perhaps I didn't explain myself properly, and/or perhaps you misunderstood me. But I didn't contradict myself; I've been consistent all along. That specific point I was trying to formulate is difficult to explain, so I'll try to do it again, and explain very very clearly what I mean. Here goes:

There are two possible definitions of the term "double meaning"

One possible definition, which I'll call A) is that Leone intended that some viewers will interpret something one way, while other viewers will interpret it another way.

Another possible definition, which I'll call B) is that Leone intended that all viewers will understand that there are two possible interpretations of the movie.

I believe that the "double meaning" that was intended was B). Therefore I believe that it is correct to say "Leone intended that viewers will say that the movie exists on two possible levels, as a reality and as a dream." But I believe it is incorrect to say that "since Leone intended that it have a double meaning, the viewers who argue that it MUST be reality are also correct."

 Leone meant is that "all viewers should understand that there is a double meaning." Therefore, those who argue that the movie is absolutely all reality, and completely discount the possibility of a dream element, are wrong.

This is similar to the discussion of the man jumping into the garbage truck at the end. As we know, it looks like Bailey but we never get a clear shot of his face, so it's left to be ambiguous. ("We know, but we don't know, but we know," as James Woods said.) But the ambiguity is not that some viewers should say it's definitely Bailey, while others should say it's definitely not Bailey. Rather, the ambiguity element is that ALL viewers should say it's meant to be ambiguous, that we really know even though don't know for sure.

The reason I so thoroughly discount the argument that the movie could correctly be interpreted as being purely realistic is that as I've discussed extensively before, I think there are so many things that happen in the movie that can't be explained as being pure reality. And cuz Leone clearly mentioned the dream element, it cannot be disregarded. Again, I do not believe that we have to accept the director's word  if he states the meaning of something which cannot be plausibly interpreted from watching the movie; or if others involved in the movie argue with him. But if the director states the meaning of something which certainly is a very reasonable interpretation (to put it mildly), and nobody that I've seen who was involved with the movie denies it, (not to mention the fact that soooo many things that happen make more sense when you go with the director's interpretation), then yes, it is a slam dunk. I think there's lots of room for debate and discussion with Leone's movies, just like all movies, but this is one of the rare times when I absolutely do not give a shred of credibility to an argument: ie. the argument that the movie only reads like straight reality, and that there is no basis for at least a possible interpretation that it's a dream


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« #47 : July 22, 2012, 01:09:51 AM »



 Leone meant is that "all viewers should understand that there is a double meaning."


If Leone really meant that, then he failed terribly. Only a little minority has interpreted greater parts of the film as a dream.


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« #48 : July 22, 2012, 02:28:05 AM »

If Leone really meant that, then he failed terribly. Only a little minority has interpreted greater parts of the film as a dream.


I'm not sure what you're basing that on. Do you mean "a little minority of the members on the SLWB"? You;d have to speak to a shitload of fans before you can get an appropriate sample size to definitively know what the opinion is of a minority, small or large. I can only speak for myself and those that I read on the board, and the critics whose reviews I read. I can't pretend to speak for the perhaps hundreds of millions of people worldwide that have seen this film over the past 28 years

« : July 22, 2012, 02:30:53 AM drinkanddestroy »

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« #49 : July 22, 2012, 02:58:00 AM »

Most people who have seen (and liked/loved) the movie have never heard of the dream theory :) Only a bunch of nerds like us know about it.


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« #50 : July 22, 2012, 03:11:23 AM »

Most people who have seen (and liked/loved) the movie have never heard of the dream theory :) Only a bunch of nerds like us know about it.

polling is a very difficult, costly, time-consuming, and scientific process. But despite all that, we are polling experts here at the SLWB!!!


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« #51 : July 22, 2012, 04:52:42 AM »

Actually I'm a (part time) marketing guy, so yeah, polling is part of my job ;)
So I'm not saying I made a regular poll about that but as a guy who does and uses polls on a regular basis, i can tell you there are things where you don't need a scientific poll (except if you have time and money to lose). But no need to argue with me, I follow you on your main point: the ending is supposed to be ambiguous, and the dream theory is totally solid.

« : July 22, 2012, 05:56:35 AM noodles_leone »

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« #52 : July 22, 2012, 11:52:52 AM »

Chris - I agree with you that the part about the suitcase in the locker is silly, but, even though I absolutely believe that the movie is a dream, I don't think that the suitcase in any way supports the dream theory. I just think it was a poorly written piece of the screenplay. In fact, it's the single biggest thing that bothers me about my favorite movie of all-time. (Sure, there are other things that aren't explained properly because of the all the cut scenes, some of which will now be restored), but the suitcase is just an atrocious bit of script. Sure, it makes sense that some kids who make a few bucks would keep the suitcase with their earnings there; kids aren't that smart. But an adult gang of successful bootleggers/hitmen, with a million dollars put away, would keep all their earnings in a suitcase in a locker at a bus/train station? That is simply ridiculous.

In The Hoods, Max tells the gang they need to take their money out of the bank so as to avoid an investigation on tax evasion, and there's this complicated bit where they put the money in 4 suitcases. Originally, (according to STDWD), the screenplay for OUATIA also had something with the 4 suitcases, but I guess that got too complicated, so they just made it with the one suitcase. But they should have done a better job of hiding it in a more believable place (perhaps in a safe hidden in back of Fat Moe's or something). It's absolutely ludicrous that an important piece of plot of the greatest movie ever would hinge on something so silly as the gang keeping all their cash earnings in that locker.

