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Review: Sergio Leone's "A Fistful Of Dynamite" (1971) Starring James Coburn And Rod Steiger; Kino Lorber Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
By Fred Blosser

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Sergio Leone’s “Giù La Testa,” later retitled not once but twice for American release, opened in Italy in October 1971 to great expectations by the director’s fans. According to the preeminent Leone expert Sir Christopher Frayling, in an informative audio commentary included in a new Blu-ray edition of the film from Kino Lorber Studio Classics under its second U.S. title, “A Fistful of Dynamite,” the Italian phrase meant something like “keep your head down.” In other words, in times of social convulsion like the bloody 1913 Mexican revolution portrayed in the movie, save yourself unnecessary grief and keep as low a profile as you can. Toshiro Mifune’s wandering samurai in “Yojimbo” offered similar advice: “A quiet life eating rice is best.” In Leone’s film, James Coburn and Rod Steiger starred as mismatched partners -- a fugitive
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Ennio Morricone to Release Album Featuring New Recordings of Classic Themes

Following up his Oscar win earlier this year for Quentin Tarantino‘s The Hateful Eight, the legendary composer Ennio Morricone seems to be as busy as ever. Ahead of his 88th birthday this fall, he’s currently on tour and on the same day that we’ll hear his new score for Terrence Malick‘s Voyage of Time, he’s set to release a new album.

The composer has signed a new record deal with Decca Records and the first album to be released is Morricone 60, which celebrates his six decades of work. Featuring a selection of new recordings with Czech National Symphony Orchestra, it includes themes from his Sergio Leone films, The Mission, Cinema Paradiso, and more, as well as his recent Oscar-winning work.

“After the success of The Hateful Eight score, I’m delighted to be returning to Decca with my own record deal – an extraordinary moment in my 60th professional anniversary year,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Ennio Morricone To Receive Star On The Hollywood Walk of Fame; Watch The Hateful Eight Recording Session

Ennio Morricone accepts an Honorary Academy Award during the 79th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA, on Sunday, February 25, 2007.

The Weinstein Company has released a 7-minute video from the actual recording session of L’Ultima Diligenza per Red Rock (versione integrale) from The Hateful Eight.

Featuring the legendary composer, Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight is nominated for 3 Academy Awards this year, including Best Original Score.

In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter,
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10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in December

10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in December
Streaming services are a crucial addition to modern civilization, but only in December do they become a truly indispensible survival tool. Whether curled around your laptop in order to keep warm or retreating to your favorites queue in a desperate attempt to hide from your loved ones, this is the season when having something good to watch can mean the difference between life and death.

Fortunately for us, Netflix, Hulu, and the other major hubs have busted out the big guns just in time. From indisputable classics to contemporary gems,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Trailers from Hell: Brian Trenchard-Smith on Sergio Leone's Final Western 'Duck, You Sucker!'

Trailers from Hell: Brian Trenchard-Smith on Sergio Leone's Final Western 'Duck, You Sucker!'
Sergio Leone Week! concludes at Trailers from Hell, with director Brian Trenchard-Smith introducing "Duck, You Sucker!"Considered one of his most overtly political films, this final Leone western is a melancholy action film steeped in memory. It looks to have influenced Leone collaborator Bernardo Bertolucci’s own politically charged historical epic, 1900. Peter Bogdanovich was originally contracted to direct but ankled when he bridled at having to imitate Leone’s baroque pictorial style. James Coburn’s Irish revolutionary role was intended for Jason Robards and Rod Steiger’s Mexican peasant for Eli Wallach. When a shortened version was released in America to boxoffice indifference in 1971 the title was changed to A Fistful Of Dynamite. Also known in Europe as Once Upon A Time…The Revolution. It was banned in Mexico until 1979.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Looking back at Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy

Feature Paul Martinovic Jan 18, 2013

With Django Unchained out now in the UK, Paul looks back at Sergio Leone's classic Dollars trilogy that helped inspire it...

