Sergio Leone Web Board

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: michael.h on September 06, 2004, 12:50:56 PM

Title: Leone an auteur?
Post by: michael.h on September 06, 2004, 12:50:56 PM
Anyone have any views on whether Sergio could be called an auteur? Also, does anyone know ehere I could get more info regarding Srgio as an auteur?
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: Half Soldier on September 06, 2004, 01:39:36 PM
Yes he is for many reasons.  The one I'll mention is the use of noise whether the music or as background.  I don't know of any other director who pays as much attention to the aural aspect of filmaking, presumably because most concentrate on the action.  My favourite noises (how sad!) are the squelching noise the spoon makes when Angel Eyes has a bowl of sloop in his first scene(GBU) and when the crickets stop chirping (an absence of noise) at Sweetwater (OUTIW).  I'm sure there's info elsewhere on the subject and a good place to start would be Christopher Fraylings book which I would like to get a copy of one day.
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on September 06, 2004, 05:31:00 PM
Yes and the wheezing, hissing, steam-breathing, iron horse, the windmill in serious need of oiling, the wind and the wind banging hanging signs against walls. Horse hooves and boots against the ground. Many favorites for me too.
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: grandpa_chum on September 07, 2004, 09:35:22 PM
not sure the exact definition of an auteur, but if it's simply a filmmaker who has complete creative control over his works then YES he is an auteur... when he made his films anyway he had creative control over every aspect i can think of... the international releases and post-production tweeks are a different story... but i would assume he is near the epitome of an auteur.
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: DJIMBO on September 08, 2004, 04:20:53 AM
if we're talking about complete creative control i dont think Leone had that. he forced much of it out of Paramount and United Artists no doubt, but the contributions of his writers (eg. Bertolucci, Argento, Donati and esp. Vincenzoni) cannot be ignored. Also Eastwood is supposed to have suggested alot of elements for the man with no name.
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: grandpa_chum on September 08, 2004, 09:24:06 AM
who influenced what is not the point... or at least thats how i see it... the point is that leone could accept or decline basically anything he wanted... he controlled what that camera shot... what the story was... what it sounded like... and how it was edited... it's complete creative control, not complete creative input... or at least thats how i see it...
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: DJIMBO on September 08, 2004, 01:44:20 PM
that may well be true, the notorious force of his character may have pressurised others into accepting his opinion. all i'm saying is that much of the comedic elements in the films came from Luciano Vincenzoni.
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: michael.h on September 09, 2004, 12:10:08 PM
not sure the exact definition of an auteur, but if it's simply a filmmaker who has complete creative control over his works then YES he is an auteur... when he made his films anyway he had creative control over every aspect i can think of... the international releases and post-production tweeks are a different story... but i would assume he is near the epitome of an auteur.

Control has nothing to do with being an auteur. According to the auteur theory, ‘the director's personal vision is the principal "authorial" element in making the film.’ The more expressive forms of authorship create a very different film-viewing experience for spectators.

It doesn't matter how much control Leone did or did not have on his films (though it is a strong factor) what matters is how the film is made. For example, if you saw a film, you would automatically know who directed it, dues to camera angles, mise-en-scene, lighting etc, all of which, an auteur would repeatedly use theoughout his film career. This can be said for no one better than Alfred Hitchcock.

What I did want to know is if anyone has any ideas on whether Leone could be callled one as well?
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: DJIMBO on September 09, 2004, 12:46:16 PM
dont misunderstand me, i do think he's an auteur, there's an identifiable Leone style no question - i just think the tongue-in-cheek aspect was perhaps influenced by Vincenzoni.  :-X
Title: Re:Leone an auteur?
Post by: grandpa_chum on September 09, 2004, 12:48:38 PM
from what i've heard on this post and know about leone's work, my opinion would be yes... but i don't really know what i'm talking about when it comes to auteurs...

