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: Ben Hur  ( 13712 )
Renny
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« : November 25, 2002, 03:20:16 PM »

I found out that Sergio Leone was on the second unit directing crew. Maybe he has had some tudoring from William Whyler. I couldn't help smiling when I found out Sergio was related to this epic. Has anyone noticed some Whyler touches in Leones films? I wonder ???


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« #1 : December 18, 2002, 06:25:49 PM »

Cinematically, Leone had a look all his own, primarily in his editing. This is best reflected in beginning of both GBU and OUATITW. A less patient viewer might wonder if Leone fell asleep in the cutting room. It is true, Leone’s pacing is painfully slow, nevertheless it is deliberate and effective in it’s pay off . He uses a combination of drawn-out cuts between extreme and often times grotesque close-ups of men’s faces, coupled with extreme wide shots of the environments they attempt to survive. This creates a sense of agitation and suspense (think about the railroad station sequence in OUATITW). Leone economically build up an intense feeling of suspense; we know something is going to happen and by dragging it out it only makes in more intense. I will say, Leone frames his landscapes much like John Ford did, although you could say William Wyler did as well, in Ben Hur. But I think you can chalk this similarity up to the fact these films were went to be of an epic nature, particularly the aforementioned Wyler, Leone films.
Also, Leone uses a combination of montage and mise en scene, to create theme. In this, Leone seems more influenced by the Soviets (Vertov, Pudovkin in particular) than William Wyler.  Leone consistently shows man in his bits and pieces, i.e., his feet, arms, torso, hands and face, much like Kino Pravda’s glorification of the individual pieces of the tractor before showing the whole. In other words, Leone’s films shows man as a machine, not to be admired for his beauty but rather for his effectiveness and ability to survive. Truly, this is one of  Leone’s strongest themes, the idea of Darwinism-survival of the fittest. And when this law is broken (such as in AFOD-where THE MAN WITH NO NAME helps the weak-Marisol and family-escape the fittest), even the strongest of men, suffer greatly (THE MAN WITH NO NAME’s brutal, almost life-taking beating).
And this  is my humble opinion.

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« #2 : June 11, 2007, 07:19:02 AM »

There were some notable actors from Italy, in small parts, in this film. I will have to go check it out and give you guys an update on it.

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« #3 : June 11, 2007, 10:51:35 AM »

It's amazing how the effects in this film, particularly the chariot race, still hold up today. Amazing scene which was in my opinion very innovative at the time.




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« #4 : June 11, 2007, 03:40:40 PM »

I've never gotten to sit through the whole film - I did see the first half of it on TCM a few months back, and I was enjoying it, but unfortunately, football interrupted. ;) I'll try to watch it some time before the summer's over.



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« #5 : June 14, 2007, 05:00:03 AM »

I've never seen it all the way thru either. I always seem to start around where he's chained rowing the boat.

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« #6 : June 14, 2007, 07:04:55 AM »

Its a great film, what ever happend to the peplum (S&S) thread we started?


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« #7 : June 14, 2007, 02:47:20 PM »

Some of the set pieces are impressive (the sea battle, the chariot race), but it has one of the worst plots ever devised. The story actually uses miraculous healing to resolve problems at the end. Who can be satisfied with that?



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« #8 : June 14, 2007, 03:34:31 PM »

My fictitious ancestors get all my sympathy against the fictitious ancestors of Hollywood moguls rightly exterminated.
Hollywood crap. Still it must have been exalting when the chariot race was watched in a unique showing of the movie here in Rome at Circus Maximus.


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« #9 : June 14, 2007, 03:38:15 PM »

The story actually uses miraculous healing to resolve problems at the end. Who can be satisfied with that?

The same people who can be satisfied with James Woods pulling a gun from a vagina in his stomach and shooting himself in the head. "Long live the new flesh."

And theists I guess, there's f'king millions of the buggers, especially in the US (I used to have girlfriend from New York who called the rest of America "Jesusland").

Personaly I think BEN HUR is a fabulous piece of cinema, despite my own views about religion.


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« #10 : June 14, 2007, 04:34:01 PM »

Other than the chariot race, what did this film have to offer?

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« #11 : June 14, 2007, 04:56:04 PM »

The same people who can be satisfied with James Woods pulling a gun from a vagina in his stomach and shooting himself in the head. "Long live the new flesh."
Well, watching it once was okay, but having it repeat didn't do anything for me. (BTW, I've recently realized that Cronenberg's short 6 minute film "Camera" is the best thing he's ever done. The man is a brilliant miniaturist and doesn't realize it).

Hey, you don't have to be a theist to believe in miracles, nor does being a theist mean automatically you believe in miracles. Juan, are you bucking for the Richard Dawkins Raving Athiest Nutter Award? Stop, Miranda, before you descend utterly into  a caricature of the Modern UK Male. Central casting already has a ton of you guys.



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« #12 : June 14, 2007, 05:42:08 PM »

I think Wyler's Ben Hur is a fine film.  As mentioned the sea battle and chariot race segments are quite impressive.  Technically, the film is very well made.  The costumes and sets are top notch.  I think overall the acting is quite good.  As far as the religious aspect of the film, I thought that Wyler did a very good job in how he included the scenes of Christ in the film.  I thought he struck just the right balance of how much to include without it detracting from the story of Ben Hur.  I'm not sure how to respond to the point about the miracle.  I suppose depending on your faith it could be an issue.  From a plot construction standpoint, my only thought is that I would imagine the film is quite faithful to the story source, the novel from the 1800's.  This version of Ben Hur was actually the third.  There were two other silent films.  I think I read that the second one which was made sometime in the 20's was very close to Wyler's version from a script standpoint.  

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« #13 : June 14, 2007, 05:42:42 PM »

ignore

« : June 14, 2007, 05:55:42 PM Juan Miranda »

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« #14 : June 14, 2007, 06:06:33 PM »

I think Wyler's Ben Hur is a fine film.  As mentioned the sea battle and chariot race segments are quite impressive.  Technically, the film is very well made.  The costumes and sets are top notch.  I think overall the acting is quite good.  As far as the religious aspect of the film, I thought that Wyler did a very good job in how he included the scenes of Christ in the film.  I thought he struck just the right balance of how much to include without it detracting from the story of Ben Hur.  I'm not sure how to respond to the point about the miracle.  I suppose depending on your faith it could be an issue.  From a plot construction standpoint, my only thought is that I would imagine the film is quite faithful to the story source, the novel from the 1800's.  This version of Ben Hur was actually the third.  There were two other silent films.  I think I read that the second one which was made sometime in the 20's was very close to Wyler's version from a script standpoint.  
I've wanted to see this film for a long time, all the way thru, but have never heard anyone really rave about it. It is an Oscar champ, but than I've seen a lot of those that don't really merit it.

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