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Once upon a time in the west ending explained


once upon a time in the west ending explained

Song MeaningLike any song, I think it can mean and/or have meaning for whatever the listener interprets. If you live in the Wild West, the West End, the West. Once Upon a Time in the West is a 1968 spaghetti western film about a mysterious stranger with a harmonica who joins forces with a notorious desperado to. Director: Sergio Leone - Story: Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone - Screenplay: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati - Cinematography.

Once upon a time in the west ending explained -

The Ending Of Once Upon A Time In America Explained

Imagine what it takes for a film to be hailed by some as the greatest work of a career that includes "A Fistful of Dollars," "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," and "Once Upon a Time in the West."

If Italian master Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns were epics of space, never failing to situate their cowboys and conmen against the wider expanse of the "Western" desert that frames their exploits and hunger to survive, then his 1984 gangster film "Once Upon a Time in America" is an epic of time, constantly leaping back and forth between versions of its characters during three distinct periods of their lives: as young petty crooks in 1918, hardened gangsters in the early 1930s, and older men, long out of the game, in 1968. 

It's a sprawling, brutal look at the immigrant experience and the American dream, with protagonists far more anti than hero. And yet, it was panned upon its release in America, victim to studio-mandated cuts that took the film out of Leone's control and chopped it nearly in half for release in the United States, according to the New York Times. The rest of the world got something closer to the director's original vision, a sprawling film with a runtime of about four hours. The U.S. got the demo version, which colored reaction to it there for decades and left audiences utterly confused by what they had seen.

That might be close to what Leone intended, but not in a good way. The film's original ending, Leone's vision, layers a pair of mysteries on top of one another, but leaves it to the audiences to determine the answers, along with how they might dovetail or diverge. Here's how it does it. 

Источник: https://www.looper.com/614891/the-ending-of-once-upon-a-time-in-america-explained/

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on June 6, 2016 @ tonymacklin.net.

Is Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) the best western of all time?

It could be.

When it was first released many viewers thought it was self-indulgent, tedious, and overlong. The truncated release - more than 20 minutes were trimmed from the original European release - bombed at the box office in the USA. But the passage of time allows us to realize its depths - if we want to. People don't like what they don't understand, but the passage of time can bring potential for consideration - and reconsideration. In the 48 years since its release, Once Upon a Time in the West has ascended to a vaunted place of style, creativity - and content. It is rich in symbolism and lore.

Once Upon a Time in the West may be the most mythical of westerns. It's about a passing time, and an approaching one. But that passage is not just conventional; it has artistic vision.

At the end, the "hero" Harmonica (Charles Bronson) is riding away from the coming crowd of civilization as the railroad is being built, assuring that the town of Sweetwater will burgeon and expand. We hear the sounds of hammering steel and see the mobs of workers installing the rails, and see the train with men. That in itself is a mythic moment.

But then Leone adds another. He has a lone woman (Claudia Cardinale) take water down to the huge crowd of men. She strides with purpose and command.

Leone is showing that the matriarchy is coming to the west. For good or bad, it's only a matter of time. It's a remarkable sequence. It deserves recognition.

In Once Upon a Time in the West, Leone turns the western askew. All the fundamentals are up for grabs. When you have a character Frank, played by 63-year old Henry Fonda, shoot and kill a young boy, you are in shocking territory. Shane would never do this, although Wilson (Jack Palance) might have in Leone's universe.

Like Hitchcock, Leone liked to manipulate his audience. Surprise and shock were among their shared methods.

After Henry Fonda finally agreed to be in Once Upon a Time in the West, he began to prepare for the role of the vicious villain Frank. He had an optometrist give him brown contact lens to cover his bright baby blues, and he grew a beard like Lincoln-killer John Wilkes Booth.

Leone was aghast when he saw Fonda and rejected the changes. He wanted the actor the audience liked and admired. In Once Upon a Time in the West, when Frank and his four partners approach the McBain farmhouse, only the boy is alive, standing stock still. We haven't yet seen the faces of the men. The camera swings around to reveal Fonda's face.

Fonda explained, "Sergio Leone had cast me because he could imagine at this time, the audience saying, "'Jesus Christ, it's Henry Fonda!'"

Fonda was the second leading actor for John Ford. He appeared in 7 Ford films.

Leone goes into Ford country with whiplash sensibility. You don't know where he's going to go next, but you know he's going to draw blood.

But Leone is not mean-spirited. In fact, he is a romantic with a very realistic sensibility. Romance fails, but it goes down with style. And Leone pokes at traditions and images. He is a sly iconoclast.

After McBain and his three children are shot by Frank and his four partners, Jill (Cardinale) comes to the ramshackle area of Sweetwater. She is a former whore, who married McBain in New Orleans and now is coming to join her new husband and his three children. She does not know that her new family has been assassinated on orders by crippled railroad-tycoon Morton who wants McBain's property because the railroad is going to go through it, and he can reap great profits by gaining ownership of the land. He's a businessman.

Frank is hired to get rid of people who could get in Morton's way. Harmonica and Cheyenne (Jason Robards, Jr.) try to protect the vulnerable Jill, who has a right to the land. Harmonica also is on a quest for vengeance.

Once Upon a Time in the West has many of the staples of the western: revenge, alienation, frontier justice, the battle for power, and the closing of an era. Leone uses many conventions, but he gives them a new and different rhythm. He winks as he punches. In the opening scene, Leone parodies High Noon, but he also goes beyond parody into myth and imagination. The scene works on several levels.

Leone knew the evolution of the western. He knew John Ford and Ford's values. He filmed some of Once Upon a Time in the West in Monument Valley, which is Ford Country. The Hanging Arch (at least the base of it) - which is the scene of a crucial flashback near the end - is in Monument Valley.

For years, the top-rated western ever made has been Ford's The Searchers (1956). Its reach and influences have endured. Paul Schrader, writer of Marty Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), sent me a letter for publication in Film Heritage, the international film journal I founded and edited. Is it ironic that the letter appeared on the last page of the 47th and final issue of the magazine?

Schrader wrote, "Scorsese and I agree that The Searchers is the best American film, a fact that must have influenced Taxi Driver. Scorsese and I referred to the scene between Sport and Iris (Harvey Keitel and Jody Foster) as the 'Scar scene.'"

Since that time the Duke and Ford have been challenged by shifting values. When I tried to get an interview with Clint Eastwood, on the phone I told his assistant about my successful interview with John Wayne.

The assistant responded, "Clint Eastwood hates John Wayne."

The Man With No Name - with the help of director Sergio Leone in three "spaghetti westerns" - saw to that. Eastwood did not stand in the shadow of the Duke. The anti-hero was now king. With Unforgiven (1992), Eastwood as actor and director laid the legend to rest.

My favorite Eastwood "western" is Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (1971). It's about a detective in San Francisco, but he has old-time western values. Times have changed. The end of Dirty Harry is shot at an old rock quarry, but in the far distance is modern traffic. Harry throws his badge - #2211 - into a lake. He's discarding the sign of his doppelganger, since he has shot and killed Scorpio. It's like a frontier sheriff, who can't be a lawman in contemporary society.

Also, in the elegiac evolution of the western we can't forget director Sam Peckinpah. With Leone, Peckinpah stylized violence in the western with a revitalized impact.

One of my favorite westerns is The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970). It starred Jason Robards, Jr. and Stella Stevens. Although Robards - who has achieved greatness on the Broadway stage - may not seem like an actor who can play a cowboy, he also stars in Once Upon a Time in the West.

At one time I listed The Ballad of Cable Hogue in a Sight & Sound decadal poll, as one of the best films of all-time. A Japanese critic and I were the only two to exalt it.

The casting in Once Upon a Time in the West is remarkable. The good, bad, and the ugly relive. Bronson is the good, Fonda is the bad, and Robards is the ugly. Claudia Cardinale - although Sophia Loren was Leone's first choice - has an earthy beauty and vibrant alertness that give her key character a special humanity. All four actors are able to exhibit a hint of a smile on occasion. Leone loves close-ups of faces, and they may seem wooden, but they're not. Leone includes some subtlety. Leone likes strong effects, but the time and space he gives faces gives them an epical quality. The only time Leone give into caricature with his leading actors is in a flashback in which Fonda exhibits a wolfish expression. Otherwise humanity prevails.

As a boy, I loved Shane and Alan Ladd - his voice and personality. At that time I hadn't figured out that Shane was a Christ figure, at the end riding off, slumped, going to his death, leaving behind Joseph, Mary, and their son. Of course, I hadn't figured any of that out. I just liked Alan Ladd. I didn't realize until much later that he was dying. It takes time and distance.

But Shane still is a sweet childhood memory.

What may most elevate Once Upon a Time in the West to the very top is the score by composer Ennio Morricone. His music is eerie, romantic, and haunting. It has great dramatic effect. Great personality. It - like Monument Valley - is a star of the film. In the films of Leone, music is meaning. [A character is even named Harmonica.]

Morricone provided the evocative score of one of the best coming-of-age films, Cinema Paradiso (1988). Although Morricone may be best known for his work on westerns, he says that only 30 out of 100s he's done are westerns. Morricone's music is often sublime.

Leone died in 1989, but Morricone still is composing. A fractured femur made the 87-year old Morricone cancel an appearance in Los Angeles in 2015. But Quentin Tarantino convinced Morricone to do the score for The Hateful Eight (2015). To The Hateful Eight, Morricone contributed the unused score he had composed for John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) plus 25 minutes of new music. Morricone won the Oscar for his score.

In 2014 in homage to Morricone, Eastwood gives him credit for The Funeral music at the end of American Sniper.

