MAGNIFICENT SEVEN FANS CONCERNED GLOSSY HOLLYWOOD REMAKE BETRAYS SPIRIT OF ORIGINAL GLOSSY HOLLYWOOD REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – Fans of The Magnificent Seven have voiced concerns that the new Hollywood remake of the classic film will betray the original 1960 Hollywood remake.

As the first images and trailer dropped of Antoine Fuqua’s new film The Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, voices have been raised concerned that the remake will betray the spirit of the original 1960 remake starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.

President of the Magnificent Seven Appreciation Society Johnny Applecart explains:

The untouchable beauty of the original John Sturges film is that it was so new and fresh. You had these wonderful actors at the height of their game and a magnificent score. A brilliant director also. But perhaps more than anything you had the fact that the while film was based on a movie by Akira Kurosawa, The Seven Samurai. So there was this frisson between East and West, high art and popular genre, cowboys and Samurai to quote Jon Favreau.

But doesn’t that just mean that the original was not original?

Yes, but it was not original in an original way. It was taking something from far away and there was a real sense of daring and adventure in that. Here we will be watching a remake of a cowboy film that is also a cowboy film. Watch Battle Beyond the Stars and that’s essentially The Magnificent Seven in space. Robert Vaughn plays essentially the same character. Even the sequels mix it up a bit, but with this new one it just feels like the same thing again with Parks and Rec thrown in.

What do you tihnk about the remake of The Magnificent Seven? Uh huh. Interesting. Now write it in the comments box so we can all enjoy.

6 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT SPAGHETTI WESTERNS

HOLLYWOOD – With the release of Quentin Tarantino’s new movie “The Hateful Eight” many pig ignorant film-goers are going ‘Spaghetti Westerns? What? How? Why and Where?’

Stop, shut up, sit down and let Studio Exec blow knowledge holes in your poncho of stupid with our six fact shooter. 

The Six Shooter of Fact

1. Although called ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ no one actually eats spaghetti. They eat beans.

2. In order to make his films more commercially attractive to US audiences, Sergio Leone anglicized the Italian names of cast and crew: Leone himself became Bob Robertson, Gian Maria Volantè became John Wells, and Neapolitan unknown Diego Cazzituoi became Clint Eastwood.

3. All the gunshots you hear in the Spaghetti Westerns directed by Sergio Corbucci were created by Ennio Morricone the films’ composer who had the knack of imitating realistic gunfire, with his mouth. ‘I learnt it in the school yard, little did I know…p-choooooo,’ said the maestro.

4. Although Quentin Tarantino claims to be an expert on Spaghetti Westerns, he’s never actually seen one. He’s heard about them from a really cool friend and he thought they sounded ‘cool’. When asked whether he’ll try and watch one now, he said he ‘couldn’t be bothered’.

5. Although many people mistakenly believe that the first Spaghetti Western was Sergio Leone’s Fistful of Dollars in 1964, it was not. The first Spaghetti Western was made in 1961 in Japan by Akira Kurosawa and was called Yojimbo.

6. The trademark whistling heard on the soundtracks of all the Spaghetti Westerns was done by unemployed American actor Charles Bronson who later appeared in Once Upon a Time in the West where ironically he didn’t whistle, but played the harmonica. ‘He was a very good whistler,’ laughed Leone. ‘But a shit!’

For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE! 

THE MAKING OF THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

HOLLYWOOD – In our new series ‘The Making of…’ we go behind the scenes, using previously unseen letters, diaries and documents, of a major motion picture landmark of cinema. This week The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Idea

Sergio Leone had always wanted to make a film about a treasure hunt. Growing up in Mussolini’s Italy, treasure hunts were actually banned by the Black Shirts, as were blue shirts, yellow shirts and salmon pink trousers. So following the success of his first two ‘Dollar’ films, Leone brushed off an old idea he had been toying with for years. Three rogues during the American Civil War  all go in search of an evasive wagon of gold. He provisionally entitled it Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Marito, which translates as The Thin, the Fat and the Husband. He wrote to Dario Argento, a young film critic at the time and wannabe film director, and explained his idea:

The idea of my western is the purest concept I have come up with, now that I’ve run out of Akira Kurosawa films to copy. I’ve based it on an old Italian folktale my grandmother used to tell me. The thin man is always alert and wily, but the fat man is more charming and gregarious and everyone helps him, but the married man is the best because wherever he goes his wife follows him shrieking loudly. It is going to be very funny. Claudia Cardinale will play the wife I’m sure. Or Sophia Loren!

