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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Sergio Leone |||
Sergio Leone

Leone’s career is remarkable in its unrelenting attention to both American culture and the American genre film, exploring the mythic America he created with each successive film examining the established characters in greater depth.

Only his second feature (a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo), Leone's landmark "spaghetti western" caused a revolution and features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role as "The Man With No Name". This classic brutal drama of feuding families wasn’t the first spaghetti Western, but it was far and away the most successful up to that time.

Plot is of minimal interest, but character is everything to Leone, who places immense meaning in the slightest flick of an eyelid, extensively using the extreme close-up on the eyes to reveal any feeling, as demonstrated by Clint, who squints his way through this slam-bang sequel to A Fistful of Dollars as a wandering gunslinger that must combine forces with his nemesis to track down a wanted killer.

The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy follows Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as they form an uneasy alliance to find a stash of hidden gold. Leone focuses on his central theme as they find themselves facing greed, treachery, and murder, showing that the desire for wealth and power turns men into ruthless creatures who violate land and family and believe that a man’s death is less important than how he faces it.

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C.J. Gets a New Man on West Wing

By AmyLawrence

January 13th, 2004

Casting calls and news items in the TV community come in each day here to FilmJerk.com. Amy Lawrence catches the minutiae that falls through the cracks, and discusses them more in depth than most of them probably deserve. Today, read news on some more new pilots, stuff on all three editions of "Law & Order" and "Queer as Folk."


Century City: In “Haunting,” a women sees her dead husband, but it’s really a virtual clone he made as an experiment. It’s up to the law to decide if this Data is a real person or not. Also, a man’s mother makes an embarrassing website about her son and he sues.

Crash Course: This pilot for Fox is about the Fleming family, still recovering from the death of Mr. Fleming. Reese is teaching at Columbia, but comes home to be the man of the family and take care of his younger siblings. The series takes place on a small college campus in California.

CSI: Miami: A man is killed in a home “Invasion” but Horatio thinks more is going on than meets the eye.

Grid: This mini-series about counter-terrorism will air on TNT and is set to star Dylan McDermott and Julianna Margulies.

Hack: Olshankly does a favor for Liz by helping a woman find the child her husband took away from her in episode 37.

Hawaii Blue: Danny is the hotshot cop and John is his new partner, just as cocky as Danny. Linh is a beat cop who both men want. This pilot is for NBC.

Home and Hardware: Andrea works for Restoration Hardware and is having an affair with her boss. Her ne’er-do-well brother shows up and changes her life, for the better. Also a pilot for NBC.

JAG: A pilot may have crashed his plane in a suicide attempt and it’s up to Harm to figure it out.

Judging Amy: PLUSHIE ALERT! Episode 15 is called “Werewolves of Hartford” and there will be Blue Bunnies and Babs the Badgers galore. If none of this means anything to you, just google “plushie”.

Las Vegas: Episode 15 is “A Good Day to Die 2." A movie is being filmed at the Montecito and the lead actor dies performing a stunt. Sam must go to war as another casino is stealing her whales.

Law and Order: A veteran whose son is killed in Afghanistan kills a war protester in “Veteran’s Day."

Law and Order: Criminal Intent: Hmmm, "Talented Mr. Ripley" anyone? “Eric” steals a friends identity, pretends to be gay, sells HIV tainted blood and kills to protect himself in “Mis Labeled."

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: An agoraphobic keeps her kids home with her and, basically, they all go nuts in “Home."

My Wife and Kids: In “Illegal Smile,” Michael gets Botox and it freezes his face into a creepy smile, right when he’s trying to talk his way out of a traffic ticket.

Navy NCIS: “My Other Left Foot” is found in a dumpster and is traced back to Marine Thomas Dorn, who died two years before.

NYPD Blue: Episode 14 centers around a gang killing. Rival gang members are brought in for questioning, but the killing was done by a landlord who didn’t want trouble in his building.

Queer as Folk: New character Drew Boyd is a closeted football player.

Venice Beach: This pilot is “unscripted and improvised.” It centers around Ben, a model and veterinary student; his girlfriend, a decorator; Frank, a rich stock broker; Tomas, another male model; Lara, a professional kick boxer and clothing buyer and lots of other rich, beautiful, sexy characters that I’m already sick of.

West Wing: We flash back to Leo’s time in Vietnam in “An Khe” as his old army buddies are in Washington working on a military contract for an aerospace corporation. New recurring character Ben is C.J.’s ex, now back in her life.