What Leone and Morricone capture together is a multi-layered expression of truths and questions about them. It echoes with ambivalence. Is the train bringing civilization, good or bad? Is the gun, good or bad? Is isolation, good or bad? Is community, good or bad? Is business, good or bad.

Is the approaching matriarchy, good or bad?

Leone has his beliefs, but he leaves it up to us.

Once Upon a Time in the West exhibits his canny artistry. How special is that?

© 2000-2021 Tony Macklin

Источник: http://tonymacklin.net/content.php?cID=740

Home Theater Mysteries EXPLAINED!

Collected Best of Bob Pariseau

Bob Pariseau

Once Upon a Time in the West.jpg

"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968), Blu-ray.  A Paramount release from 2011.

Original title, "C'era una volta il West". Re-released on Blu-ray in both 2013 and 2017.  This disc contains both the shortened, US Theatrical Release version of the film, and the longer, Restored (2003), International Release version.  (My comments refer to that Restored, International version.)

Color, 2.35 aspect ratio, 2 hours 46 minutes. DTS-HD MA 5.1 48 kHz audio. (A lossy, DD 2.0 "restored Mono" track is also included; the 5.1 sounds better in my opinion.) Subtitles available. Commentary available. No Resume Play. About an hour's worth of 480i Extras, most in 16:9.

Highly Recommended!

This is yet another film which has benefitted greatly from revisionist reviews. The ORIGINAL reviews, particularly in the US, were dismissive, if not downright scathing. Vincent Canby in the New York Times wrote along the theme, "If you can ignore the fact that this is a really bad movie, you will find it is both interesting to look at and fun." How's THAT for hedging your bets?

Since then, the film has gone on to achieve more than mere cult status, and now is viewed by critics as a seminal film, and possibly one of the BEST Westerns ever made! There's some good analysis of this arc in the Extras and Commentary. The film is now considered "ahead of its time" in that it was one of the first "films about films" -- a film which deliberately quotes elements from other key films of a genre.

The term "Operatic" is also used -- a LOT -- noting the exceedingly slow pacing of critical scenes, as in an opera, where no one can die before everyone sings about it for 15 minutes or so. One commentator goes so far as to suggest, "In this film, stares in close up serve the place of arias!"

Another modern writer says the film may also have been dismissed because it was shot in "Techniscope".

Wide screen, 35mm films were normally shot with anamorphic lenses which would optically stretch the image vertically to fill a single frame of 35mm film.

Techniscope, on the other hand, shot two successive wide screen frames WITHIN a single 35mm frame by dint of advancing the film only half a frame for each shot. This had the advantage only half as much film stock was used to shoot a film, and so Techniscope became associated with low-budget, wide screen productions.

Meanwhile, normal wide screen films were projected using anamorphic projection lenses which optical widened the image to restore the original, intended, wide aspect ratio. So Techniscope films had to be "anamorphosed" as a processing step, turning each wide screen frame from the negative (2 per 35mm frame of film) into its own, anamorphic, full 35mm frame for the print . Thus they could be projected using those same, anamorphic theater lenses.

But this process blew up the film grain, and, depending how it was done, also produced nasty "generation loss", such as loss of color saturation, which kind of defeated the purpose of shooting on Technicolor film stock in the first place.

Add to that, Techniscope films were made using cheaper, spherical camera lenses, instead of the new-fangled anamorphic lenses, and the whole idea left a bad taste in critic's mouths. In particular, they could not see why Paramount would produce a supposed, big budget, major, wide screen film using such "second rate" filming technology!

The REALITY was those spherical lenses were cheaper to design and make because they were simpler -- and thus, almost always of HIGHER quality -- than the anamorphic lenses of the era. In addition, the anamorphic lenses produced very visible distortion in elements which were out of focus, or during certain camera motions, and, in particular, in close-up shots.

Leone was enamored of close-ups, as well as shots requiring exceptional depth of field in focus. Thus for his style of filmmaking, those high quality, spherical lenses were CRUCIAL! Indeed, this particular film may be the BEST example of Techniscope used right!

As for generation loss, yep that was a real problem. But the cool thing is that for a transfer to Digital, Home Theater media, you can go back to the original, wide screen half frames and AVOID all that. Which means a restored Blu-ray transfer of a Techniscope film may very well look BETTER than the original (anamorphosed) Theatrical prints!

In 1966, Sergio Leone had completed his trio of "Dollars" Westerns and pretty much figured he was done with Westerns. He was actually working on a non-Western film ("Once Upon a Time in America", which he completed quite some time later) when he discovered the American studios didn't WANT to fund something different. They wanted another Western! Leone refused until Paramount came along with a big budget, a promise he could make his "America" film afterwards, and the services of Henry Fonda, an actor Leone dearly wanted to film.

And so he agreed. And proceeded to make a film deliberately designed to turn everything people expected from Westerns on its ear!

Early, limited release showings were badly received, and produced the bad reviews alluded to above. Sensing disaster, Paramount took out the butcher knife and slashed 20 minutes off the film, apparently figuring if it didn't make it any better it would at LEAST make it shorter (increasing the number of screenings per day). They put it out that way to wide distribution, and with minimal advertising. The result was just the disaster they had feared. The film flopped badly in the US and the UK.

Meanwhile, the original cut was doing GREAT business in the rest of Europe, particularly in France where it was a smash hit. Famously, one large theater in Paris ran the film continuously for 24 straight months!

TRIVIA:  When Leone visited that theater afterwards he was hailed as a Master -- except by the projectionist who'd gotten fed up showing that same film over and over again for 2 years!

The burgeoning cult status of the film came from bootleg copies which restored cut portions -- and even went further! One famous bootleg was 20 minutes LONGER than the "uncut" International Release. Evidently it included ALL the sweepings from the cutting room floor!

In 2003, the official, "Restored" version was produced, just slightly shorter than the original International Release. NOTE:  Comparing the timings on this stuff can be very confusing because PAL versions are played at the slightly faster PAL frame rate (25fps vs 24fps) resulting in shorter running times. This 2003, "Restored" version and the American "Theatrical" version, as originally trimmed by Paramount, are the two versions on this disc.

TRIVIA: The opening credit sequence is some 10 minutes long, displayed over music-less action -- an iconic sequence which sets the tone for the entire film. DESPITE that length, the actual TITLE of the film isn't displayed until all the way at the very end of the film.

Sound is also a challenge in these Leone films. First off, all dialog was re-recorded. ALL of it! One of the Commentators points out Leone didn't even boom-mic the actors, which proved a benefit since he could do certain types of action and camera moves without worrying about repositioning the booms or keeping them out of frame.

Doing re-recorded dialog for an entire film -- and maintaing lip sync -- is a challenge in and of itself. Apparently Jason Robards (who was primarily a stage actor prior to this film) was particularly good at it, but others were not. So even when you had the actors speaking English when filmed (not always the case for Leone's international casts), the re-recorded English dialog might not match in lip sync.

And for a restoration/transfer process, there's the added challenge that in some cases, the "best" re-recording takes simply haven't survived, meaning you either have to go with sound dupped from an existing film print, or resort to sound from a lower quality, re-recording take.

Next you've got all the sound effects audio. Modern ears -- trained to expect the hyper-realistic sounds of modern films -- cringe at what Leone used for gun shots, horse gallops, face slaps, etc. Some of the sound effects are almost laughably bad by modern standards. And a high quality, lossless track just makes them more so. But some of this stuff was done with artistic intent, and some of the sound effects have outstanding artistic value even today. The "breathing" of the idling steam locomotives is one great example.

Lastly there's the music. In this film, Leone at long last managed to pull off what he'd tried to do earlier -- to get his music not only written, but RECORDED prior to filming, so he could both film (with recorded music playing on location) and edit scenes to MATCH the music. This produced some interesting results (e.g., horse gallops which actually align with the beat of the music), but also some bizarre results where the script was changed AFTER the music was recorded, so now Leone had to twist the action a bit to try and get them back together again.

In sum, you've got a long, slow (yes, "Operatic") film, with all those technically difficult close ups (showing off those Spherical lenses!), shot in brightest sunlight so he could stop the lenses way down for added depth of field, all those "artistically" chosen sound effects, actors trying to recreate emotions of the moment when re-recording dialog, and a musical score which actually drove the filming even in the face of script changes.

What could possibly go wrong?

Darn little, actually. This is one, amazing piece of film-making!

And this Blu-ray transfer does it full justice.

The PQ is outstanding across the board. Wonderful detail, rock solid colors (no generation loss here!), and great dynamic range. No blown up film grain. Those signature, Leone close ups are immaculate. What looks like a little bit of light level pulsing in sun flares and such is, I suspect, actually due to slight vibration in the camera mount/tripod. The dynamic range is something to behold. Leone was FRYING these actors with light, and yet the transfer never blows out the high brightness end. And still, Blacks remain suitably inky, without crush. I spotted no technical issues in the PQ.

Of course with imagery of this quality, you also see ALL the defects in the original. For example, it is more than usually obvious some of the scenes were filmed in red-tinged Arizona and others in olive-tinged Spain. Jill McBain (Claudio Cardinale) starts a horse cart journey in Spain and ends up in Arizona -- with background colors changing abruptly at the cut! The fly which gets trapped using a gun barrel is a fake fly (of course), but with the detail in this transfer it is obvious it isn't walking up the wood surface in its close up. It's being pulled up on a string!

TRIVIA: Leone was keenly aware of the color palette differences between the shooting locations in Arizona and in Spain. For one scene shot in Spain, henchmen are supposed to come inside from a dust storm outdoors, appearing through the doorway out of a cloud of blown dust. Leone actually had red dust from Arizona shipped to Spain so it could be tossed in through the door as the actors entered.

