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: Poster scene: or Leone's greatness  ( 6982 )
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« : June 29, 2007, 02:23:37 AM »

I saw this movie once again, well not whole just best parts, so about 2/3 of the movie... :D, and I decided to watch the scene with a Indio's portret.
First came Manco, camera took his POV so we can see Indio's diabolical face all over the screen. And then we have Sergio's masterful eye for a little details. Camera slowly moves up, only to end up focusing to 10.000 REWARD.
Then camera is switched to another scene, and we are able to see col. Mortimer's reaction. Again, we have camera taking over col. Mortimer's point of view, as he looks at Indio's face, just like Manco. But this time, collonel's eyes (and camera too) are moving down, to the end of the poster, and camera is now focused on this words: WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE.
What does this all mean to us. We see now that they inspect the same poster, but for a very different reasons.
Well this is the first hint in the movie that provides us with informations that Manco is here primarily for the money, and col. Mortimer is here because something else. His eyes are not fixed on the 10.000 REWARD, but on the fact that Indio escaped from prison, and now he must find him, DEAD OR ALIVE.
But this hint is so subtle, so you can easily overlook it. And the fact that this scene has no dialog whatsoever, (show, don't tell)-Sergio is the master for thiese sort of things, so we can easily miss something important. And important it is, especially in  combination with Manco/Mortimer conversation just after their "shooting hat" game, and the second hidden clue.
Manco said something like this: "When I get my hands on Indio's MONEY I will buy ranch and maybe settle down".
Mortimer then replies: "Not if I get my hand on Indio first. I cannot quote Mortimer's words exactly but it is obvious that there is no word MONEY attached with the name Indio. That means Mortimer wants Indio, and money is not important.

« : June 29, 2007, 02:25:53 AM poderator »
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« #1 : June 29, 2007, 05:43:47 AM »

That's very subtle character development - great job in noticing it. I've always loved that scene, but never read much into it. Good job.  O0



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« #2 : June 29, 2007, 10:57:06 AM »

This is the kind of thing that seems to be there just for the sake of being there, when you first watch it.

But on a second viewing you understand why he put that in the film.


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« #3 : June 29, 2007, 02:04:00 PM »

poderator, well observed, well read. An excellent analysis! O0 O0



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« #4 : June 29, 2007, 08:40:01 PM »

 O0


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« #5 : June 30, 2007, 10:55:09 AM »

That is way I cannot understand thiese "modern movies". Almost every movie of our times is using "neutral" POV. And what we have as a result?  Basically we have only one perspective, and that perspective forces us to except that "dominant", and often only point of view in the movie. Result: we have only one meaning, and for a work of art this is unaceptable.
Sergio wasn't afraid to " set  camera free", and that is why, among the other things, his films stood the test of time. But often people thought that camera angels and POV were "too much artsy" and without any meaning (especially I hate this explanation for Sergio L. movies: too much style and no substance!).
Well ,we know now that we absolutely need more camera movements, not more special efects! ;)
And question: what do you guys think, what is the main reason for today's director for not using different POV in order to get more complex movie? I noticed that this is not only in case of Hollywood movies, but also in the independent movies too!

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« #6 : June 30, 2007, 01:42:12 PM »

They're good questions that you ask poderator.  Not sure.  It seems in today's society, it's get everything quickly.  Instant gratification, and move on quickly to the next thing.  I'm not so sure that complexity is quite embraced in anything including art.  Possibly other things would be that the society is less literate.  It expects things and their meaning to be almost obvious.  Maybe because the pace of the world and life is so fast and complex, people prefer not to see the complexity in their art.  Leads back to what your expectations are of art.  Some see it just as escapist entertainment.  Certainly the dollars factor in as well.  The people in the suits that finance the films, don't want the "I don't get it" reaction from film goers.  Could lead to bad word of mouth and affect the bottom line.  Also as you point out, there are changes in the film industry as well.  The emphasis on special effects and constant sensory bombardment result in less well written scripts, good character development and meaningful human stories.  

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« #7 : July 01, 2007, 09:14:44 AM »

I guess you are right Noodles_SlowStir, directors and producers are afraid and they don't want to lose their money. And Sergio's example is perfect simbol of that situation; his movies (especially Once Upon a Time in America and OUATIW were heavily cut) , so Sergio's vision was ruined with pan and scan copies of the movies. He recieved his well deserved glory only years after his movies were restored to their full glory. :'(
That is the thing with all great artists. They recieve their glory only after they are gone. :(

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« #8 : July 01, 2007, 11:51:48 AM »

In the very same scene,right after the "hat game" scene,Mortimer says to Manco..."Alright...I'll be generous. You can have the reward for Indio,and I'll take the reward for the rest of the band." So...that implies that Mortimer had some interest in a reward.