... now if your saying that alfred hitchcock is the perfect example of one than i don't think there is any argument against leone seeing that hitchcock was not even the primary writer for most if not all of his films... so if this all makes sense than the fact that leone had other people influence his work from a writing standpoint is disregarded... again although i don't know much about the historical deeming of an auteur, i would consider the fact that, according to fraylings book, leone could act out many of his films from beginning to end before a script was even constructed(OUATIA at least) as the biggest evidence that leone could be considered an auteur... also, i've read and heard that leone's scripts didn't mean a whole lot other than some of the english dialog... that is, the movie would turn out to be nearly independent of the script in many of his films and that and the point described above would mean, to me at least, that sergio leone's "personal vision was the principal authorial element in making the film.

but thats just my opinion... i have no evidence of anyone ever refering or explaining leone as an auteur
Title: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: soul_full_of_spike on November 04, 2004, 12:53:29 PM
Hey guys,

I'm currently doing my autuer study in film studies and were wondering if anyone considers sergio leone as an autuer? If so could you tell me why, or why you dont consider him an autuer? I know autuer is just a theory and to be honest I dont believe in it? But for those of you who dont know what the autuer theory is about here you go, an autuer is a director that leaves there stamp on a film, so you can identify the films director without knowing it, just by watching there film, theyre style of directing.  They have a distinctive feel to there films, I think you can tell a Leone film, from the crowd, and I think his films are all genericly distinctive, I mean OUATIA is simply a western in the city?

So Sergio Leone autuer?
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: John Baldwin on November 04, 2004, 01:27:57 PM
First, hello soul_full_of_spike...
Then, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "Leone 's an auteur?". I you mean that there is a Leone style, that you can regnonize without the name of the director, I agree...
And finaly, OUATIA is, I think, more than "a western in the city". For me, and for a lot of pepole, Once upon a time...the Revolution is the end of the western in the mind of Sergio Leone; it's a political movie, after the western, before the "begining" of the USA. And, always for me, OUATIA is a new way, we enter on a new American age; the western is finish, now, we enter on the "golden age". You see, in FOD, FAFDM, and GBU, you just have what I'll call "the first action"; I mean you have just the character(s) who have a quest, a goal, and they make it.
In OUATITW, you have "the second action"; there is an other thing: characters can make nothing against it, it's here, it is a part of their life. It's a sort of really life with really element of the history (in GBU you have the war, but Blondin and Tuco doesn't take a part at the war). The railroad is coming, the western is dead.
In OUAT...TR, you have 15 minutes of western at the begining, but after, it's like a political movie. Ideas, point of view...The characters, like in OUATITW, are in this revolution, they can't escape.
And in OUATIA, I think there is a new element in the Sergio style: the city, with a lot of people, such as in the westerns, there is not this big city, with all the population. So, there is it, but in more there is the politic, which has a great place in this movie. So I disagree.
I hope it's clear, but I don't believe (it's hard to exprime what I feel in English...Sorry!!!).
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: soul_full_of_spike on November 04, 2004, 01:45:19 PM
Thankyou, I see what you mean yes, and I think i actually agree, ok, Auteur, its a theory started by a group of french filmmakers, and simply it is french for 'author' it is the theory that one person i.e Leone is soly responsible for the look and feel of the film, weather this is true in reality is irrelevant, but theory speaking Leone has that distinctive style and simalarities in his work. What do others think of simalarities in Leone's work? and are his films easily recognisable?

Cheers guys.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: John Baldwin on November 04, 2004, 01:55:35 PM
I think you can recognize his films by a lot of points:
-the screenplay; you always have the same "style", but it's hard to make a definition of it.
-the shots
-graphicaly, you can recognize his movies
-and, but it's an other thing, the music, as if OUATIA is different as the others
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Half Soldier on November 04, 2004, 02:36:28 PM
I believe Leone is an auteur.  I could spend hours rambling on this and then delete the whole thing because it woudn't sound right.  So briefly

1/ Sound, both incidental (music) and actual (the fly, the windmill in OUTITW are obvious examples.  Ok it hepled to have Ennio on your side but the way action and music intertwine is unique.  The other type of sound that is actual (ie if you were there) is also somethin Leone is a master at.  I think he overdubbed these later but I may be wrong - someone out there will know.  Favourites of mine include the schlop Angel Eyes spoon makes as he eats in his first scene in GBU and the turkeys gobbling as the Mcbains are massacred in OUTITW.  Fantastic attention to detail.

2/  Panoramic vision.  Quite common in films but he makes them extraordinary.  The cemetary in GBU, the scenes in OUTITW where the camera pans from close (Timmy climbing the hill and the station) to the eye filling visions (Sweetwater and the town-whose-name-I-forget) and the place where James Coburn wakes up after faling asleep in the wagon (FFODy)are just four of countless examples.