Howard Hawks, one of the most successful Western directors of all time and a key influence on Sergio Leone, once said a great movie can be defined as one with "three great scenes, and no bad ones." There can be few directors who understood the power of great scenes quite as strongly as Leone, the director of the Dollars trilogy and de facto godfather of the spaghetti western.

Some might argue his emphasis on great individual moments was to his detriment, as the MacGuffin-laden plots of his films seem to exist mainly as devices on which he can hang his elaborate setpieces, and were subsequently labeled as exercises in pure style. While the artistic and intellectual merits of the three films are up for debate,
See full article at Den of Geek »

5 Unmade Movies From Spaghetti Western Maestro Sergio Leone

For someone who's considered one of the greatest filmmakers in history, Sergio Leone was not especially prolific. While he worked extensively as an assistant director (with credits including "Bicycle Thieves," "Quo Vadis" and "Ben Hur"), he was only credited on seven films across his thirty-year career (with uncredited direction work on three others -- "The Last Days Of Pompeii," "My Name Is Nobody" and "A Genius, Two Partners and A Dupe").

But given that those films include some of the greatest Westerns -- the Man With No Name trilogy, and "Once Upon A Time In The West" -- and a wonderful crime epic, "Once Upon A Time In America," it's hard not to mourn that we didn't get more films from the director, who passed away 23 years ago today, on April 30th, 1989. But it wasn't for a lack of trying, as there were a number of other projects that Leone considered,
See full article at The Playlist »

The James Clayton Column: when movie titles change around the world

With Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists marketed under a variety of different names outside the UK, James looks at a few other alternate movie titles…

Sailing across screens this week we’ve got The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists, which promises viewers a rip-roaring comic caper brought to stop-motion plasticine life by Aardman Animations.

It’s got inept buccaneers, a delightfully daft plot, Brian Blessed providing the voice of the Pirate King and a swordfighting Queen Victoria with a steampunk skirt. With a great big Wallace & Gromit smile I eagerly embrace this eccentric concoction and skip to the cinema guaranteed to have a cracking time.

It’s only in the United Kingdom, though, that audiences will be taking theatre seats to see The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. Elsewhere around the globe, cinemagoers will be acquainting themselves with The Pirates! Band Of Misfits. That’s the case
See full article at Den of Geek »

Notebook Soundtrack Mix #2: "Sleep Little Lush"

  • MUBI
Above: Image from Maurice Binder's title sequence for Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Sleep Little Lush

This follow-up to the previous soundtrack mix, Hyper Sleep, is very much the same animal: a chance gathering of mesmerizing music tracks, carefully arranged to focus on the interstitial character of film music—its ability to distill into hallucinatory moments, the most sensual or emotional qualities of a film’s nature, and amplify these sensations to increase their temporal impact. With this idea of music as intoxicant in mind, the passing this year of John Barry was a loss of one of the great “perfumers” of film composing (for more on music as perfume, see Daniel Kasman’s “Herrmann’s Perfume”). The beautiful themes that Barry scored for the world of 007 that open this collection set the spell for a kaleidoscopic (largely) 60s and 70s sample of some of the best film music written by Ennio Morricone,
See full article at MUBI »

50 Reasons Why The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Might Just Be The Greatest Film of all Time

Following in the tradition of great What Culture arguments for films such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars and Jaws, it’s now time for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to step forward and shoot all contenders down for the prestigious title of greatest film of all time. No other film is as iconic, as epic or as purely cinematic as Sergio Leone’s 1966 spaghetti western, which combines everything that’s remarkable about about the work of the late Italian director into one astonishing piece of filmmaking.

Here’s 50 reasons why The Good, the Bad and the Ugly might just be the greatest film of all time.