But I just think it's a poor bit of writing, but has nothing to do with the dream theory.


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« #53 : July 22, 2012, 02:05:57 PM »


check out  this clip at 4:30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFLua0roJnI&feature=relmfu




Who is the guy at 6:25 into the clip

ICE


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« #54 : July 22, 2012, 04:50:46 PM »

Who is the guy at 6:25 into the clip

ICE

Arnon Milchan, producer of OUATIA.

You should watch the whole documentary, it's on Youtube in 7 parts. It's nice  O0


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« #55 : July 23, 2012, 02:14:34 AM »

As discussed extensively in this thread http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10498.0 I don't think Bailey's anonymity is a problem. And the phone ringing is Noodles's guilt, in his mind. That moment when his life ended. (I think Leone said something about how the moment Noodles walks into the opium den, having betrayed his friends, he is already spiritually dead). Naturally, Noodles is playing that terrible moment of guilt over and over in his head, and the phone represents that. Of course it's not meant to be a literal phone ringing.
(Fucking Pauline Kael jumped up during the premiere and shouted "would somebody answer that damn phone!) What an idiot  ::)

As for the issue of (parahprasing) "not enough time between Noodles's inhaling the opium and the smile for anything to happen," I think you are missing the chronology: Noodles enters the opium den, inhales the opium, and begins to dream, and he begins to smiles. That's where the movie ends: as he begins to smile, just as his dreams begin. So the movie ends just as he is beginning to dream. Everything that happens after that point -- starting with the beginning of the movie, with Eve's murder, the gang coming after Noodles in the opium den, Noodles escaping the den and then escaping New York, etc. -- is all the dream. So the moment he smiles, at the end of the movie, is just as he begins the dream. The dream itself starts at the beginning of the movie. (At least that's the way I see things  ;) )


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« #56 : July 23, 2012, 03:33:02 AM »

Regarding unrealistic parts of the movie, does anyone think it realistic in the beginning of the movie where Eve is killed, that they kill her so quickly? No interrogation, no hitting, no threats, no torture...like they had just been doing to Mo.

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« #57 : July 23, 2012, 03:37:07 AM »

Regarding unrealistic parts of the movie, does anyone think it realistic in the beginning of the movie where Eve is killed, that they kill her so quickly? No interrogation, no hitting, no threats, no torture...like they had just been doing to Mo.

They did hit her. But it was clear that she didn't know anything; therefore, she was killed quickly. But Moe knew where Noodles was, hence he was tortured until he squealed.

btw, there's a great line, when Eve says, "What are you going to do to him"  ;D


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« #58 : July 23, 2012, 02:33:14 PM »


So the smile does come from the effects of the opium!  

Unless he is beginning to dream about the murder of Eve and smiles (unlikely).

Or he is beginning to dream about the time he was in the john spying on Deborah (possible).

Or he is dreaming backwards starting with Max jumping into the back of a garbage truck (just silly).

  
It could be artistic and dramatic license again but even with opium, dreams take a while to start.

 


yes, he smiles as he begins to dream. The opium hits him, he closes his eyes and begins to dream and smiles. Then his dreams begin, with the beginning of the movie. (I've never smoked opium so I don't know exactly how it works and how long it takes the dreams to start. But that's how I understand the chronology).


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« #59 : November 07, 2013, 01:16:40 AM »

I was reading a book about gangster movies where the author mentions a problem with the dream theory (which is mentioned in every discussion about the dream theory) of how could Noodles know about color tv's and 1968 cars, etc.

IMO, whether or not you believe OUATIA, this particular argument against the dream theory is a stupid one. I mean, let's suppose for a moment that you were gonna making a movie in which someone in 1933 has a dream about 1968.  How would you show 1968? - would you really show everything in 1968 appearing just as it did in 1933? You'd show 1933 cars and styles? You'd show no color TV? *
You need to have some way to convey that this is 1968. If you have an old Noodles show up in 1968, but (aside from the people looking 35 years older) the entire settings and fashions and styles and technology is the same, that would look ridiculous and everyone would be able to tell in five seconds that it's a dream.

So, if you theoretically wanna convey that someone is having a dream about 1968, I don't think that showing the typical 1968 settings/technologies is beyond the normal realm of cinematic suspension of disbelief.


I don't mean to re-debate the dream theory; we've debated that long and hard and I don't know if there is much to add to what has already been said. All I am saying is that IMO, whether you support or oppose dream theory, the argument that the movie can't be  a dream cuz Noodles couldn't anticipate 1968 technology is a ridiculous argument.

------

* and btw, forget all the crap about color TV; there was no TV at all in 1933.

yeah, if you look at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television it says that the very early technologies were around in the late '20's, but this was the real early stuff that basically nobody except the inventors knew about; I don't believe typical people knew anything about television in 1933, and TV's certainly wouldn't have been available in bars/restaurants, like the TV on the wall in Fat Moe's. So once you're making the argument about how the dream theory is implausible cuz Noodles couldn't anticipate color TV, you should actually be making the same argument about him anticipating TV in general


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