3/  Close ups.  Close ups of eyes and other body parts are common (best done on Charles Bronson at the end of OUTITW and at the beginning of FFODy).  Often parodied but I believe only done with conviction by Leone are the close ups of things like boots and hands wavering by guns (accomponied by Ennios music)

4/  Atmosphere.  This is where I could lose myself in waffle.  Just watch one of the films back to back 3 times and hopefully you'll get a grasp of what I feel.  Nobody else comes close but I can't put my finger on why.  A film student as yourself might.

There are other things and themes which crop up regularly - politics,trains, death (not always seen), bells.  Recently on this site someone pointed out the occurence of the number three which I'd never noticed before.  Oh and he tells a shit hot story too.

For me, an auteur is an artist with a blank canvas.  He or she may have their influences but in their mind knows how the film needs to look and feel.  All the others simply paint by numbers.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: John Baldwin on November 04, 2004, 03:02:34 PM
3/  Close ups.  Close ups of eyes and other body parts are common (best done on Charles Bronson at the end of OUTITW and at the beginning of FFODy).  Often parodied but I believe only done with conviction by Leone are the close ups of things like boots and hands wavering by guns (accomponied by Ennios music)
In the DVD of OUATIA, there is a bonus. In, you have an interview of Tarantino, who said that when he began to make movies, he didn't know all the name of materials, shots...etc. So, when he wanted an close up or an extreme close up, he said to his cameraman:"I want a Leone!!!", which means not just the close up, but an atmosphere: the quality, the light...
I find it's a funny anecdote... ;D
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: soul_full_of_spike on November 04, 2004, 03:21:55 PM
Cheers everyone, you've all been a great help. Keep it coming, hehe. I agree withall your points, cheers.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on November 04, 2004, 08:07:28 PM
A couple of more Leonesque touches, he framed a lot of shots through doorways, windows, etc.  Also inanamate objects, rifles, shovels, for example make their entrances by poking into the screen from different angles.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 04, 2004, 08:42:54 PM
The wide shots/close-ups thing is the camera key.  

Somthing I haven't seen mentioned above is sense of absurdity in his flicks - to wit - the hat shootings sequence in or the old man who basically lives on the train tracks in FFDM.  Everything in GBU from Blondie and Tuco's bounty scam, to the Angel-eye's strange relationship his army job, to Blondie shooting at Tuco with a cannon is absurd.   In OATITW the opening at the train station is complete absurdist Leone.   At the end of that scene, it seems like he wants us to believe he has killed it, as all the gunfighters go down.   But he couldn't resist as we see in the train scenes and indeed in Frank's sadism.     Leone's movies are brilliantly absurd and that is what elevates them over other Western that was ever made.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on November 06, 2004, 05:29:13 AM
 
Quote
Leone's movies are brilliantly absurd and that is what elevates them over other Western that was ever made.


Good point Two Kinds of..., also Leone used or better said framed his shots similar to the compositions of surrealistic paintings.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Il Buono on November 06, 2004, 07:38:34 AM
Maybe not really present in the dollars-trilogy, there's much melancholy his later films.  It's always something that makes me identify with his films.  He must have been a very melancholic and nostalgic guy.  I feel his films are more about things that have come to an end than things that start.  OUTIW, DYS and OUTIA are good examples of this.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on November 06, 2004, 03:49:57 PM
Leone was also way into cool stuff like secret doors,  rigged up trains, special guns, secret peepholes, small scale models of train depots, guns hidden in boots, etc.

There was melancholy in his later films which you could see developing as early as the bar keep's character in Fistful.   Time marches on, people get old, progress isn't for everyone.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: grandpa_chum on November 08, 2004, 03:05:13 PM
a few more things that distinguish Leone's films from others...

long shot lengths... one of the things i always notice with leone's movies... he stays on his shots much longer than the average, undistiguishable director... another reason why alot of people think his films are too slow.

Extremely/intensely climactic conclusions... i don't know of another director that film after film ends his films on such a high note... you could credit it to the fact that he's the master of the final showdown in his westerns... but also ends with a bang in different ways like in gui la testa(more so with the final flashback) and OUATIA with everything coming full circle and noodles meeting secratary baily for the last time... with the exception of maybe OUATIA he never just ends the movie... something big happens... and i don't mean we just find something out or there is an obvious conclusion... something HUGE goes down.

another thing that really does it for me is the sequential close ups of faces while the music is climaxing... does it during or just before all the showdowns of the dollars trilogy and during the flashback in west... he'll go from a close up of one face to the next and just keep going... that added with the extreme detail given to the interaction between music and visual really gives you a sense of a leone film
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Dlanor on November 27, 2004, 12:23:41 PM
It's exactly that Gran Pa. Exactly that...I think everyone of you brillantly sumed up Leone style. As Leone is definitely an Auteur.
I'll add a few things:

-During the gun duels, the shot under the legs of the gunman, and you see the other opponent, far away between the legs.
 
