Sergio Leone Web Board

General Information => General Discussion => Topic started by: DJIMBO on December 06, 2004, 06:11:39 PM

Title: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: DJIMBO on December 06, 2004, 06:11:39 PM
Sergio Leone, is, generally, not regarded as one of the great directors, eg. Fellini, Welles, Kurosawa, Visconti, Spielberg, Ford etc.

This is because IMO he is not quite art-house (eg. Fellini), though contains artistic flourishes akin to these directors.

And also because he is populist, though not to the extent of Spielberg or Ford who broke box-office records etc.

Ive always thought he's in the same vein, though better than Coppola, Scorsese etc, a little bit of art and populism. Kurosawa, with Seven Samurai, is the perfect example of a hybrid like Leone.

What do you guys think? Just in case there was any doubt...i think he is one of THE great directors.  ;)
Title: Re:Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: cigar joe on December 06, 2004, 08:42:50 PM
I would say OUTITW leans arthouse, while GBU is definitely populist. But Leone had complimenting elements of each which is probably why they are all great films.
Title: Re:Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Blueberry on December 07, 2004, 01:10:30 AM
The Cigar has a point: maybe with the exception of DYS - which is kind of the odd one -  each one of his films is a little "artsier" than the previous.  DYS is certainly artsy but it's hard to say whether it's more so than OUATIW. More political, yez.

And each movie is, again with the exception of DYS, longer than the previous. OUATIA has been called film history's first experimental epic - quite rightly so - and is, as such, the artisiest fartsiest of his movies.

But I would think that it's fair to say that Leone, for instance in OUATIW, thought more of the aesthitic of the images and the athmosphere of the scenes than the movie being "art" as opposed to populist. The movie comprises som every populistic elements, the lone revenger, the railroad tycoon and his executioner, a lady in distress. The narrative is quite straightforward and not nearly as shattered as in OUATIA.

OUATIW is feeling that turns out to be art while OUATIA is art that turns out to have feeling. Luckily enough, otherwise it would be a pain to watch.  
Title: Re:Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Leonegeek on December 07, 2004, 05:16:39 AM
I think the Kurosawa analogy is a perfect one. 'OUATITW' has artsy flourishes, as does
'OUATIA', but I wouldn't call either 'Art' films. Neither are purely commercial entertainments.
Leone lured moviegoers in promising broad, accessible genre entries, once in viewers were
treated to his genius, utilizing his many skills with stylish storytelling.

Both 'OUATITW' and 'OUATIA' are favorites of mine for more reasons than I can list here.
He dazzles viewers with hypnotic images, Morricone's classic scores, etc.,etc.

Leone is God!
Title: Re:Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Two Kinds of ... on December 07, 2004, 05:11:34 PM
These distinctions are ultimately useless.  Things are what you believe they are.   And you see them as you see them.  
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Jupa on January 03, 2005, 08:33:24 AM
I agree.It''s hard to say what is exactly "populist" or "art-house".Leone probably didn''t give a single thought to whether his films where populist or artsie.And neither do I.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: titoli on February 11, 2005, 05:03:02 PM
I don't think we can rank Leone with the truly greats (each one has his own. Mine: Fellini, Resnais, Godard, Welles, Kubrick, Antonioni, Chaplin, Ejizenstein, Lang, Murnau and somebody else that does't come to my mind right now) because a great movie is not just (but this is only my opinion) a matter of having a way with images, but it is also about something that makes you reflect, that lives with you after you have seen it. Leone's movies or Hitchcock's or the James Bond movies with Connery and Moore, entertain me like nothing else: but then the experience ends with the movie itself. So I think that he was at his best when he was just popular (in the trilogy), and when he tried to go artsy (which he couldn't because it didn't belong to his vein of great popular storyteller) he lost partially himself.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: bronsky on February 12, 2005, 02:51:21 AM
Fistful of Dollars is a pretty exact remake of Yoyimbo. The latter is really difficult to watch and to enjoy. If I hadn't seen FOD before I probably would have had an orientation problem.  FOD was probably even better understandable to a Japanese audience allthough I would be interested if I were wrong. Kurosawa had the ideas(e.g. the story with the coffins and the not so good but cool hero) and Leone the knowledge to implement them. Kubrick had a different style (at least he had style) and was more prolific.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: visitor on February 12, 2005, 01:34:40 PM
Fistful of Dollars is a pretty exact remake of Yoyimbo. The latter is really difficult to watch and to enjoy. If I hadn't seen FOD before I probably would have had an orientation problem.  FOD was probably even better understandable to a Japanese audience allthough I would be interested if I were wrong. Kurosawa had the ideas(e.g. the story with the coffins and the not so good but cool hero) and Leone the knowledge to implement them. Kubrick had a different style (at least he had style) and was more prolific.

