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Films of Sergio Leone => Once Upon A Time In America => Topic started by: Groggy on October 23, 2005, 02:40:30 PM

Title: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Groggy on October 23, 2005, 02:40:30 PM
As you can find on here, the first time I saw OUATIA, I was not particularly impressed.  I thought it was impressively made, but didn't strike me as anything particularly remarkable at the time.  The second time I watched it, I loved it.  Now, even though I haven't seen it again, I'm starting to get a huge appreciation for the film and its themes of time, memory, friendship and love - and if I don't get it for my birthday next week, I'll cry.  ;)

What is it about this film that has made me think of it more fondly than I used to?  Well, I own the soundtrack, for one, and it's a rare occurance when I can listen to it without breaking down in tears at least once.  The music does a perfect job of capturing the nostalgic and tragic air of the film throughout, and Morricone truly excells on all levels.  You could get a great idea about the film without ever seeing it, merely from listening to the music.

But more than that, I would guess there are personal changes with me.  I'm sixteen, almost seventeen now, and I'm starting to get to the age where you start to remember the parts of your life that stand out for you. . . particularly the past two years.  I have a lot of friends and memorable experiences that I wish to remember for as long as possible in this time period at school (not to mention at least one would-be girlfriend).  For me, the saddest thing I can do is to pop the OUATIA soundtrack into the CD player while looking at my year book last year.

Now granted, for someone who is entering what is probably the prime years of their lives, these may seem like stunningly autumnal thoughts.  I'm not depressed in anyway, so don't get that idea.  I'm just a very thoughtful person who tends to reflect back upon times that have made my life what it is - made it fun, made it sad, made it tragic, made it enjoyable, made it odd as it is - dare I say it, like Noodles.  This film speaks to me on so many levels, now that I perceive it as more than a gangster film, and helps me to remember some of the best times of my short but memorable life thus far . . .
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Skull and Bones on October 23, 2005, 03:12:40 PM
Groggy, how very pleasent to read your comments, you have restored my faith in the youth of today!

I myself only recently saw this film 3 months ago and it is one of my favourites already, ive seen it now about 6 times, I find it very emotional and the soundtrack fuels the emotion, its spectacular.  It has taken up a special place in my collection. ;D



Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: J B on October 23, 2005, 05:13:00 PM
That's good to here.  I had similar first reactions to the film, and I haven't seen it again, but I really mean to.  I'm guessing that I'll have similar thoughts to yours on the second viewing as well.  I especially think I'll like it more because it was the first Leone movie I saw, and I think I'll appreaciate it more after seeing all his other films.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: dave jenkins on October 23, 2005, 07:53:21 PM
Groggy, nice to hear your thoughts, I think reading Proust is in your future.

One thing, though: OUATIA is something of a cautionary tale, especially regarding memories. Noodles is a total loser whose life effectively ended one day in 1933. For 35 years after that he was essentially a non-person. Called back for one last job, he reveals himself to be a person with neither a present or a future, only a past, which he seems to relive constantly. This is a highly embellished past, however, founded upon a central idea that turns out to be untrue: namely, that his betrayal of his friends resulted in their deaths and his own expulsion from a gangster's paradise.  When Max reappears to offer him an alternate understanding of that past, Noodles rejects it, even though the explanation would take him off the hook he's been twisting on for years. Noodles has invested too much into his official autobiography to allow any rewriting to occur. Like every wiseguy, he's got his story, and he's sticking to it.

Memories can be wonderful things, but sometimes they're a trap. If you live too much *with* your noodle, you eventually *become* Noodles: a limp presence, pushed about by a bubbling world.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: cigar joe on October 24, 2005, 03:37:36 AM

Memories can be wonderful things, but sometimes they're a trap. If you live too much *with* your noodle, you eventually *become* Noodles: a limp presence, pushed about by a bubbling world.

Nice metaphor there dave
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: buff64 on October 24, 2005, 03:55:35 AM
 :D nice thougts,Groggy.OUATIA is very addictive movie.
  i saw it for the first time 20 yrs ago and since then
 seen it at least hundred times.it is a haunting film.
 Godfather is a good movie too,but after watching it
a couple times I was through with it.The more I watch
 Leone's movies the more I get hooked to them.
Isn't that spooky! ;D
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: buff64 on October 24, 2005, 03:58:22 AM
 :D nice thougts,Groggy.OUATIA is very addictive movie.
  i saw it for the first time 20 yrs ago and since then
 seen it at least hundred times.it is a haunting film.
 Godfather is a good movie too,but after watching it
a couple times I was through with it.The more I watch
 Leone's movies the more I get hooked to them.
Isn't that spooky! ;D
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Skull and Bones on October 24, 2005, 05:15:56 AM
Good point Dave :o)

Memories can be wonderful things and need to be reflected on with caution but we have to reflect on our lives to appreciate any mistakes that we have made and to learn lessons for the future.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Dlanor on October 24, 2005, 09:01:18 AM
You made a good point, Dave.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Groggy on December 13, 2005, 05:14:16 PM
Groggy, nice to hear your thoughts, I think reading Proust is in your future.

One thing, though: OUATIA is something of a cautionary tale, especially regarding memories. Noodles is a total loser whose life effectively ended one day in 1933. For 35 years after that he was essentially a non-person. Called back for one last job, he reveals himself to be a person with neither a present or a future, only a past, which he seems to relive constantly. This is a highly embellished past, however, founded upon a central idea that turns out to be untrue: namely, that his betrayal of his friends resulted in their deaths and his own expulsion from a gangster's paradise.  When Max reappears to offer him an alternate understanding of that past, Noodles rejects it, even though the explanation would take him off the hook he's been twisting on for years. Noodles has invested too much into his official autobiography to allow any rewriting to occur. Like every wiseguy, he's got his story, and he's sticking to it.

Memories can be wonderful things, but sometimes they're a trap. If you live too much *with* your noodle, you eventually *become* Noodles: a limp presence, pushed about by a bubbling world.

LOL great metaphor, Dave.  But I certainly agree with what you're saying.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Leone Admirer on December 14, 2005, 03:25:55 PM
I agree with you there also Dave.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: Silenzio on July 16, 2006, 03:56:55 PM
I totally, totally had the same experience.

The first time I saw it, I thought it was the third or fourth best Leone movie. The second time I saw it, I thought it was the third or fourth best movie ever made.
Title: Re: Starting To Really Love This Film
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 16, 2006, 03:58:56 PM
I totally, totally had the same experience.

The first time I saw it, I thought it was the third or fourth best Leone movie. The second time I saw it, I thought it was the third or fourth best movie ever made.

It's a great movie. It's almost four hours long and yet it goes by like it was an hour and 1/2.