-You see a large lanscape an then sudenly a sinister face erupts just in front of the camera, and fill the entire screen, in the same shot(GBU).
 
-The persistence of the Flash backs. In FDM and OUATIA and DYS, the flash backs are not there to tell the story in a different order, they are there to plunge the audience in the memories of the character. No one appart Leone masterized it in such a way, it really appeals the audience and gives it the will to solve the clue of the charcacter, it really deals with mystery, in a progressive, inner, dramatic and poetic way.

 The slow downs during climatic action: Young harmonica who falls, Dominic who slept in OUTIA, the final flash back in DYS.
The slowness of the gesture, not only the shots but the charcaters themselves. The food.
 The relatively absence of women. It started to change with OUTITW and OUTIA. Leone simply thougt women were not good for the drama (refering to previous american western, he said that presence of women decreased the quality of the drama) .
 The fact that music is played by instruments wich appears in the film itself: the theme is played by El Indio watch in AFDM. The same for OUATIW, Harmonica who uses its intrument to play the theme. And also the bell of the arch which concludes the score. And even in OUTIA: Dominic whistles the theme running in the street.  In a FOD, GBU, and DYS, this procedee isn't used. This procedee is a real full circle, as it integrates totaly the score to the movie, we really feel that the score tells the story of this movie, because the characters play it.
 

Maybe not really present in the dollars-trilogy, there's much melancholy his later films.  It's always something that makes me identify with his films.  He must have been a very melancholic and nostalgic guy.
That was something I also thought. OUATITW, DYS, and OUTIA were so depressive, that I wondered: My! This guy must be totally depressive, he must be alway sad! How can he had lived  his life? It's a paradox, but no, Leone wasn't like his later movies. In life he enjoyed laughing, discussing, eating, to be with his family. He considered himself as lucky to have this sucess. I read that in Ray Freakling book. When I read the book I searched if Leone have had dark moments in his life, but I didn't really found them. He was simply critic toward History and about political engament. He didn't believed in politic because of the fascism and the fact that his father had to give up his career as an actor because he was a communist. But no, Leone's life wasn't under the sign of sadness, this feeling is simply extrapolated in his films. But the guy in itself had a Roman temperament, a  dynamism,  wich was all the contrary.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: John Baldwin on November 27, 2004, 02:45:14 PM
 :'(
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Dlanor on November 27, 2004, 03:42:13 PM
I don't know why you cry, but don't cry. Leone is still alive through his work, for eternity.
Title: Re:Leone, Auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on November 28, 2004, 04:45:52 AM
Quote
That was something I also thought. OUATITW, DYS, and OUTIA were so depressive, that I wondered: My! This guy must be totally depressive, he must be alway sad! How can he had lived  his life? It's a paradox, but no, Leone wasn't like his later movies. In life he enjoyed laughing, discussing, eating, to be with his family. He considered himself as lucky to have this sucess. I read that in Ray Freakling book. When I read the book I searched if Leone have had dark moments in his life, but I didn't really found them. He was simply critic toward History and about political engament. He didn't believed in politic because of the fascism and the fact that his father had to give up his career as an actor because he was a communist. But no, Leone's life wasn't under the sign of sadness, this feeling is simply extrapolated in his films. But the guy in itself had a Roman temperament, a  dynamism,  wich was all the contrary.


