FilmJerk Favorites

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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Old Favorites and a job for Joss Whedon

By AmyLawrence

May 29th, 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 the season finale of Six Feet Under, a bit about Nip/Tuck and, as always, stuff on some L & O's


It’s a bittersweet time of year for TV lovers. Yes, the networks are releasing their fall schedules and we get to see which of our faves “on the bubble” of cancellation get a reprieve. Fox is giving us another season of Arrested Development and Tru Calling, for better and worse. And we get two more years of Scrubs!

In the Season Finale of Six Feet Under, Ruth meets George’s daughter Maggie, a lovely woman who Ruth adores. George has daydreams of a friend from the 1950’s, and, our death may come from an elevator incident.

Nip/Tuck’s eighth episode this season is named for “Agatha Ripp,” a prostitute who may have stigmata. A nun comes in for an eyelift. And, a woman who’s child is born with a tail wants an exorcism, but her husband just wants the tail removed. Also, Liz may be having trouble with her pregnancy.

Law and Order: Criminal Intent is filming season four’s “Eosphoros,” in which April is caught between her Atheist grandmother and born again father. April is often lost in the shuffle, and stages her own kidnapping for attention, but it goes terribly awry.

There’s a new crime boss on One Life to Live. Jaime Padilla takes over the family business after the death of the former leader.

Why do I always want to say Law and Order: SUV instead of Law and Order: SVU? Anyway, in “Outcry,” Tandi is a high school kid at a summer program on a college campus. She goes missing and is found bound and probably raped in an empty dorm room. But, she may have staged the whole thing to cover up going to a drunken college ROTC party instead of doing her homework.

I’ve never watched the show, but I *love* reading about Strong Medicine. In episode six of this season, Caroline has a rare fatal disease, but her sense of humor keeps her going until the end. Her sister doesn’t appreciate all the jokes until Caroline is gone. Lori has five breast surgeries because she wants the girls to look perfect. When the surgeon refuses to do any more work, Lori retaliates--with a scalpel of her own.

The fourth episode of Showtime’s new series Huff is called “Flashpants.” That’s all you really need to know.

Family Guy is back, and sound-alike actors for Mel Gibson, Jim Cavaziel, Matt LeBlanc (“How you doin’?”) and Dick Cheney, for what sounds like the craziest “The Passion of the Christ” spoof yet.

Laura Harris gets a love interest in Showtime’s Dead Like Me. He’s a reality show producer with a dark and violent side.

And, have we marveled that the WB is bringing back not only “Lost in Space” with Doug Petrie’s and John Woo’s Robinsons: Lost in Space but Dark Shadows as well? Dark Shadows has a pretty classy pedigree for the WB, being produced by John Wells and P.J. Hogan among others, but raise your hand if you think this is the perfect project for Joss Whedon. It’s campy and vampy and Joss’s flair for dialogue would be just the thing to bring this show into the 21st Century. Joss my love, I’m very happy about the “Serenity” movie, but I need you in my house every week so if not this, then find a TV project, please.