Son... You obviously haven't watched enough movies...

FISTFUL was an experimental attempt by Leone, trying to find his way. Both he and Morricone acknowledged it as such. An experiment that culminated with GBU.

YOJIMBO was a master craftsman at his storytelling best,  the fluid camera moves, the visuals, the characterizations, the pacing. A wonderful time tested story told for the eyes, the ears and the mind.

And I'm sure you don't understand the extent of the near xenophobic comment you made that the Japanese understand the American west through Italian eyes better than they understand themselves.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: bronsky on February 13, 2005, 02:21:54 AM
Son... You obviously haven't watched enough movies...
I expected that kind of reply.

FISTFUL was an experimental attempt by Leone, trying to find his way. Both he and Morricone acknowledged it as such. An experiment that culminated with GBU.
Well received by the audiences. It provided the funds to continue.

And I'm sure you don't understand the extent of the near xenophobic comment you made that the Japanese understand the American west through Italian eyes better than they understand themselves.

Kurosawa was relatively unsuccessful in Japan and from what I figured out Yoyimbo didn't succeed in Japan, either. FOD was pretty well received.  Japanese were more addicted to SW than Americans.  The best and most widely sorted offer of SW DVD is actually coming from Japan.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Bill Carson on February 13, 2005, 02:13:01 PM
 8)  hola amigos. I think Leone is neither populist nor art-house. just in a unique league of his own.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: visitor on February 15, 2005, 02:35:46 PM

"Well received by the audiences. It provided the funds to continue."
 
Bronsky...
Just because it's well recieved by the audiences doesn't mean it's a "better' or even a good film.  Both Leone and Morricone have stated their disasatisfaction with the final results.

YOJIMBO spawned three sequels, one by Kurosawa.

of course, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and FRIDAY THE 13TH made money... enough to warrant MANY ENDLESS sequels.
Does that make them equal or better than FISTFUL?
 
By your math,  TITANIC makes FISTFUL look like a bad Saturday morning cartoon.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: visitor on February 26, 2005, 09:02:51 AM
I expected that kind of reply.
Well received by the audiences. It provided the funds to continue.
 
Kurosawa was relatively unsuccessful in Japan and from what I figured out Yoyimbo didn't succeed in Japan, either. FOD was pretty well received.  Japanese were more addicted to SW than Americans.  The best and most widely sorted offer of SW DVD is actually coming from Japan.

Oh I forgot to mention...
YOJIMBO, a modest hit in Japan(one of Kurosawa's most popular films) was the highest grossing foreign language film in the world for years(and that's in 1960 dollars - "they had dollars in them days?")
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: Half Soldier on March 06, 2005, 08:40:49 AM
Both
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: shorty larsen on May 16, 2005, 01:09:26 PM
Dear Titoli: do you realy think Leone's movies doesn't makes you reflect and they don't live with you after you have seen them?

Do you think his profound study of the United States and the end of the american dream on OUTW and OUTA is not a matter of reflection? Or that the speech of Rod Steiger about revolution on DYS is not a deep an excelent analysis of the implication of a revolution?

From my own part I can only see OUTA once a year because of its extreme sadness and pesimism, wich are key elements and a vision of life.

Not a single movie by Godard makes that effect on me.
Title: Re: Leone: populist or art-house?
Post by: dave jenkins on May 16, 2005, 04:14:21 PM
Dear Titoli: do you realy think Leone's movies doesn't makes you reflect and they don't live with you after you have seen them?

Do you think his profound study of the United States and the end of the american dream on OUTW and OUTA is not a matter of reflection? Or that the speech of Rod Steiger about revolution on DYS is not a deep an excelent analysis of the implication of a revolution?

From my own part I can only see OUTA once a year because of its extreme sadness and pesimism, wich are key elements and a vision of life.

Not a single movie by Godard makes that effect on me.
Amen.