« : July 01, 2007, 11:53:08 AM Jeepman »
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« #9 : July 02, 2007, 12:12:49 AM »

Mortimer is playing mind game with Manco. First time when he told Manco "Not if I get my hands on Indio first" he reacted instinctively, emotions must  overhelmed him. He wants Indio so bad that he forgot Manco is after him too. So he realised that he revealed himself too much. But after that point he became same old col. Douglas Mortimer, cool and dangerous.
So he now he wants Manco on his side so he made an offer.  You said very well "You can have the REWARD for Indio, and I 'll take the reward for the rest of the band". The only thing that this sentence implies really is that Mortimer is not after money at all. Basically he said : you can have the money for him (he said REWARD not you can have his life, Indio's life belongs to Mortimer)but he didn't said you can have him, Indio, and in this case it is a maior diference between thiese two explanations.
Another thing: right after the shootout Mortimer clearly said and showed that he is not here for the money at all.
"Congradulations kid, you just became rich!"
Manco: "You mean, we became rich, old man."
Mortimer: "No it is all for you, I think you deserve it" and he leaves, but not before he turned on his watch. Clearly watch, and all things this watch simbolises is more important then 27.000 dollars. More important for him.
Another thing: before the final battle Mortimer and Manco are sitting near the house and they are preparing their guns for battle. Now Mortimer knows that he can trust Manco, after all that danger they been trough, and he knows that this is the time for true.
Mortimer said: "Leave Indio to me". Just look on Mortimer's face is enough for Manco to agree. Manco now suspect something.
So we can be pretty sure that Mortimer doesn't want the money at all. He seek revenge.
So as a answer to your last sentence, no he didn't have any interest in reward, but he had interest for Manco and his skils with the gun, and he knows that Manco doesn't believe in sentimental reasons, so he pretends that he wants money too.

« : July 02, 2007, 12:17:20 AM poderator »
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« #10 : July 02, 2007, 10:15:38 AM »

Interesting take on it....thanks.

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« #11 : July 02, 2007, 04:47:50 PM »

you da man!


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« #12 : July 05, 2007, 03:40:43 PM »

I saw this movie once again, well not whole just best parts, so about 2/3 of the movie... :D, and I decided to watch the scene with a Indio's portret.
First came Manco, camera took his POV so we can see Indio's diabolical face all over the screen. And then we have Sergio's masterful eye for a little details. Camera slowly moves up, only to end up focusing to 10.000 REWARD.
Then camera is switched to another scene, and we are able to see col. Mortimer's reaction. Again, we have camera taking over col. Mortimer's point of view, as he looks at Indio's face, just like Manco. But this time, collonel's eyes (and camera too) are moving down, to the end of the poster, and camera is now focused on this words: WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE.
What does this all mean to us. We see now that they inspect the same poster, but for a very different reasons.
Well this is the first hint in the movie that provides us with informations that Manco is here primarily for the money, and col. Mortimer is here because something else. His eyes are not fixed on the 10.000 REWARD, but on the fact that Indio escaped from prison, and now he must find him, DEAD OR ALIVE.
But this hint is so subtle, so you can easily overlook it. And the fact that this scene has no dialog whatsoever, (show, don't tell)-Sergio is the master for thiese sort of things, so we can easily miss something important. And important it is, especially in  combination with Manco/Mortimer conversation just after their "shooting hat" game, and the second hidden clue.
Manco said something like this: "When I get my hands on Indio's MONEY I will buy ranch and maybe settle down".
Mortimer then replies: "Not if I get my hand on Indio first. I cannot quote Mortimer's words exactly but it is obvious that there is no word MONEY attached with the name Indio. That means Mortimer wants Indio, and money is not important.


Hi there to everybody! The so "called poster" scene is a great scene indeed but...it's not an original idea of Sergio Leone!
It's a tribute to a great russian, Lev Kuleshov, who worked with Eisenstein among others...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuleshov_Experiment
It's an editing effect, a formal effect: a shot of Clint, a shot of Indio and his value, a shot of Van Cleef, a shot of Indio and the words:-Dead of alive, finis. By a pure formal effect of editing Leone tells us the difference between the main caracters of FAFDM...No surprise at the end when Mortimer refuses the money: he wanted only El Indio dead, not alive!
Best regards.


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« #13 : July 05, 2007, 11:59:20 PM »

Thanks alot, AS! I really didn't know about that. But  that "so called scene" is not any less impresive, even after you discovered that this particular scene pays hommage to Lev Kuleshov. In fact, it only shows that Sergio Leone learned from the best. And about originality of the scene, well what can I say: Sergio is probably one of the few directors who managed to transform old cliches into something new and fresh. Once upon...in the West consists from over 30 western movies, but it stands alone, and it is masterpiece.
By the way, AS I wanna thank you again, I will try to dig more about Lev!   

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« #14 : July 06, 2007, 05:05:53 AM »

Oh! I should've noticed that! Very effective use indeed. The story of the actor in Kuleshov's experiment is quite funny: the critics were praising how great actor he was, even though it was the same clip of him (with no expression on his face) used every time.


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