1. Clint Eastwood as Blondie (Aka: The Man With No Name/The Good)

Where better to start than Clint Eastwood’s effortlessly cool return as The Man With No Name, or as he is actually named here, Blondie. A man of few words,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Sir Christopher Frayling And John Boorman Host "A Fistful Of Dynamite" 40th Anniversary Screening, Ifi Dublin, 1 November

  • CinemaRetro
By John Exshaw

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Anyone fortunate enough to be within a day’s ride of Dublin on Tuesday, 1 November, should saddle up bright and early to catch the Irish Film Institute’s 40th anniversary presentation of Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dynamite, to be introduced by Leone biographer and Spaghetti Western top-gun, Sir Christopher Frayling. Also participating in the event will be director John Boorman, who assisted Leone in finding the locations used in the film’s Irish flashback sequences, and Ireland’s top special-effects expert, Gerry Johnston, who worked on the action scenes shot in Toner’s pub in Dublin’s Baggot Street.

Frayling, whose last appearance at the Ifi (introducing Once Upon a Time in the West) was the highpoint of the 2000 season, will use extracts from such films as John Ford’s The Informer
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Daily Briefing. Venice Rankings and Early Awards; New Projectorhead

  • MUBI
While we wait to see how Darren Aronofsky's jury will divvy up the Lions in Venice this evening, a big batch of autonomous organizations and critics associations such as Fipresci have already handed out their awards … Diego Lerer and Neil Young rank the films they've seen in Venice … Gautam Valluri introduces the new, fourth issue of Projectorhead, featuring Adrian Martin on Sergio Leone, Anuj Malhotra on Bong Joon-ho, Kaz Rahman on Emir Kusturica, interviews with Kumar Shahani and cinematographer Martin Ruhe and more … Michel Gondry returns to France for The Foam of Days, with Audrey Tautou, Léa Seydoux, Romain Duris and Jamel DebbouzeArnaud des Pallières's Michael Kohlhaas will feature Mads Mikkelsen and Bruno Ganz … But the most controversial project in the works has to be Mel Gibson's biopic based on the life of Jewish hero Judah Maccabee — with a screenplay by Joe Eszterhas, no less.

See full article at MUBI »

Geek shows and movies on UK TV in the coming week

Stargate Universe starts again from the beginning, while That Mitchell and Webb Look and Misfits repeats end. Plus - lots of movies to watch out for!

The next seven days are full of final sips and refills beginning tomorrow morning, Saturday August 14th with a repeat broadcast from the first moments of Stargate Universe. The series' three part opener, Air, introduces the unprepared crew of Destiny and parts 1-3 will run in succession on Sky2 starting at 9:00am. The next three episodes Darkness, Light, and Water will be shown on Wednesday, August 18th beginning at 9:00pm.

Saturday night, August 14th at 10:00pm on Channel 4, the final episode of the first series of the unlikely and often unlovable superpower-imbued Misfits is repeated. It's an important one to catch if you haven't seen it, and to refresh your memory if you have. The second series, due in autumn,
See full article at Den of Geek »

HeyUGuys at Cannes 2010: Cannes Classics Will Show Hitchcock’s Psycho

  • HeyUGuys
Since the announcement of this year’s selected films, the Cannes film festival machine has whirred on, with additions to that line-up and confirmation of some of the Out of Competition activities that attendees can look forward to.

One particular highlight is the Cannes Classics programme of films, a selection of restored films and rediscovered lost films, as part of the build up to their re-release in cinemas or on DVD. The programme traditionally includes some massively important films: the 2009 fest offered the mouth-watering triptych of Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948), Leone’s A Fistful of Dynamite (1971) and Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows (1959), and this year’s line-up is just as eye-catching.

This year’s Cannes Classic programme lines up as follows (with additional detail of their restoration, and the ceremony attached to the screening):

- La Bataille Du Rail (The Battle of the Rails) (France,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Ennio Morricone’s 80th Birthday

I have always been moved in some way or another by film music, but no one has created a bigger lump in the throat or watered my eyes more than Ennio Morricone.

He made film music transcend the film. He made me realize that film music could invoke emotions that went beyond just playing sad or tense or action themes. His music became the emotional anchor of the films he scored. This is music that didn’t have to make you think of the film it was used in, but gives your life its own score. I know that may be getting a little carried away, but that’s how I’ve always viewed it.

Being a (very) amateur composer myself, I always fall back on not just his work but the context of how it’s placed in movies. The few cues that were written before filming especially in
See full article at Movie-moron »

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