Here are some rare images from the production of Sergio Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in the West,’ courtesy of frame-paradiso

“Combining interview clips with historical photos and footage, we learn about Sergio Leone’s origins as a filmmaker, the conception of ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ arising from his love (and disdain) of Hollywood Westerns, the development of the production (including the casting of American Western film regulars in roles completely opposite to what they’d played previously), the actual filming itself, the ultimate reaction to the film, and its eventual place in cinema history. There are fascinating moments with Bernardo Bertolucci talking about the unlikely way he became involved in the writing of the film (along with fellow writer and filmmaker Dario Argento), and Leone admirers Carpenter, Milius and Cox talking about their reactions of the film.”

In case you missed it, here’s a terrific documentary on Sergio Leone for your viewing pleasure: “Western towns controlled by outlaws. Cigar-chewing heroes in looming close-ups. Operatic showdowns. Throbbing music. Movie buffs know the trademark elements of the great Italian filmmaker, Sergio Leone, by heart, but the engaging documentary ‘Sergio Leone: The Way I See Things’ will surely give even the most ardent fan new insights into this unique master. The maestro behind such genre epics as ‘A Fistful of Dollars,’ ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in the West,’ Leone (1929-1989) was a superb stylist who took the American Westerns he loved as a kid and transformed them into visual arias all of his own, in the process influencing such directors as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Just as fascinating as his films, Leone’s larger-than-life personality is profiled here in an illuminating journey, rich in both anecdotes and gorgeous clips from his movies.

By examining Leone’s superb use of image, sound and the frame, the film reveals the magic and the rough beauty of his arid vistas and outsized characters. Actors Eli Wallach and Claudia Cardinale, directors Giuliano Montaldo and Vittorio Giacci and historian Christopher Frayling, among others, offer invaluable contributions to Giulio Reale’s exhilarating ‘Sergio Leone: The Way I See I Things,’ a mesmerizing portrait that makes us look at an old master with fresh eyes.” —Fernando F. Croce

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Reblogged from Cinephilia and Beyond

When I look at amazing work that’s been done, I don’t look at… Persona or Hard Day’s Night and think, “Oh, I can do better than that.” I just look at that and say, “That’s fucking amazing,” and say, “What about me can make it slightly different?” So it’s not just a Xerox. Everybody steals, that’s a given. If you steal a coat, what are the buttons you’re going to put on it?