The AQ in the 5.1 lossless mix is equally good, understanding of course Paramount weren't trying to undo any of the strangeness of the original. And of course the original audio was only Mono. The mix in the transfer is properly, front-stage biased with only modest recourse to the Surrounds -- a light touch and done well. But all of the odd-ball characteristics of the original film audio are there, complete with lip sync issues. Try not to laugh when you hear the face slaps.... Just keep repeating: "Artistic intent. Artistic intent." Dialog is nice and clean, the musical score is well rendered (given the recording technology of the time), and volume is well balanced. For a 1968 recording, the frequency range and dynamic range are better than I had expected.

The Extras on this disc are uniformly outstanding. I presume all of the 480i Extras came from the prior SD-DVD. The quality of the discussion is first rate.

The Commentary track is cobbled together from separate interviews, recorded at different times. Usually I don't like that sort of Commentary, but this one is shockingly good. Definitely worth a listen! The only clunker in it is the few segments recorded by John Carpenter, where he pretty much whines HE would have filmed this stuff better!

TRIVIA: Film buffs have identified literally HUNDREDS of examples where the film "quotes" from some previous Western. Some of them are blatant -- e.g., the opening scene of 3 gunmen waiting for a train, as in "High Noon" -- but many are so subtle you have to wonder whether they are real, much less intentional. It is known Leone and his co-writers spent an astounding amount of time viewing all the Westerns they could get their hands on prior to making this film. Leone was known for his "film memory", and on a location trip through Monument Valley in Arizona he would frequently stop to point out where such and so Director MUST have placed his camera to film such and so shot of the landscape.

BAD PUN:  Sergio Leone, evidently emulating his Charles Bronson character, Harmonica, proves not only can he "play"; he can "shoot" -- ahem -- a film....

Highly recommended!

--Bob

Источник: https://bobpariseau.com/blog/2018/9/6/once-upon-a-time-in-the-west-1968-on-blu-ray-how-to-make-a-horse-opera

Posted by Tim Brayton Posted on Sep - 2 - 20110 Comments

The films of Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in the West opens with a sequence of about 14 minutes or a touch under, that functions very much like a short film prequel to the movie proper, and it is as such the best film of director Sergio Leone's career. I would very much like to call it the best moment of 1960s Italian cinema, and only the best scenes in prevent me from making such a claim reflexively. It is, certainly, one of the all-time great openings to a movie, setting the tone for all that follows it, although frankly that's almost incidental to how good it is per se: I have frequently been known to watch just that single bit of the movie and stop, feeling quite well-sated by having done so; on the flipside, whenever I do go ahead and watch the rest of the film (which isn't terribly often: like a lot of Italian genre films, it exists in a confusing array of possible running times, though all of them are pretty damn long*), I invariably feel that the rest of the movie - which is, by itself, one of the greatest Westerns ever filmed and in my private list of the best films in cinema history - is a disappointment for not living up to its opening. That's how good the opening is: it makes a masterpiece look wan in comparison.

Having by now all but announced my intention to marry the opening sequence, I will get around to explaining what it is, for the uninitiated: there is a train station, out in the middle of some godforsaken patch of desert in Arizona. Three men (Woody Strode, Al Mulock, and Western fixture Jack Elam†) arrive, scare the hell out of the hapless station agent manning the ticket booth, and set up to wait. And wait. One of them amuses himself by watching a fly; one stands underneath a steady drip and listens to the sound it makes on his hat. For ten minutes this goes on, and it is one of the most unbearably tense moments in all the annals of cinema. It is the peak of Leone's aesthetic of microscopic close-ups, the men's craggy, sweaty faces that exude all the heat and dust of the Southwest filling the anamorphic Techniscope frame; the washed-out colors of the stock typical of Italian Westerns sucking all the life out of the sky and sand; the pointed editing from one insert shot to another, creating a sense of what exists while slicing physical space into the smallest constituent pieces; and above all the sound, or rather the absence of sound, a suffocating silence that exaggerates the thud of boots on boards, the plonk of water, and the ancient squeak of a windmill outside the station, grinding painfully around. There is an overwhelming emptiness to all of this, all the niceties of moviemaking stripped away and leaving just the bones of a scene, stretched out as far as Leone dares; it is a sequence that states with unmixed clarity that bad things are coming, when that train arrives and after.

Eventually the train pulls in, a shrieking metal violation of the intense quiet of the preceding ten minutes, and it disgorges... nobody, at least nobody the three men were waiting for. They're just about to leave in confusion when the harmonica plays, a short jog of notes that barely deserve the name "tune". It is a motif that we'll hear a hell of a lot over the movie, and it is for Ennio Morricone as the opening sequence is for Sergio Leone: the most brutally spare version of his style that still manages to make sense artistically. It is a hair-raising whine that communicates, unnervingly well for such a slight thing, the sound of dying slowly in the hot sun. It is being played by a man (Charles Bronson) whose granite face makes Eastwood's Man with No Name look like Jim Carrey; he'll at one point pick up the nickname Harmonica, and that's as convenient a handle as any. He quickly disposes of the three men waiting to kill him, and walks on his way.

It's a cinematic sonnet, that's what it is, a precise and perfectly-balanced mixture of sound and color, texture and editing, actor's faces and merciless actions, all going to create a feeling of the most exquisite foreboding. There aren't a dozen moments in all the movies I've ever seen, and none at all of similar duration, that are so flawlessly executed from start to finish in every of the disciplines that collectively go by the name "filmmaking". I have gone so far as to use it as a shibboleth: to love cinema as a craft, as opposed to its merits as a storytelling medium, is necessarily to love the opening sequence of Once Upon a Time in the West. Nowadays I'm not so dogmatic, but I'd still go as far as to say that anybody who doesn't adore the sequence body and soul appreciates cinema in some completely different way than I.

And, through no fault of its own, the movie never lives up to this breathtaking opening. Even the very next scene would be, in any other context, a real corker: a homesteader, Brett McBain (Frank Wolff), busily fusses around his ranch in the middle of a godforsaken dust patch, making ready for the impending arrival of his new wife. He is interrupted by the arrival of a gang of bandits who ruthlessly gun him down, along with his three young children, and to punctuate it all, the man who kills the youngest is introduced in a sweeping camera move that closes in on his face and reveals holy shit it's Henry Fonda. Yes indeed, one of Hollywood's all-time great decent fellas, good ol' Hank, here dropped into the single best piece of against-type casting that has ever been perpetrated or likely ever will be, given how calculated image control is these days, and how even the unlikeliest celebrity casting choices have the unpleasant tang of a marketing decision. At any rate, Fonda's turn as the deeply cruel, calculating Frank is among his best performances - I will not go so far as to call it his very best, simply because it is unusual for him, but freed from the manacles of a stand-up model of good citizenship, the actor was able to tap into a reservoir of coldness that is quite surprising and exciting.

From this point on, Once Upon a Time in the West keeps on expanding and expanding, to include McBain's widow Jill (Claudia Cardinale), a tough, beautiful New Orleans whore, and Cheyenne (Jason Robards), an affable bandit who gets framed for the massacre at the McBain ranch, and that most beloved of tropes in Death of the Frontier films, the building of a cross-country railroad, along with all the corruption and murder that entails. It's not terrifically original as a story - it falls into a spate of Westerns in the late '60s and early '70s that dealt with the coming of civilisation to the Old West, most prominently including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Wild Bunch - but the tone with which it tells its story isn't quite like any of the other films on the same subject. The easiest way to describe it, I think, is in the context of the Dollars Trilogy that Leone had so recently completed: those films, particularly The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are often noted for their sweeping, mythic quality. There is a distinct non-reality to the world of TGTBTU, which feels at times more like the landscape of Hell than the American Southwest, and certainly the character Eastwood plays in those movies is a folkloric figure, rather than a traditionally dramatic one.

Once Upon a Time in the West is somewhat like an epilogue to the Dollars Trilogy, in that it combines the legendary quality of those films with a more realistic, "period film" quality - I would describe it as the difference between mythic and epic. Harmonica is very much like Eastwood's character from the earlier films, a figure rather than a character; but he is surrounded by people in a story about events that began before our movie started and end after it concludes. Can you ever imagine the stories of Eastwood's films continuing on in any direction? Whereas the current film takes place in an historic continuum, and it doesn't quite know what to do with Harmonica, who keeps slicing into the story at angles, if you will, interjecting himself into a narrative world where a fable like he is cannot comfortably exist. Frank is the same kind of figure, only he tries to force himself into the world by means of violence and destruction, the tools of the same mythic Westerns that he and Harmonica stepped out of; but he ends up dying for it. Harmonica survives, but only after he is given a backstory at the end of the film and thus reabsorbed, as it were, into the film's more grounded reality, much as Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More, with his own grounded backstory, is the only "real" character in that film.

The film's primary flaw - for it is undoubtedly a flawed movie, moreso than TGTBTU, though I think its heights are higher and on the whole it's a great deal more fascinating - is that Leone, abetted by cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli, is a little bit too intoxicated with the creation of self-consciously pictorial imagery, and uses them somewhat indiscriminately. The shot of Harmonica, in the foreground, facing off against the three assassins, is reminiscent of the three-way standoff in wide-shots in TGTBTU, and is one of the best shots in the movie; but after God knows how many shots of characters framed by doorways, or of characters in the foreground watching over the action like a god, it's hard to shake the sense that Leone is not so much punctuating his movie as indulging in beauty for its own sake. As sins go, that's an awfully hard one to complain about, for beauty is, after all, beautiful; still, the extreme discipline that went into TGTBTU has been replaced by something a bit more indulgent, which is disappointing if certainly not film-breaking. The same with the script, which Leone co-wrote with Sergio Donati (from a story Leone crafted alongside two future giants of the Italian film industry: Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento): it is remarkably well-paced for the bulk of it, especially in the first hour where every scene seems to go on for ages without ever lagging, but there are scenes scattered in there that don't seem to do much good but extend the running time, though the only one I'd happily see removed is the moment in which Frank and Jill have sex.