I think that perhaps the only dissapointment that Leone would have experienced would have been in the butchering of OUTIW, DYS, and OUTIA. This would alone, have been a monumental dissapointment to a creative genius, of course it was not only a dent to his career that has since been redeemed but it derailed what could have been a Leone juggernaut. That disappointment of getting sabotaged out of the american market might have caused him to overeat and overindulge more than he should have might have accelerated his heart condition, might have contributed to his early death.
Title: Re: Leone an auteur?
Post by: shorty larsen on May 15, 2005, 11:47:40 AM
Following Michael's definition of an autheur, I would say Leone is indeed an autheur. Just an example: Leone asked Leone to write the soundtrack before the movie shooting and he played it while shooting to create the sensible mood on the set.
Title: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: lee357 on December 16, 2005, 03:23:26 PM
Do you think that Sergio Leone can be classed as an auteur or do you agree that his creative influence was restricted by the classic western formula and that he was by no means the only influence on his movies but brought with him many contributors to his films.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Leone Admirer on December 16, 2005, 04:01:50 PM
Depends if you subscribe to the auteur theory  ;). I would say yes, but there are probably many who disagree with me.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: boardwalk_angel on December 16, 2005, 04:28:51 PM
Definitely.........yes. An auteur doesn't create a personal style out of a void......rather he, or she fashions it out of what influenced him as a filmmaker.
The visual poetry of John Ford....the narrative brilliance of Kurosawa...to name 2..were great influences...but Leone's impeccable sense of rhythm..& timing..., visual expression & style, were uniquely his own.
Rather than being "restricted" by the "classic western formula"...Leone used it...sometimes abused it..combined it with other forms...expanded it...etc. & most assuredly exerted & retained complete creative control over his work.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Beebs on December 16, 2005, 04:49:24 PM
What's an auteur?
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Juan Miranda on December 16, 2005, 04:53:55 PM
The auteur theory was an important development in the field of film critisism, but like many new and radical theories it took things much too far. Anybody who has actually worked on a film production knows that the final result is the creation of the sweat and labour of many, many people, some of whom may never even see a film camera (ie, the script writer and editor) but who's contribution was vital none the less. As such, the theory has pissed off a great many folk in the industry. One only needs to read the comments of many of Leone's former collaborators (actors and script writers usually) to realise that.

In a way your question suggests a lack of understanding of what the auteur theory actually is, since it was developed precisely to praise and raise the reputations of a group of Hollywood based directors working within the strict limits of genre based films, especially John Ford's "classic western formula".

Before Andre Bazin's “Notes on the Auteur Theory”, the only film dirctors critics generally took seriously were stars of theatre like Larry Olivier, or silent era big names like Chaplin and Von Stroheim, or guys like Cluzot, whom Truffaut and Bazin would go on to (foolishly) casigate as "la cinema du papa".

Where the theory does work to a great extent is when we can look at a body of work, where the only common link is the fact that so-and-so was the director on every single film, yet every film has common repetitive imagery, themes, concerns, style and content. The fact that different cinematographers, script writers and editors have all been employed, yet the film looks and "feels" like the director's last one means that yes, the director can be described as an auteur. And Leone was an "auteur", such was his personal vision, sense of style and drive to realise that look in the finished films. Left on his own though, none of these films would exist.

ETA. Beebs, for "best" results look it up on Google.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Beebs on December 16, 2005, 05:19:56 PM
Thanks, amigo!
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Sensei on December 16, 2005, 05:23:02 PM
There was another interesting thread about this (http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1364.0) about a year ago.  ;)
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: boardwalk_angel on December 16, 2005, 06:58:25 PM
I thought I knew what an auteur was. Perhaps I didn't  :-\. .I guess.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: lee357 on December 16, 2005, 07:16:21 PM
Thankyou all for your replies, in my opinion sergio leone is an auteur and is also the greatest director there has ever been. His films are magnificant and he is  the man who not only redifined the western genre but also gave me a love of films with his briliant epic movies.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Juan Miranda on December 16, 2005, 07:39:35 PM
Like any cultural concept, the auteur theory has gone through a variety of different interpretations since Bazin first proposed it. As such, its lost much of its origional dogmatic meaning - much of which arose purely due to post Vichy French politics.

Unless you look at the theory in the reductive terms that "the director is the sole, "real" author of the film", you're opening up up a whole can of not very interesting cine-crit worms. We're here to celebrate the films Leone directed. However, we also know that much of their success comes from the others who worked with him, from the anonimous labourers who constructed the Sad Hill cemetery to Eli Wallach who was 90 just a few days ago. As Einstein once said, "The theory is good, unfortunately this is reality."
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Beebs on December 17, 2005, 09:36:58 AM
So from it's original meaning, is it good to be an auteur?
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Beebs on December 17, 2005, 09:53:51 AM
Ha. Just found this. Hope the link works page 9 or 10 on general discussion

http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1267.0
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Leone Admirer on December 17, 2005, 10:12:57 AM
I always felt that if a director can create a similar style over a series of films whilst using different cast and crew (such as dp's and editors etc) then he is an auteur.
Title: Re: Is Leone an Auteur?
Post by: Half Soldier on December 17, 2005, 01:56:34 PM
That's it for me too Mr. Admirer

So from it's original meaning, is it good to be an auteur?

