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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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Notes from the 2008 American Film Market

By EdwardHavens

November 6th, 2008

This year's American Film Market, where thousands of film buyers and sellers come together at Santa Monica's Loews Beach Hotel for a week of deal-making, networking and schmoozing, started yesterday, amongst worries the global economic crisis could make for less than desirable results.

Notes from the 2008 American Film Market

The veteran of numerous AFMs myself, I had never seen such a blasé opening frame as I witnessed yesterday. Usually, opening day at the Market is filled with heavy traffic in the halls and suites, buyers optimistic there will be a cache of new films that they can bring home to their entertainment-starved masses, sellers hoping this year will be better than the previous. On Wednesday, the mood was cautiously positive, with expectations riding on a major uptick in deals for the weekend, but it was still shocking to see the usually jam-packed Weinstein Company suite so threadbare, but it was like that in every suite.

Speaking of the Weinsteins, amongst the new product they were hawking was “Nine,” Rob Marshall’s cinematic adaptation of the Broadway musical which itself was an adaptation of Federico Fellini’s “8 1/2." Daniel Day-Lewis plays filmmaker Guido Contini, who finds himself entangled in a mid-life crisis as he approaches his fortieth birthday, despite celebrating his most recent and greatest success. You couldn’t ask for a better supporting cast, which includes Oscar-winners Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman and Sophia Loren, as well as Penelope Cruz, Stacy Ferguson and Kate Hudson. The Weinsteins released this photo of the production, which only began three weeks ago. “Nine” is scheduled to open in theatres December 11, 2009.


”Nine” image courtesy The Weinstein Company

At AFM, The Weinstein Company also introduced new pictures for “Crossing Over,” Extreme Movie” and “Youth in Revolt.”



”Crossing Over” images courtesy The Weinstein Company




”Extreme Movie” images courtesy The Weinstein Company




”Youth in Revolt” images courtesy The Weinstein Company

”Extreme Movie” is scheduled to arrive in theatres on December 5, “Youth in Revolt” on February 20 and “Crossing Over” later in 2009.