That's actually a good segue into the last point I'd like to raise about the film, and what it says about Leone's career, which is: the function of women in it. Cardinale's Jill is the first significant female character in a Leone film since The Colossus of Rhodes, back when he was just a hack; even then, it's worth noting that the female lead there was revealed to be the villain. Here, she is an ex-whore who is the only one of the four leads that the film can't figure out: Harmonica is the taciturn amoral man who gets things done that need doing, Frank is the evil avatar of greed and rapine, Cheyenne is a well-meaning lapsed Romantic. Jill is first seen as the rugged, knows-what-she-wants sort, who turns into a lost and confused victim, before ending as... I don't even know what to make of the last few scenes, and the way they present her character. Domesticity is praised, that much is clear, but the degree to which Jill is expected to be a traditional woman at the end is wildly hard to make out. I get the impression that Leone set out to make her a strong Action Girl type, and lost his nerve, eventually shoving her offstage altogether - despite having top billing, Cardinal gets the least face time of the main actors. And it's worth noting the strong woman from the East, a stock character, has to be made a whore before she can join Leone's boys' club, and that the only moment in the last half of the film where she gets to express any real autonomy is a scene in which she fucks the villain to protect herself - a scene that could easily be cut without damaging the story much at all.

I don't know if there's any lesson that can be drawn from this, other than that Leone was profoundly uncomfortable with female characters, and could only deal with them by framing them as masculine fantasies (the cold-blooded femme fatale in Colossus, a gorgeous tomboy hooker here). Once Upon a Time in the West gets enough so amazingly right in its depiction of the waning days of the frontier that I'm not inclined to make much of it, though it is a considerably sour note in what is otherwise one of the pinnacles of world cinema.

Источник: https://www.alternateending.com/2011/09/sergio-leone-once-upon-a-time-in-the-west-1968.html

A stylized dance of death





 

 

 

Admirers of this movie say that with it Sergio Leone rejuvenated the dying Western. Bernardo Bertolucci said, “It gave back to the directors from the USA the confidence that a Western can be a great movie.” Detractors say it is just a cheap spaghetti western with a big budget and it is too long and too slow. “Tedium in the tumbleweed,” as Time magazine wrote.


You pays for your ticket and you takes your choice. Certainly it is a ‘big’ Western with loads of extras and scenes in Monument Valley and trains. And as Leone was a film buff who loved Westerns, as were Bertolucci and Dario Argento who created the story outline with him, it is chock-full of references to famous cowboy films, which fans will enjoy spotting.

 

Inscrutable

 

It has some nice photography too, by Tonino Delli Colli (who had worked on many spaghettis, including the last of the Dollars trilogy) although there are glaring differences between the Monument Valley and Almeria locations (taken to ridiculous lengths when a handful of bright red Arizona dust is thrown onto the olive-gray Spanish dirt of a grave).


The trouble is that if you give the director of cheap spaghetti westerns millions and millions of dollars, he does not necessarily make a great Western. Just even more spaghetti. And while spaghetti can be very tasty, pounds and pounds of it all at once can become indigestible, to say the least.


The Leone/Donati/Argento/Bertolucci plot is so complex that you need to see the film several times to understand it, which is inexcusable really, given the time they had to develop the story and make it clear. They wanted to do Johnny Guitar, The Iron Horse, The Last Sunset, you name it, all at the same time. Maybe they understood that no one was going to give them another blank check to make a mega-Western so they had to cram everything they could in while they had the chance.


There are all the spaghetti hallmarks (you can’t help mixing metaphors with spaghetti, I fear) that we expect, cut-price Techniscope widescreen, endless ultra-close-ups of actors’ eyes, cheap and jangly music, absurd echoing and ricocheting gunshots, bad dubbing.

 

Rattlesnake

 

The acting: well,

*   Henry Fonda as the bad guy Frank was a masterly piece of casting. He is brilliant. He first turned the role down as the script was so bad but allowed himself to be persuaded by Eli Wallach.
*   Jason Robards is also excellent as the simpatico bandit Cheyenne.
*   Inscrutable Charles Bronson does his strong, silent bit throughout. He's OK if you like Charles Bronson.
*   Claudia Cardinale looked terribly 1960s in her eye make-up and although pretty was not much of an actress. At least a woman had a proper part this time and played a central role.
*   Gabriele Ferzetti as Morton, the evil railroad baron, was a revered older Italian actor and that was a bit like casting Laurence Olivier as the Nazi.


There is a story that Leone wanted to ‘bury’ the Dollars films by having Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef as the heavies killed off at the station during the opening credits, which would have been a good joke, but they wouldn’t do it (spoilsports) and Jack Elam, Woody Strode and Al Mulock (who had been in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) stood in. ‘One-Reel Jack’ was used to being shot early in films but had perhaps hoped to get beyond the titles.

 

The opening shoot-out

 

The music is by Ennio Morricone, of course. Each character has a theme, like a (very) poor man’s Wagner opera. The trouble is that Cardinale’s theme is woo-woo Hollywood angels and over-lush strings, Fonda’s is a jarring jangle, Robards’s is an irritating faux-comic clippety-cloppety and Bronson’s is a grating harmonica. The soundtracks of Morricone, oddly much lauded, were always trite and banal and usually maddening by the end of the movie, as in this case.


Like all spaghetti westerns, the sound was dubbed on afterwards and is phony and overdone.

 

Director and principals

 

The pace is lethargic to the point of catalepsy. People move ponderously, there are aching pauses between their lines (perhaps Leone thought it made the lines more momentous) and they even speak slowly. 164 minutes of this (Paramount cut 25 minutes or so in 1968 but in 1984 the cuts were, sadly, restored) gives a new meaning to the word tedious. Now, you want to make something of a good final showdown. Not the five-second exchange of fire that these things really took. You want some tension and build-up. But Leone takes this ad absurdam. He doesn’t just want to wring the most out of a scene, he flogs the horse 15 minutes beyond its death. When you find yourself saying in the middle of a stand-up shoot-out in a Western ‘Oh come on, get on with it’, there’s something wrong with the director. OK, he wanted a stylized dance of death, but for quarter of an hour?


As so often, Fonda makes it. He is chilling as the cold-blooded killer. He’s like a rattlesnake.

 

Robards as Cheyenne

 

Cardinale, very sixties

 

Christopher Frayling has a whole chapter on this movie in his Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone (IB Tauris, 2006) so peruse that if you want more, though in my view auteuriste Euro cinephiles of this kind read far too much into these pictures: they’re cowboy films, for goodness’ sake.  The movie is certainly a landmark in the history of Westerns and interesting in many respects. It’s long and impressionistic, almost a fantasy Western or one remembered in a (very long) dream. Someone called it a Monument Valley of the Dolls, which was clever and apt. 


If only Leone hadn’t shot the whole thing in slow motion. I know slo-mo was fashionable in the 60s but the whole film?


It’s hyperbole. It’s grand (horse) opera with Morricone music, heaven preserve us. It didn’t really do well in the States but was huge in Europe and is probably still showing in Paris and Berlin somewhere in some art-house theater. Sorry, but when it comes on TV these days I skip it. I just haven’t got the stamina.



 

Источник: http://jeffarnoldblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/once-upon-time-in-west-paramount-1968.html

: Once upon a time in the west ending explained

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WHAT IS THE CAPITAL OF NEW MAINE

Why I’m Still Wrestling with the Ending of ‘Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’

By Matt Goldberg

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Spoilers, obviously.

Spoilers ahead for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.

When it was announced that Quentin Tarantino’s ninth movie would be titled Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, I figured it was just a homage to other Once Upon a Time movies like Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America. And yes, fanatics usa customer service film is set jennifer holliday discography Hollywood, but it turns out the “Once Upon a Aarp chase credit card address part was Tarantino constructing a fairy tale of sorts as he took to rewriting history yet again. As my colleague Vinnie Mancuso wisely pointed out, the ending of the film is incredibly melancholy as it knowingly deviates from history to provide a happy ending that never happened.

This isn’t the first time Tarantino has rewritten history, but I felt far more uncomfortable about it this time than I did with Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. It’s one thing to dispatch evil men who don’t deserve to write history, and seemingly, that’s what’s happening again with Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood where the Manson Family killers get absolutely destroyed by Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). And I have no sympathy for those killers; watching them get fictionally obliterated in a gruesome fashion is fun to watch. My theater cheered and I enjoyed watching these murderers get massacred. But it feels different because it’s not just a bad guy being killed, but four people being saved.

The film rests its entire third act on the tension of knowing history and Tarantino’s plan to upend it. The narration even walks us through what Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch), Abigail Folger (Samantha Robinson), and Voytek Frykowski (Costa Ronin) were up to the night they were murdered by the Mansons, except in Tarantino’s world, that never happens. They’re saved (without their knowledge) by the deeply flawed Rick and Cliff, a drunk and a wife-killer, respectively. It’s a happy ending where Rick and Cliff’s friendship is cemented, Rick gets an invite to a world where he was being left behind, and Sharon Tate gets to dazzle audiences for decades.

It’s a nice thought, and I agree that it’s deeply melancholy in its own way as the new history papers over the tragic reality. But perhaps it’s not Tarantino’s place to provide a fantasy here. It’s one thing to do it in Inglourious Basterds because fuck Hitler and his story, and the way Shoshanna wins is a testament to the enduring power of cinema. It also works in Django Unchained, which acknowledges that the power structure wrought by white supremacy is so evil that the only way to move forward is to burn it down. But saving Sharon Tate and her friends feels like a disservice to their memory, not a protective vision.