Casting

Despite his initial wish for Claudia Cardinale to play the married man’s wife, the role proved so difficult to to cast that the script was changed and the film retitled Il Magro, Il Grasso, Il Scapolo: The Thin, The Fat and the Bachelor. Thoughts turned to Clint Eastwood who – although his relationship with the Italian director was difficult – was still keen to make one last contracted film. Leone wrote to his American star:

Clint, I have a lovely role for you. It is perfect. You will get to wear that hat you like. You know the cowboy one! Yes, I knew that would bring a cheeky smile to that cheeky face. The role is Il Grasso, he is a gunfighter, but his real love is blueberry pies. Oh, he eats so many. The audience will see a whole new side to you, but listen you must put on some weight. I would say quite a few kilo. Fifty at least.

Clint responded cautiously:

Dear Sergio,

I read the script and it is a good one. I’m just not sure about my character. May I suggest that instead of being fat he is relatively slender. And instead of being garrulous, he is a man of few words. And instead of eating pies, he squints and shoots people. remember when you wanted me to wear that frogman’s suit in Fistful of Dollars, you remember telling me ‘A Poncho!? That’s ridiculous!’ but who was right in the end. Trust me on this.

Production

Now called Il Magro, Il Buono, Il Brutto (The Thin, The Good and The Ugly), the filmmakers moved to Franco’s Spain which would stand in for the US West. Eli Wallach, who had never worked with Leone before, was cast as The Magro. He wrote home to his mother:

Spain is nice. Hot as you’d expect this time of year. Clint is very quiet. A fitness nut, but you know. Nice. The film looks like being a bit of disaster. I’m clowning around as best I can but frankly I don’t understand the script, I don’t understand the direction, the story. Lee Van Cleef is here playing the Thin. I swear to God it’s a stupid film. Yesterday, Sergio made us stand around in a cemetery all day while he filmed our fingers and then the bridges of our noses! Europeans!

Post-Production

With the film complete all that remained was to add the score and overdub the dialogue. Clint told Roger Ebert in his documentary Clint and Sergio:

Sergio didn’t speak English and I spoke no Italian. And the script was often a mess. We knew roughly the scenes, but he didn’t have the dialogue properly translated or translated so badly that it was meaningless. So Sergio would just get us to count up to a number out loud. You count to 7 Clint, now Lee you count to 5, now Clint to 3 and so on. Then we’d overdub with actual words.

Ennio Morricone had completed the score early but the last touches were required the iconic ‘AIIIIAIAIA’ that would begin the score and the film. This was provided accidentally by the Maestro himself when he closed the piano lid on his own fingers. The sound of his shriek of pain had been inadvertently recorded and by looping it and manipulating it electronically Morricone added a strange and comic vibe to the film.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was released in 1966.

for more of The Making of CLICK HERE.

AKIRA KUROSAWA ‘WAS A PLAGIARIST’, XAVIER POULIS ANNOUNCES

Swiss cinema expert and self-proclaimed genius Xavier Poulis has formally accused Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa of plagiarism in a new book J’Accuse Akira. In the book, Poulis argues that Kurosawa began his career by imitating classic westerns like The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars and ended it by ripping off William Shakespeare, a noted Seventeenth Century ‘playwright’.
Poulis orders the fondue:

I first suspected something was wrong when I watched Rashomon, Kurosawa’s break out hit that wowed the Venice Film Festival in 1950. The film tells one story and then another character tells the same events but in a totally different way. And then again. It’s like he can’t think of anything to say so he just copies himself.

So all of his major films are copies?

Absolutely. Seven Samurai was ripped off Magnificent Seven and Yojimbo was Fistful of Dollars, he even managed to copy Star Wars years before Lucas thought of it.

But all Kurosawa’s films pre-date the films you say he copied?

And?

Well, how can he have copied them? Surely, it’s more likely that they used his films as inspiration.

That would be the conventional view and would make a lot of sense. But I am a film theorist and influenced by Deleuze and so I fully subscribe to the notion of retrospective plagiarism.

But that doesn’t make any sense!

It doesn’t need to make sense it is theory.