Is it good??  I suppose so since the individuality of the directors creative wishes and quirks over a number of films have been recognised by the critic/viewer irrespective of actors, story, cameraman etc.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: titoli on December 18, 2005, 04:36:31 PM
Well...I've tried to aswer this question for more than 30 years, of course not only in relationship to Leone but to all the mass culture. As much as i like Leone or Dino Risi or you name it, I think that to qualify as an auteur you must grapple with the eternal human concerns which are not just hunting for a booty. Leone's movies, like the old James Bond's movies  or Hitchcock's movies, entertain me like nothing else. But after "the end" they leave nothing with me. This is not what happens with Fellini's 8 &1\2 or I vitelloni, or Carnè's Les enfants du paradis or Vigo's Zero de conduite. These are movies that force you to think about what life is about and what is for. They make you think, not just keep you (as much as you may like the experience) at peace with yourself. Of course in this entertainment movies there an elevated degree of mastery of the technique (and Leone is supreme in this) and there's nothing wrong in liking being entertained (I like it myself). So, if by auteur we mean simply to have a style, well, Leone does have plenty. But if we mean to have something deep to say, I don't think he's there. 
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: The Peacemaker on December 18, 2005, 07:58:20 PM
I didn't think OUATITW or DYS were depressing. OUATIA was VERY depressing. Everytime I watch it I feel like crying alittle bit especially with the Noodles/Deborah relationship. We've all had a love that we could never have sometime in our lives and those scenes always bring back sad memories.  :'(  But I think that's how leone wanted us to feel so I know I'm not just a sentimental fool.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: dave jenkins on December 18, 2005, 09:28:34 PM
As much as i like Leone or Dino Risi or you name it, I think that to qualify as an auteur you must grapple with the eternal human concerns which are not just hunting for a booty. Leone's movies, like the old James Bond's movies  or Hitchcock's movies, entertain me like nothing else. But after "the end" they leave nothing with me.
I am surprised to hear you say this. Leone's great theme is male friendship and betrayal. The way he explores this theme, first glancingly in FAFDM, then comically in GBU, and finally more seriously in DYS and OUATIA, is one of the most fascinating developments of a subject in any body of cinematic work. After a Leone film (especially the later ones) I find myself with plenty to think about.

The same goes for Hitchcock, whose great theme is male-female relations (you need to read some Robin Wood).

Anyway, if Leone is not an auteur, then no one is.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Half Soldier on June 15, 2007, 02:33:10 PM
Long time since I've been on and a long time since this topic; but it occured to me that another thing Leone did again and again was kill children.  The baby in FDM, Angel Eyes shot the eldest son at the farm (more a teenager) in GBU, Timmy in OUATITW, the massacre in FFODy, Dominic in OUATIA.  That leaves FFODo, but from what I remember (and it's a while since I saw it) the kid gets his arse kicked a few times.  What did he have against kids?  Or was it for DRAMATIC EFFECT, since kids normally get away by the skin of their teeth in films.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Man with no dame on June 15, 2007, 02:37:04 PM
Leone didn't just kill children! He killed badly dubbed children. This is acceptable. :'(
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 15, 2007, 03:02:51 PM
Long time since I've been on and a long time since this topic; but it occured to me that another thing Leone did again and again was kill children.  The baby in FDM, Angel Eyes shot the eldest son at the farm (more a teenager) in GBU, Timmy in OUATITW, the massacre in FFODy, Dominic in OUATIA.  That leaves FFODo, but from what I remember (and it's a while since I saw it) the kid gets his arse kicked a few times.  What did he have against kids?  Or was it for DRAMATIC EFFECT, since kids normally get away by the skin of their teeth in films.


It's because in every movie the kids never get killed. Leone was the only director besides John Ford (the kids were massacred in The Searchers) that killed children.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Half Soldier on June 15, 2007, 03:13:56 PM
Oh I'm sure there are quite a few films where children die.  The Green Mile for example.  Just saying that SL made a habit of it and it could be seen as one of his trademarks
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: dave jenkins on June 15, 2007, 04:23:48 PM
He's not afraid to show just how dangerous our world is. Surviving childhood can be a real challenge.