It should be noted that I don’t have a problem with Tarantino’s depiction of Tate in the film. Sure, she doesn’t have a lot of lines, but it’s thank you for your order zyia that he has a lot of respect for her and lets her exist as a symbol for a Hollywood that never got to happen. It’s clear that Tarantino thinks Tate could have been a luminary of her time had her life not been cut tragically short, and the scenes of her watching The Wrecking Crew with an audience are some of the most joyful in the picture.

But therein also lies the problem. By putting Tate on a pedestal of sorts, she functions as symbol, but not really a person. And Tarantino is well within his rights to use a person as a symbol to explore a larger idea about a Hollywood in transition, the deeply flawed people who are on their way out, and the uncertainty of the future that could certainly use a rewrite. However, by using Tate, he in turn deprives her of the honesty of her story and her humanity. It’s difficult for me to square Tarantino’s respect for Tate with the way he uses her and the way he rewrites her story.

Yes, it’s a fairy tale ending, but is that really honoring Tate? Perhaps I’ll feel differently on repeat viewings, but watching the ending unfold last week, I felt both joy at watching the killers gets murdered, and an intense discomfort with Tarantino letting us know that he was going to play god with the deaths of six people. Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, and Voytek Frykowski were murdered by members of the Manson Family as were Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. There’s no escaping that, and any attempt to do so feels like escapist fantasy at its worst. Instead of a lie that tells the truth, to quote Picasso, it’s a lie that provides comfort, and none of us should take comfort from what happened on Cielo Drive on August 9, 1969.

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Matt Goldberg (15122 Articles Published)

Matt Goldberg has been an editor with Collider since 2007. As the site's Chief Film Critic, he has authored hundreds of reviews and covered major film once upon a time in the west ending explained including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and their dog Jack.

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Источник: https://collider.com/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-ending-problems/

Once Upon a Time in America: An Experimental Epic

by Roberto Bartual

In one of the most emotive scenes of Once Upon A Time In America, Noodles (Robert De Niro) meets Fat Moe (Larry Rapp) after more than thirty years, to the stereotyped question from Moe "What have you done all this time?" Noodles answers: "Going to bed early", at the light of the tale of the childhood and youth of these now two elderly characters that we'll be later be revealed with ,neither Moe's question seems to be a cliche, nor Noodle's answer appears to us as a fatuous cultured quotation of the words that open A La Recherche du Temps Perdu by Marcel Proust. Few times before such a reference like this had seemed to have come out with so much credibility from the heart of a fiction character rather than from the mind of the author that creates this character. In fact, Noodles response announces a character that not only has lost his time as in the Proust's novel but also that his present is a continuous reviving of the past, this memories that resound in the mind of the protagonist like the unending sound of a telephone and which at the end will result as obsessive for the audience as they are for him.

This form of fascination, of connection with the mind of a character, is achieved by Leone with an exemplary way in this his final film by means of a very complex narrative structure which he uses to relate three different times and of a tremendous poetic imagery which give place to one of the most impressive European views of America (the signification, not the country) since Kafka's Amerika.

Is this narrative structure the first thing that surprises in the film, the way Leone has to intertwine three temporal levels (childhood, youth and old age) that we can't be very sure which of the three times is the present for real, although logic indicates that it would be the nearer time, the old age, the final shot makes it clear that the present time for Noodles seems to be his youth. Nevertheless although the film's structure isn't original at all (Mankiewicz achieves in The Barefoot Countess to make a once upon a time in the west ending explained structure of a flashback inside a flashback, or in John Brahm's The Locket once upon a time in the west ending explained achieves confusion with four chained flashbacks) the truly surprise is how much well it works in Leone's film, maybe because of the fact that the protagonist's insecurity to place the present time and the own insecurity of the audience bestow the flashback with a quality of actual experience and not only a simple remembrance.

The difficult, although surprisingly clear structure that is used not to narrate with perfection a story, something that is secondary for the Italian director, but to make the audience commune with a sensibility, how to activate walmart prepaid debit card the one that applied to a film like this which originally was conceived as a blockbuster (but relegated after it's opening to art & essay theatres in most countries) confers that status of rarity: the first, and probably unique, epic experimental movie.

The Poetry of Leone. Winners and Losers.

Pauline Kael saw Once Upon A Time In America as "a compendium of kitsch, but kitsch aestetiziced by someone who loves it and sees it as the poetry of the masses", maybe this is what makes different the type of poetry this film possess from others of more refined poetic elements, but not more valuable for that reason, like Dersu Uzala or Lawrence of Arabia. If the poetry is a whispering of beauty Leone whispers in a clearer, less soft, tone than the movies by Kurosawa and Lean, and gets nearer from what the great Charles Chaplin achieves in nearly all his movies: to transform in poetry that which otherwise we would consider sappy talking exactly the same language that the most refined forms of cinematographic poetry talks.

But nevertheless this form of poetry isn't as simple as it might seem at a first look, the same way the style of Leone has been developing from the effectual, rough cinematic tricks of A Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More to the expressive complexity that achieves its culmination in Once Upon A Time In The West and this his latest movie, he learns to introduce much more concealed poetic elements and maybe for that reason more beautiful; Once Upon A Time In The West is the perfect example of this hidden poetry that reaches its maximum expression in the marvelous creation by Jason Robards of Cheyenne, the bandit with Aedipical complex that loves, not so much in secret, Jill (Claudia Cardinale) because she reminds him of his mother, a whore whom, as chase bank is it open today says, his father, whoever he was, must have spent the happiest hour in his life.

Also in Once Upon A Time In America we find trails of this expressive subtlety in the treatment of an element repeated in this two Leone's films: the own image. The bitter gaze of this teenager Noodles in the second mirror is, in fact, the same gaze of the old Noodles although it is bare of that great heaviness caused by the burden of the years and the vital loathing; the gaze of the child Noodles is sad, premonitory of this other gaze, but with all the hopes of the youth.

There is, finally, a third mirror, the mirror of the last confrontation between Noodles and Deborah, the one which through they close the (in)communication started with the second one. After having raped her thirty years before Noodles enters the dressing-room of Deborah, now being a great star, who is sitting down in front of the large mirror of the boudoir. Noodles remains standing, distant, at a side of her, the faces of the two lovers reflecting in the mirror, hers with a beauty still patent, his brow old and tired; they don't look at each other faces, and when she, without words, tells him that she had already forgiven him, they can confront each other again face to face to discover that they cannot say each other anything anymore even though she loved him all this years.

To understand Noodle's character, and especially his relationship with Deborah and the feelings that lead him to rape her, is essential to have in mind these three sequences that give us to know the heavy burden his own image means for Noodles, that physical image which the child Deborah taught him to hate, a burden which nevertheless is released in his relationship with Eve, character by chance symbol of innocence and purity, who possess a material and reachable beauty. In other hand Deborah's beauty in contrast with Eve's is showed as ethereal and unreachable (but also a disguise in decadence as her last shot shows) ,affirmation reinforced by the final encounter: Deborah is playing the role of Cleopatra, which helps the spectator (and Noodles) to think of her as a stony being, of unmovable beauty, maybe a bit like a deity. In all of their encounters this beauty of Deborah makes him more conscious of his own image which she as a child had helped to impair ,nevertheless this burden seems much more credible in the contrast between Jeniffer Connelly (perfect example of an actress who have changed her greatness on acting for another kind of greatness) playing Deborah, anyway Noodles always carries the burden of the physical and moral inferiority (we must remember the moral lessons received from Deborah as a child, the reading of the Song of Songs which is at the same time a mock, moral lesson and daclaration of love. .) in the face of Deborah.

A fact that is completely reversed at this final encounter, the mirror of the boudoir also forces Deborah to confront herself, her apparently timeless beauty is covered by a masque of maquillage which little by little she wipes out of her face during the conversation through the mirror allowing to see a face though still beautiful marked by the ages and also by the pain: it's then when for first time and with her aged face unveiled Deborah is sincere, she has got rid of her mask of illusory perfection to discover a being as vulnerable as Noodles. This reversal implies that the winners are discovered as losers (the same way which happens at the end of the film with Max), the line between one and the other gets completely blurred. This unmasking of the winners does not have a characteristic of triumph for Noodles ,also it doesn't implies the defense of the virtues of the protagonist (after all he is a thief, a killer and has raped Deborah) except maybe the virtue of honesty and the love he is still able to feel for Deborah and Max.

The unmasking as something natural in the human being and not as a poetic justice imposed by the author, of the winners showing their defeat, is something very common in the work of Leone (the railroad tycoon in Once Upon A Time In The West ;Henry Fonda in the same movie: the cold killer who manages to get whatever he wants but who is also vulnerable to the mystery that appears from his past; the once upon a time in the west ending explained characters in The Bad, The Good And The Ugly where nobody is just only one of those things.) as well as it is frequent this concern with the own images, the opposition of the internal with the external (note that it is an element that appears whenever in his films appears the feminine element: Jill/Deborah), element that was much better achieved in Once Upon A Time In The West by the contraposition of Claudia Cardinale / Jason Robards; it is enough to remember the fabulous reply Jill splits at the face of Cheyenne: "You can call your friends, lie me down on the table and have fun with me if that is what you want. After a hot bath I will be the same as before." and the subsequent close-up of Jason Robards with that expression on his face showing the bitterness for his self perceived inferiority in front of Cardinale; . and how much hidden poetry there is in that scene in which Jill tells him that he is a handsome man, maybe knowing that he has to die.

