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Author Topic: Scorsese on OUTIA  (Read 20778 times)
cigar joe
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« on: February 02, 2010, 03:34:42 AM »

Don't remember if this has ever been posted here or not. Afro

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/article.jsp?assetId=P6630072

This turned out to be the final film from Sergio Leone, who passed away in 1989 at the age of 60. He was planning a massive epic about the siege of Stalingrad, and it's tragic that he was never able to make it. Like Stanley Kubrick, he didn't make that many films, but the ones that he did make are enough. Apart from his debut, The Colossus of Rhodes, this was his only departure from the Western genre. It's a gangster picture, but it's extremely different from any of the films I was making or from Francis Coppola's Godfather pictures. Once Upon a Time in America is grand, operatic, and it is structured as a meditation on the passing of time and history—personal history, social history, economic history. Robert De Niro and James Woods play two friends, children of Jewish immigrants who grow up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan into a life of racketeering. The Woods character understands the importance of leaving his roots, becoming a respectable citizen. The De Niro character can't do it—he can't deny his urges, his desires or his identity as a gangster. The film is majestic, with one of Ennio Morricone's most heartbreaking scores, but it's also brutally frank about sex, power and betrayal. The imagery is romantic, but the characters are not at all, and tension results in some remarkable scenes. De Niro's character takes the woman he loves (Elizabeth McGovern) to a deluxe restaurant on Long Island (it was actually shot in Venice) that he's rented for the night, and on the way home, he can't help himself—he needs to possess her: What begins as a romantic idyll moves into an upsetting scene of sexual violation. The longing to have more now is at the heart of the picture—there's a great scene early on in which one of the kids who grows up to be a gangster sits patiently on a stoop with a cream puff he's planning to give to a neighborhood girl in exchange for sexual favors. He sits and waits, and he takes one little bite, then another, then another, and he can't help devouring the whole thing. It's emblematic of the entire story. When Once Upon a Time in America was initially released here, it was cut almost in half and rearranged into chronological order, and while you could feel that there was greatness in the film, this version was really a violation of Leone's conception. The structure is extremely dense and complicated, moving back and forth in time, to devastating effect. The final scene of the picture takes place somewhere in the middle, and it ends on a profoundly haunting note. There was no one else like Sergio Leone. This is one of his greatest films.

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 08:21:12 AM »

Thanks for sharing Afro

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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 08:05:38 AM »

 Afro
First time I read this I think... it's nice!
I don't understand the following line thought: "This is one of his greatest films."
Doesn't make too much sense. When a guy does 7 movies, each one is both "one of his greatest" and "one of his worst".

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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 08:50:18 AM »

Afro
First time I read this I think... it's nice!
I don't understand the following line thought: "This is one of his greatest films."
Doesn't make too much sense. When a guy does 7 movies, each one is both "one of his greatest" and "one of his worst".
I could make following distinction:
HIS BEST PICTURES:
OUATIA
OUATITW
GBU

HIS WORST PICTURES:
DYS
FAFDM
FOD
COR

But yeah, such categorizing is more suitable with directors like Hitchcock or Scorsese himself.

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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 10:01:36 AM »

I could make following distinction:
HIS BEST PICTURES:
OUATIA
OUATITW
GBU

HIS WORST PICTURES:
FAFDM
FOD
COR

HIS STRANGE PICTURES:
DYS

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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 08:16:37 PM »

Like Stanley Kubrick, he didn't make that many films


Damn, really?

I know nobody cares about his stuff before The Killing but that doesn't mean the previous five don't count!

16 films seem like more than enough for one director to tackle in his lifetime.

At least it's a sight more than Leone's 7.

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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 11:56:16 AM »

At least it's a sight more than Leone's 7.

Though I'm pretty sure many people think the correct number is 6... Lips Sealed


Thanks CJ! Afro


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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 01:46:37 PM »

Though I'm pretty sure many people think the correct number is 6... Lips Sealed


Thanks CJ! Afro


Unfortunately, bad movies count, too.

Sorry, I'm being totally prejudiced. I haven't even seen COR...

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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 01:43:08 AM »

For me the number is 9. Including Pompeji (which he at least directed) and Nobody, which is all his (even if he didn't directed it).

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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 06:53:07 AM »

For me the number is 9. Including Pompeji (which he at least directed) and Nobody, which is all his (even if he didn't directed it).
Somebody give this man a beer!

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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 09:15:37 AM »

Here we go again. No prisoners.

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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 07:28:09 AM »

Somebody give this man a beer!

and don't forget "A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe"!

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« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2011, 05:39:14 AM »

and don't forget "A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe"!

No, that's surely not a Leone. Nothing Leonesque in it.

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« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2011, 02:17:43 PM »

The number I'm thinking is  . . . 8 1/2. Cheesy

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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 01:17:53 AM »

No, that's surely not a Leone. Nothing Leonesque in it.

I have not seen that film yet, but I was under the impression that Leone produced it, or it was "presented by" Leone, or something like that. He did have something to do with it, no?

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