Killing kids on screen is not something easily done, and there is a kind of Hollywood taboo about it. Most viewers resent it, and it's hard to get them back into the film once they've witnessed violence--even suggested violence--against children. Hitchcock once had a kid blown up by a bomb in Sabotage, and later said it was one of the worst missteps he'd ever made in a film. The fact that Leone could pull such a thing off successfully, and repeatedly, testifies to his greatness as a director.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Man with no dame on June 15, 2007, 04:30:29 PM
He's not afraid to show just how dangerous our world is. Surviving childhood can be a real challenge.

Killing kids on screen is not something easily done, and there is a kind of Hollywood taboo about it. Most viewers resent it, and it's hard to get them back into the film once they've witnessed violence--even suggested violence--against children. Hitchcock once had a kid blown up by a bomb in Sabotage, and later said it was one of the worst missteps he'd ever made in a film. The fact that Leone could pull such a thing off successfully, and repeatedly, testifies to his greatness as a director.
He didn't pull it off succesfully in the States with ....West. As a matter of fact the critics BarBQued him for it, and the film tanked here. It might have been one of the contributing factors to the decline of the SW in the States.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: dave jenkins on June 15, 2007, 05:04:05 PM
That was the original assessment, sure. But what are those critics saying about the film now? If they have even half a brain, they realize they'd better not buck the consensus, and so are singing its praises. Leone wasn't wrong in 1969, the critics were. But killing the kid in Sabotage (1936) still looks like a mistake.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Man with no dame on June 15, 2007, 05:13:00 PM
That was the original assessment, sure. But what are those critics saying about the film now? If they have even half a brain, they realize they'd better not buck the consensus, and so are singing its praises. Leone wasn't wrong in 1969, the critics were. But killing the kid in Sabotage (1936) still looks like a mistake.
That was the original assessment, sure. But what are those critics saying about the film now? If they have even half a brain, they realize they'd better not buck the consensus, and so are singing its praises. Leone wasn't wrong in 1969, the critics were. But killing the kid in Sabotage (1936) still looks like a mistake.
I don't think Hitch's gaffe is as memorable to film buffs as Leone's. The critic's of the day(60s-70s) were just as insipid as they are now, especially Pauline Kael who seemed to have a vendetta against Eastwood. It's doubtful that the more pompous critics of those times would reverse their decisions now. The proof is in most modern movie listing books, where most of Leone's work rarely rises above a 3 star rating. Sometimes, it's almost as if the author never saw his films.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Rojo Ramone on June 15, 2007, 09:32:49 PM
Is Sergio an Auteur?...

Absolutely!

Of course Morricone has a huge role to play in this.
Leone's style has even been mimicked by many television commercials, and it is easy to recognise
Leone's films are the quintessential spaghetti westerns, with style coming out the wazoo.

A few of Sergio Leone's trademarks...

Camera shots from the hips and boots
Drawn out duels for a Morricone musical treat (also for tension)
Super close ups of the characters eyes
Odd characters for the supporting roles
The dialog
The dirt~finally westerns where you can see the dirt.
The overly dramatic gunshots
and many more i can't think of right now.

IMO~Leone's westerns are like great opera~great music and larger than life characters where the truly evil get it in the end.


Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: moviesceleton on June 16, 2007, 04:07:31 AM
Long time since I've been on and a long time since this topic; but it occured to me that another thing Leone did again and again was kill children.  The baby in FDM, Angel Eyes shot the eldest son at the farm (more a teenager) in GBU, Timmy in OUATITW, the massacre in FFODy, Dominic in OUATIA.  That leaves FFODo, but from what I remember (and it's a while since I saw it) the kid gets his arse kicked a few times.  What did he have against kids?  Or was it for DRAMATIC EFFECT, since kids normally get away by the skin of their teeth in films.
To me it's quite obvious Leone loved children and childhood: the boys in OUATIA and FAFDM. Especially in OUATIA the childhood scenes are the best part of the movie. He loved showing children in his movies and so made us care for them, too. And then, he killed them. I don't know if that's for the dramatic effect or to show that children can be also killed in this cruel world.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 16, 2007, 10:52:31 AM
It's for dramatic effect.