At the respect of the already commented scene of our film in which the child Noodles spies Deborah through the gap on the wall (voyeurism as a medium to avoid facing with the loved person by the insecurity the physic produces) Carlos Aguilar comments in his book about Sergio Leone (1) the possibility of an autobiographical element: at what extent is it not the same Leone the one who spies the customary starlette in her dressing-room back in his young times.

The fact that this particular scene had a correspondence with another similar in the real life of Sergio Leone does not matter so much as that in the relations Noodles-Deborah and Cheyenne-Jill he is giving us a sincere confession of his own insecurity in his relations with the females, maybe with a somewhat pathologic bitterness, maybe with a touch of misogyny, but sincere in any case; a confession that until he filmed Once Upon A Time In The West he had tried to evade leaning in rather sly and cynical vein which had popularized with his spaguetti-western. It's needed to note that this confession works much better in Once Upon A Time In The West than in Once Upon A Time In America because of the complexity of his attitude towards women in that film; it is not only the platonic and bitter love, although sincere, of Cheyenne to Jill (Noodles and Deborah) but also the desire of sexual possession of Frank (Fonda) to Jill (that also we can observe in the raping of Deborah) and the desire of Harmonica (Bronson) to manipulate her.

Leone reveals then, his attitude towards women in many levels: honesty, love and adoration (mixed up with an aedipical association in the case of Cheyenne), in a first level; contempt and anxiety of possession to calm the repressed sexual desire, in a second level; and at least, a will of manipulation for the consecution of some objectives, in a third level, much more visible in Once Upon A Time In The West. Nevertheless this first level of honesty and tenderness towards women is the one which dominates in the work of Leone as opposed to Hitchcock who without giving up to open his soul sincerely to the spectator (Vertigo, Notorious, there is less honesty in Marnie) the sexual desire and the misogyny are the things which are more powerful, not enough of course to hid the tremendous romanticism there is all around. The same way Leone opposes to Buñuel, keeping distances with the cruel cinema of which the Spanish filmmaker and the English are masters, to choose a path of a different romanticism.

The Lost America.

With Once Upon A Time In America Leone concluded the trilogy he started with Once Upon A Time In The West and extended with the irregular Duck, You Sucker! (film whose French title: Ille Etait Une Fois La Revolution - Once Upon A Time The Revolution is much more revealing and preferable than the original title), triptych he used to show his own vision of North-America: through the world of the west, through the Mexican revolution, and through the America of the emigrant. A vision that as we have commented before has some parallelism with Kafka´s Amerika ,two works that without having similarities neither in thematic (the America of the gangster opposed to the America of the worker) nor in the narrative form garfield go fish card game interior voyage of Noodles opposed to the exterior travel of Karl Rossman) nor in the tone (the pessimism of Leone opposed to the optimism (!?) of Kafka) they coincide in being two different visions but from the same point of view of the European emigrant.

This way of contemplating America from the outside is what gives sense to the truly theme of the film: the lost dream of the emigrant, the same way Kafka shows us the perversion of the ideals of the emigrant, the corruption of power and the opulence with a Karl Rossman facing all this obstacles trying to perpetuate the European dream of prosperity, Leone does not seems to keep any hope in the recovering of that corrupted dream.

Noodles, who lives the present in function of a sensibility in the past is the representative of some romantic ideals that are understood whenever they are opposed to the attitude of the peripheral characters, is much similar to the character Woody Allen played in Manhattan : Isaac Davis. The parallelism between these two movies such different as Once Upon A Time In America and Manhattan ,further than the circumstantial anecdote that the two movies are located in the same city (although Leone's New York doesn't exists, it's the ideal America, while Allen's is an internal landscape in the mind of his protagonist), the two films presents the fight of a character against the superficiality that has been established. So then Manhattan can be understood ,like Leone's film, as a rejection of the contemporaneous culture and cinema, an attempt by the protagonist to impose his own perceptions of that ideal Manhattan. It's not in vain that these two films have brought us two of the most beautiful images of this city that the cinema has given, that two Brooklyn Bridges: one of a hazy black and white, the other: ominous background of a lost childhood.

If the peripheral characters of Once Upon A Time In America are capable one, of leaving her love for an empty career; the other of betraying his friends to thrive, Noodles, the same as Isaac Davis, is capable of facing his destiny, conserve that values in decadence which each time have less value in the transforming America and finally, conserve an integrity the others have renounced to.

The posture towards politics and rationalism, counterpoints of this values and sensibility, is clear in Leone and coincides in many points with that of Kafka. Where there are rules there is corruption and that rules end to lose all sense and they turn against the purpose they were created for, coming to the absurd. All the representatives of the established order: the policeman who pays the services of a teenager and "confiscates" the watch stolen by a young Max and Noodles, the official Aiello who only stays up for his own capitalist interests, or the syndicate leader Treat Williams who "soon will be stretching dirty hands", are presented as corrupted or corruptible, predictable and vulgar (Aiello again who cries the hell out of him when he realizes that his son, perpetuator of his name, has been conveniently substituted by another girl more) .

Similar situation as the one that happens in Amerika and in general in all Kafka's work, the existence of rationality, a discipline, they often only hid a rigidity in the way of thinking of these characters that gets concealed under a false masque of responsibility. The substitution of the values by these superficial elements provokes an emptiness within the person and as a consequence a lack of integrity. Then by facing those characters that haven't lost their ideals (Karl Rossmann, Noodles, Isaac Davis) to these others the absurd is produced (the transformation in a beetle of Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosisthe arrest of Joseph K.for an uncertain crime, or the repudiation of Rossmann by his uncle in Amerika)

This confrontation so characteristic in Kafka is also present is Once Upon A Time In Americasuch way that Max can't understand that Noodles will not kill him at the end, and following that opposition is when we get to perceive a second reading much more interesting than the one of "a romantic story of gangsters" which is referred in most of the commentaries regarding this film.

This second reading is based in the meta-cinematographic qualities of the film, the narrative understood as allegory of what is been happening with the occidental culture and by extension with the so called "cinematographic industry". The same way as all the previous films by Leone, good or bad have been guided by a tremendous love to the cinema, demanding in numerous occasions intertextual elements to the spectator, the title of the film could be read as "Once Upon A Time In The American Cinema" and we could observe the film as a question opened to the audience referring to the occidental culture: Why there isn't place for the sensibility anymore? ; Why is not possible now the searching of our own values? ; Why have we ceded to the subordination to pragmatism?. Coming to the end of the film Leone is unable to give himself an answer to these questions he has made, but he manages to flee from turning the film into a lamentation of the lost romanticism, teaching us that the existence of people with memory is still possible.

Also this reading states the vision of the film as pure meta-cinema: the association of Noodles with Leone admits the interpretation of the film as a speech about the difficulty of making a film. The impossibility of Noodles to give sense to his surroundings takes us to the classical postmodernist problematic of the impossibility of the author to make a work of art; we have to remember the period of more that fifteen years that took to Leone to make this film, period which he had to spent sheltered in publicity, highest expression of the artistic will subordinated to the commerce. It's difficult to ensure the conscious intention to introduce the "problematic of the director", but a fact to consider seriously is the spatial proximity of the most representative referent: Federico Fellini and the admiration the director of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly professed to his country-fellow, nevertheless it has always been observed a progressive tendency towards hyper-realism and an especial penchant for the surrealism in Sergio Leone. The undeniable is that Once Upon A Time In America, as well as all his films, is a paradigmatic example of cinema within the cinema as long as it implies a declaration of the artistic and moral values by the director and as a consequence ,the same as Woody Allen in Manhattan, a rejection of the occidental pseudo-culture based in the narcissism and service credit union branches near me cult to the self: a declaration of love to the cinema, the kitsch and the innocence.

An elegy for an art, the cinematographic art that Leone is seeing vanishing, an elegy for a land of opportunities we have lost, which neither exists in America anymore, that mental country of hopes, nor in another place. But the memories remain.



Источник: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/articles/epic.html

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)



The following weapons were used in the film Once Upon a Time in the West:

Single Action Army

Seen in the hands of Harmonica (Charles Bronson), Frank (Henry Fonda), and Cheyenne (Jason Robards), as well as many other characters are Single Action Army revolvers in various barrel lengths and finishes.

Colt Single Action Army w/ 5" barrel. (Used by Jason Robards and Charles Bronson in film, with blued finish.)
Cheyenne takes Harmonica's blued 5" Artillery SAA and rolls it to him. Harmonica declines Cheyenne's challenge. This revolver has an extremely small bore despite the large bore chambers in .44 or .45; the barrel also lacks a front sight and is probably aluminum. The gun is likely a dedicated blank-firing fast draw competition gun and, given Harmonica's method of firing it, may be modified internally to be "fanned."
Snakey (Jack Elam) plays with his SAA while waiting for Harmonica's (Charles Bronson) train to arrive. Note the the brass trigger guard. While the brass trigger guard may indicate that this is not a genuine Colt, it may be that a Model 1851 grip frame and one piece grip were added for appearances.
A thug on the train searches for Cheyenne with a 5" SAA.
Colt Single Action Army w/ 7.5" barrel. (Used by Henry Fonda in film, with nickel finish.)
Frank uses his nickel 7.5" Cavalry model Single Action Army to murder a young boy in cold blood.
Frank points his SAA at at Harmonica when he attempts to sneak on the train. This revolver would shoot very high as the front sight has been lowered and rounded; factory 1873 revolvers are seen with high front sights due to the "dwell time" of heavy .44WCF and .45 Colt bullets.
Frank fires his SAA in the town.
Frank holding his SAA during the showdown with Harmonica.

Winchester Model 1892 "Mare's Leg"

Stoney (Woody Strode) uses a sawed down Winchester Model 1892 rifle, nicknamed "Mare's Leg" as his weapon of choice. The gun has a trigger pin attached to the lever for rapid fire, meaning he uses it more as a quick draw gun than for accuracy. Aside from dramatic effect, the automatic fire pin serves no purpose in the film because the gun is fired only once by "slipping" the hammer.

Sawed-off Winchester '92 pistol "Mare's Leg" - .44-40.
Stoney (Woody Strode) loads the chamber on "Mare's Leg". Because the automatic firing device on this gun cannot be backed-off, Stoney must short-cycle the lever and then lower the hammer with his thumb, certainly a dangerous procedure for just a short duration. In order to clear the chamber(if no gunfight occurred), he could half-cycle the action, ejecting the chambered round and simply dump out the fresh round on the lifter(the Model 1892 does not retain the fresh round if inverted and carbines used by John Wayne and Chuck Service credit union branches near me required additional gunsmithing to perform the popular "spin cocking" maneuver.
Stoney (Woody Strode) loads up his Winchester '92 pistol. This gun probably held 5-6 rounds before loading the chamber. Note that Stoney intends to "slip fire" the hammer.
The hit team turns to face Harmonica (Charles Bronson) after he gets off the train.
Stoney (Woody Strode) catches one from Harmonica (Charles Bronson). Woody Strode has a rather unusual method of holding the Mare's Leg, extending his fingers around rather than through the loop lever.

Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine

Aside from Stoney's pistol version, several thugs and assassin's throughout the film are armed with Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbines.

Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine.
Two assassins ready zelle and td bank Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine rifles to face Harmonica.
Cheyenne with a '92 Carbine in hand.
An assassin armed with a '92 Carbine.
The same assassin takes aim through a hole in the billboard with his '92 carbine. (the hole keeps changing location throughout the scene.
A '92 carbine lays on the ground near the train wreckage as Frank investigates.

Double Barreled Black-Powder Shotgun

The father (Frank Wolff) is seen using a Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun to shoot quail with his son. It is discover card international atm fees as a black powder shotgun based on the ram rod positioned under the barrel. Jill McBain (Claudia Cardinale) is also seen using the Side-by-side black-powder, and uses it to fire a shot a torch wielding assassin in the dark.

Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun - 10 gauge
The father takes aim at some quail with the shotgun. Note underslung ram-rod.
Jill fires the shotgun into the dark. Note how both the percussion cap and the muzzle are shown fired.
The shotgun mounted on Jill's wall.
Источник: http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_the_West

A stylized dance of death





 

 

 

Admirers of this movie say that with it Sergio Leone rejuvenated the dying Western. Bernardo Bertolucci said, “It gave back to the directors from the USA the confidence that a Western can be a great movie.” Detractors say it is just a cheap spaghetti western with a big budget and it is too long and too slow. “Tedium in the tumbleweed,” as Time magazine wrote.


You pays for your ticket and you takes your choice. Certainly it is a ‘big’ Western with loads of extras and scenes in Monument Valley and trains. And as Leone was a film buff who loved Westerns, as were Bertolucci and Dario Argento who created the story outline with him, it is chock-full of references to famous cowboy films, which fans will enjoy spotting.

 

Inscrutable

 

It has some nice photography too, by Tonino Delli Colli (who had worked on many spaghettis, including the last of the Dollars trilogy) although there are glaring differences between the Monument Valley and Almeria locations (taken to ridiculous lengths when a handful of bright red Arizona dust is thrown onto the olive-gray Spanish dirt of a grave).


The trouble is that if you give the director of cheap spaghetti westerns millions and millions of dollars, he does not necessarily make a great Western. Just even more spaghetti. And while spaghetti can be very tasty, pounds and pounds of it all at once can become indigestible, to say the least.


The Leone/Donati/Argento/Bertolucci plot is so complex that you need to see the film several times to understand it, which is inexcusable really, given the time they had to develop the story and make it clear. They wanted to do Johnny Guitar, The Iron Horse, The Last Sunset, you name it, all at the same time. Maybe they understood that no one was going to give them another blank check to make a mega-Western so they had to cram everything they could in while they had the chance.


There are all the spaghetti hallmarks (you can’t help mixing metaphors with spaghetti, I fear) that we expect, cut-price Techniscope widescreen, endless ultra-close-ups of actors’ eyes, cheap and jangly music, absurd echoing and ricocheting gunshots, bad dubbing.

 

Rattlesnake

 

The acting: well,

*   Henry Fonda as the bad guy Frank was a masterly piece of casting. He is brilliant. He first turned the role down as the script was so bad but allowed himself to be persuaded by Eli Wallach.
*   Jason Robards is also excellent as the simpatico bandit Cheyenne.
*   Inscrutable Charles Bronson does his strong, silent bit throughout. He's OK if you like Charles Bronson.
*   Claudia Cardinale looked terribly 1960s in her eye make-up and although pretty was not much of an actress. At least a woman had a proper part this time and played a central role.
*   Gabriele Ferzetti as Morton, the evil railroad baron, was a revered older Italian actor and that was a bit like casting Laurence Olivier as the Nazi.


There is a story that Leone wanted to ‘bury’ the Dollars films by having Eastwood, Wallach and Van Cleef as the heavies killed off at the station during the opening credits, which would have been a good joke, but they wouldn’t do it (spoilsports) and Jack Elam, Woody Strode and Al Mulock (who had been in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) stood in. ‘One-Reel Jack’ was used to being shot early in films but had perhaps hoped to get beyond the titles.

 

The opening shoot-out

 

The music is what is the routing number for first interstate bank Ennio Morricone, of course. Each character has a theme, like a (very) poor man’s Wagner opera. The trouble is that Cardinale’s theme is woo-woo Hollywood angels and over-lush strings, Fonda’s is a jarring jangle, Robards’s is an irritating faux-comic clippety-cloppety and Bronson’s is a grating harmonica. The soundtracks of Morricone, oddly much lauded, were always trite and banal and usually maddening by the end of the movie, as in this case.


Like all spaghetti westerns, the sound was dubbed on afterwards and is phony and overdone.

 

Director and principals

 

The pace is lethargic to the point of catalepsy. People move ponderously, there are aching pauses between their lines (perhaps Leone thought it made the lines more momentous) and they even speak slowly. 164 minutes of this (Paramount cut 25 minutes or so in 1968 but in 1984 the cuts were, sadly, restored) gives a new meaning to the word tedious. Now, you want to make something of a good final showdown. Not the five-second exchange of fire that these things really took. You want some tension and build-up. But Leone takes this ad absurdam. He doesn’t just want to wring the most out of a scene, he flogs the horse 15 minutes beyond its death. When you find yourself saying in the middle of a stand-up shoot-out in a Western ‘Oh come on, get on with it’, there’s something wrong with the director. OK, he wanted a stylized dance of death, but for quarter of an hour?


As so often, Fonda makes it. He is chilling as the cold-blooded killer. He’s like a rattlesnake.

 

Robards as Cheyenne

 

Cardinale, very sixties

 

Christopher Frayling has a whole chapter on this movie in his Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone (IB Tauris, 2006) so peruse that if you want more, though in my view auteuriste Euro cinephiles of this kind read far too much into these pictures: they’re cowboy films, for goodness’ sake.  The movie is certainly a landmark in the history of Westerns and interesting in many respects. It’s long and impressionistic, almost a fantasy Western or one remembered in a (very long) dream. Someone called it a Monument Valley of the Dolls, which was clever and apt. 


If only Leone hadn’t shot the whole thing in slow motion. I know slo-mo was fashionable in the 60s but the whole film?


It’s hyperbole. It’s grand (horse) opera with Morricone music, heaven preserve us. It didn’t really do well in the States but was huge in Europe and is probably still showing in Paris and Berlin somewhere in some art-house theater. Sorry, but when it comes on TV these days I skip it. I just haven’t got the stamina.



 

Источник: http://jeffarnoldblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/once-upon-time-in-west-paramount-1968.html

Posted by Tim Brayton Posted on Sep - 2 - 20110 Comments

The films of Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in the West opens with a sequence of about 14 minutes or a touch under, that functions very much like a short film prequel to the movie proper, and it is as such the best film of director Sergio Leone's career. I would very much like to call it the best moment of 1960s Italian cinema, and only the best scenes in prevent me from making such a claim reflexively. It is, certainly, one of the all-time great openings to a movie, setting the tone for all that follows it, although frankly that's almost incidental to how good it is per se: I have frequently been known to watch just that single bit of the movie and stop, feeling quite well-sated by having done so; on the flipside, whenever I do go ahead and watch the rest of the film (which isn't terribly often: like a lot of Italian genre films, it exists in a confusing array of possible running once upon a time in the west ending explained, though all of them are pretty damn long*), I invariably feel that the rest of the movie - which is, by itself, one of the greatest Westerns ever filmed and in my private list of the best films in cinema history - is a disappointment for not living up to its opening. That's how good the opening is: it makes a masterpiece look wan in comparison.