I remember how my heart dropped when Frank killed little Timmy McBain the first time I saw OUATITW.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: marmota-b on June 16, 2007, 11:04:39 AM
Maybe it's both. Maybe the dramatic effect is there to show children are vulnerable and they suffer, too.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Rojo Ramone on June 16, 2007, 11:15:58 AM
The scene where Frank kills little Timmy is one of the greatest moments in bad guy cinema, i mean who can kill a child?
That's a good example of very operatic dramatic moment. The timing of Timmy running to the door after hearing the gunshots with the music crashing in as Frank's group gather around~brilliant!
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: marmota-b on June 16, 2007, 11:19:31 AM
with the music crashing in as Frank's group gather around~brilliant!

That's what I especially like about that scene, because it's - with the exception of Harmonica's tunes - the first music that appears in the film.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: noodles_leone on June 16, 2007, 01:41:01 PM

It's because in every movie the kids never get killed. Leone was the only director besides John Ford (the kids were massacred in The Searchers) that killed children.

There is a kid killed in one hitchcock. And you can see the death rather well.

(I don't give the title of the movie, since that would spoil it :) )
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 16, 2007, 01:54:03 PM
There is a kid killed in one hitchcock. And you can see the death rather well.

(I don't give the title of the movie, since that would spoil it :) )

Someone already said it was Sabotage.


Sorry.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: moviesceleton on June 17, 2007, 03:28:12 PM
Now, when I've read this whole thread, I see what I was expecting to see. The whole definion of "auteur" the original poster makes is wrong. Auteur is not a person who leaves his trademarks to films but the author of the film. As books have their authors, according to the auteur theory, so should films have one person who's responsible for all the artistic sides of the film. That means directing, writing, editing, shooting... Most of the directors who are considered auteurs at least produce, write and direct their films all on their own. Many also cut the film, some act, write the music or even operate the camera. Sometimes the producer can be auteur of the film (Leone was very domineering on set when he was just the producer). In most of Hollywood movies there is no true auteur (most director don't even have the final-cut right! :o). That an auteur is doing a film doesn't mean it's automatically good, though. Many great classics were produced in the studio system of Hollywood.

Now, when this thing is cleared up, we can start thinking about if Leone really was an auteur.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Rojo Ramone on June 20, 2007, 07:19:48 PM
Well then...Leone may not be an Auteur of the likes of Bergman, Fellini and Herzog, but he sure has a unique style like those mentioned.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Leonardo on June 21, 2007, 01:10:59 PM
Well then...Leone may not be an Auteur of the likes of Bergman, Fellini and Herzog, but he sure has a unique style like those mentioned.

According to Webster's dictionary an auteur is:
quote
Auteur
Noun
1. A filmmaker who has a personal style and keeps creative control over his or her works.
unquote

So if Leone doesn't fit this description, who does???????
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: moviesceleton on June 21, 2007, 01:38:52 PM
According to Webster's dictionary an auteur is:
quote
Auteur
Noun
1. A filmmaker who has a personal style and keeps creative control over his or her works.
unquote

So if Leone doesn't fit this description, who does???????

It's questionable whether Leone had creative control over his works since almost everyone of his films were recut in USA and other countries too.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on June 21, 2007, 04:16:56 PM
Don't know what kind of control he had over USA distributors, but I think He was uncut in Italy.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: Leonardo on June 22, 2007, 07:29:43 AM
Don't know what kind of control he had over USA distributors, but I think He was uncut in Italy.

Right you are CJ: no cuts in Italy and for all I know, in the rest of Europe.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: moviesceleton on June 22, 2007, 01:59:23 PM
Right you are CJ: no cuts in Italy and for all I know, in the rest of Europe.
At least here (and in most of European countries, I think) was presented the 16 min shorter version of GBU than what it was in Italy. OK, maybe I'm splitting hairs a bit here. :P

Leone was the auteur of his films, definitely. He had clear idea how those films should be shot, and it was his vision that ended up on the screen. I can use the style as an EVIDENCE: With one or two exceptions, there is no-one else than Leone himself who worked in all of his films, and yet these films have a distinctive style. Saying that Leone isn't the auteur of his films, because some of them were re-cut by the USA distributors (OUAT -films most badly), would be like saying that Leonardo Da Vinci isn't the painter of Mona Lisa, because there are thousands of altered Mona Lisas on the Net.
Title: Re: Leone, Auteur?
Post by: cigar joe on June 22, 2007, 03:10:12 PM
agreed O0