Having by now all but announced my intention to marry the opening sequence, I will get around to explaining what it is, for the uninitiated: there is a train station, out in the middle of some godforsaken patch of desert in Arizona. Three men (Woody Strode, Al Mulock, and Western fixture Jack Elam†) arrive, scare the hell out of the hapless station agent manning the ticket booth, and set up to wait. And wait. One of them amuses himself by watching a fly; one stands underneath a steady drip and listens to the sound it makes on his hat. For ten minutes this goes on, and it is one of the most unbearably tense moments in all the annals of cinema. It is the peak of Leone's aesthetic of microscopic close-ups, the men's craggy, sweaty faces that exude all the heat and dust of the Southwest filling the anamorphic Techniscope frame; the washed-out colors of the stock typical of Italian Westerns sucking all the life out of the sky and sand; the pointed editing from one insert shot to another, creating a sense of what exists while slicing physical space into the smallest constituent pieces; and above all the sound, or rather the absence of sound, a suffocating silence that exaggerates the thud of boots on boards, the plonk of water, and the ancient squeak of a windmill outside the station, grinding painfully around. There is an overwhelming emptiness to all of this, all the niceties of moviemaking stripped away and leaving just the bones of a scene, stretched out as far as Leone dares; it is a sequence that states with unmixed clarity that bad things are coming, when that train arrives and after.

Eventually the train pulls in, a shrieking metal violation of the intense quiet of the preceding ten minutes, and it disgorges. nobody, at least nobody the three men were waiting for. They're just about to leave in confusion when the harmonica plays, a short jog of notes that barely deserve the name "tune". It is a motif that we'll hear a hell of a lot over the movie, and it is for Ennio Morricone as the opening sequence is for Sergio Leone: the most brutally spare version of his style that still manages to make sense artistically. It is a hair-raising whine that communicates, unnervingly well for such a slight thing, the sound of dying slowly in the hot sun. It is being played by a man (Charles Bronson) whose granite face makes Eastwood's Man with No Name look like Jim Carrey; he'll at one point pick up once upon a time in the west ending explained nickname Harmonica, and that's as convenient a handle as any. He quickly disposes of the three men waiting to kill him, and walks on his way.

It's a cinematic sonnet, that's what it is, a precise and perfectly-balanced mixture of sound and color, texture and editing, actor's faces and merciless actions, all going to create a feeling of the most exquisite foreboding. There aren't a dozen moments in all the movies I've ever seen, and none at all of similar duration, that are so flawlessly executed from start to finish in every of the disciplines that collectively go by the name "filmmaking". I have gone so far as to use it as a shibboleth: to love cinema as a craft, as opposed to its merits as a storytelling medium, is necessarily to love the opening sequence of Once Upon a Time in the West. Nowadays I'm not so dogmatic, but I'd still go as far as to say that anybody who doesn't adore the sequence body and soul appreciates cinema in some completely different way than I.

And, through no fault of its own, the movie never lives up to this breathtaking opening. Even the very next scene would be, in any other context, a real corker: a homesteader, Brett McBain (Frank Wolff), busily fusses around his ranch in the middle of a godforsaken dust patch, making ready for the impending arrival of his new wife. He is interrupted by the arrival of a gang of bandits who ruthlessly gun him down, along with his three young children, and to punctuate it all, the man who kills the youngest is introduced in a sweeping camera move that closes in on his face and reveals holy shit it's Henry Fonda. Yes indeed, one of Hollywood's all-time great decent fellas, good ol' Hank, here dropped into the single best piece of downton abbey bangor cinema casting that has ever been perpetrated or likely ever will be, given how calculated image control is these days, and how even the unlikeliest celebrity casting choices have the unpleasant tang of a marketing decision. At any rate, Fonda's turn as the deeply cruel, calculating Frank is among his best performances - I will not go so far as to call it his very best, simply because it is unusual for him, but freed from the manacles of a stand-up model of good citizenship, the actor was able to tap into a reservoir of coldness that is quite surprising and exciting.

From this point on, Once Upon a Time in the West keeps on expanding and expanding, to include McBain's once upon a time in the west ending explained Jill (Claudia Cardinale), a tough, beautiful New Orleans whore, and Cheyenne (Jason Robards), an affable bandit who gets framed for the massacre at the McBain ranch, and that most beloved of tropes in Death of the Frontier films, the building of a cross-country railroad, along with all the corruption and murder that entails. It's not terrifically original as a story - it falls into a spate of Westerns in the late '60s and early '70s that dealt with the coming of civilisation to the Old West, most prominently including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Wild Bunch - but the tone with which it tells its story isn't quite like any of the other films on the same subject. The easiest way to describe it, I think, is in the context of the Dollars Trilogy that Leone had so recently completed: those films, particularly The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are often noted for their sweeping, mythic quality. There is a distinct non-reality to the world of TGTBTU, which feels at times more like the landscape of Hell than the American Southwest, and certainly the character Eastwood plays in those movies is a folkloric figure, rather than a traditionally dramatic one.

Once Upon a Time in the West is somewhat like an epilogue to the Dollars Trilogy, in that it combines the legendary quality of those films with a more realistic, "period film" quality - I would describe it as the difference between mythic and epic. Harmonica is very much like Eastwood's character from the earlier films, a figure rather than a character; but he is surrounded by people in a story about events that began before our movie started and end after it concludes. Can you ever imagine the stories of Eastwood's films continuing on in any direction? Whereas the current film takes place in an historic continuum, and it doesn't quite know what to do with Harmonica, who keeps slicing into the story at angles, if you will, interjecting himself into a narrative world where a fable like he is cannot comfortably exist. Frank is the same kind of figure, only he tries to force himself into the world by means of violence and destruction, the tools of the same mythic Westerns that he and Harmonica stepped out of; but he ends up dying for it. Harmonica survives, but only after he is given a backstory at the end of the film and thus reabsorbed, as it were, into the film's more grounded reality, much as Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More, with his own grounded backstory, is the only "real" character in that film.

The film's primary flaw - for it is undoubtedly a flawed movie, moreso than TGTBTU, though I think its heights are higher and on the whole it's a great deal more fascinating - is that Leone, abetted by cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli, is a little bit too intoxicated with the creation of self-consciously pictorial imagery, and uses them somewhat indiscriminately. The shot of Harmonica, in the foreground, facing off against the three assassins, is reminiscent of the three-way standoff in wide-shots in TGTBTU, and is one of the best shots in the movie; but after God knows how many shots of characters framed by doorways, or of characters in the foreground watching over the action like a god, it's hard to shake the sense that Leone is not so much punctuating his movie as indulging in beauty for its own sake. As sins go, that's an awfully hard one to complain about, for beauty is, after all, beautiful; still, the extreme discipline that went into TGTBTU has been replaced by something a bit more indulgent, which is disappointing if certainly not film-breaking. The same with the script, which Leone co-wrote with Sergio Donati (from a story Leone crafted alongside two future giants of the Italian film industry: Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento): it is remarkably well-paced for the bulk of it, especially in the first hour where every scene seems to go on for ages without ever lagging, but there are scenes scattered in there that don't seem to do much good but extend the running time, though the only once upon a time in the west ending explained I'd happily see removed is the moment in which Frank and Jill have sex.

That's actually a good segue address for wells fargo center in philadelphia pa the last point I'd like to raise about the film, and what it says about Leone's career, which is: the function of women in it. Cardinale's Jill is the first significant female character in a Leone film since The Colossus of Rhodes, back when he was just a hack; even then, it's worth noting that the female lead there was revealed to be the villain. Here, she is an ex-whore who is the only one of the four leads that the film can't figure out: Harmonica is the taciturn amoral man who gets things done that how to activate walmart prepaid debit card doing, Frank is the evil avatar of greed and rapine, Cheyenne is a well-meaning lapsed Romantic. Jill is first seen as the rugged, knows-what-she-wants sort, who turns how to activate walmart prepaid debit card a lost and confused victim, before ending as. I don't even know what to make of the last few scenes, and the way they present her character. Domesticity is praised, that much is clear, but the degree to which Jill is expected to be a traditional woman at the end is wildly the row hotel san jose to make out. I get the guaranty chevrolet san diego that Leone set out to make her a strong Action Girl type, and lost his nerve, eventually shoving her offstage altogether - despite having top billing, Cardinal gets the least face time of the main actors. And it's worth noting the strong woman from the East, a stock character, has to be made a whore before she can join Leone's boys' club, and that the only moment in the last half of the film where she gets to express any real autonomy is a scene in which she fucks the villain to protect herself - a scene that could easily be cut without damaging the story much at all.

I don't know if there's any lesson that can be drawn from this, other than that Leone was profoundly uncomfortable with female characters, and could only deal with them by framing them as masculine fantasies (the cold-blooded femme fatale in Colossus, a gorgeous tomboy hooker here). Once Upon a Time in the West gets enough so amazingly right in its depiction of the waning days of the frontier that I'm not inclined to make much of it, though it is a considerably sour note in what is otherwise one of the pinnacles of world cinema.

Источник: https://www.alternateending.com/2011/09/sergio-leone-once-upon-a-time-in-the-west-1968.html

Oscars: 10 Things to Know About Best Picture Nominee ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, also known as Quentin Tarantino's love letter to 1960s Los Angeles, is going into the 2020 Oscars as one of the most nominated films, racking up 10 mentions from the Film Academy.

The film is one of the nine movies up for the the top prize of the night, best picture, and also received nods for best banco of america cerca de mГ­ (Leonardo DiCaprio), supporting actor (Brad Pitt), director, original screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, costume design, production design and sound editing.

Once Upon a Time follows actor Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) and his stuntman Cliff Booth (Pitt), nearing the end of their careers, struggling to find meaningful work in a fast-changing 1969 Hollywood. Rick gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s TV Western called Bounty Law, which he left behind to try to pursue a film career, only to find he doesn't recognize the industry around him anymore. His struggles become even more prominent when director Roman Polanski (played by Rafal Zawierucha) and his new wife, up-and-coming actress Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), move in next door to him at the end of Cielo Drive.

From an inside look at how Tarantino is on set to the fate of Rick's career after the film and a look at the main character's mental health, here are 10 behind the scenes facts about the pic, including some spoilers.  

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Источник: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/10-things-know-once-a-time-hollywood-oscars-2020-1270386/
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