Discussion:
Year of the Dragon: Cimino had to convince Kubrick he used backlot sets
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kelpzoidzl
2017-02-07 18:20:26 UTC
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Wikipedia: about Year of the Dragon

"As with Streets of Fire, most of the film was shot not on location but on soundstages in Wilmington, North Carolina, after meticulous research of various locales which could be passed off as Little China and/or the Orient.[7][12] ***The sets proved realistic enough to fool even Stanley Kubrick, who attended the movie's premiere. Cimino actually had to convince the Bronx-born Kubrick that the film's exteriors were shot on the DEG backlot, and not on location.[7]""***
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-07 19:53:02 UTC
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I need a detailed, scene by scene breakdown of the sets/on locations in Year of the Dragon. Some extraordinary sets, but hard to tell which are the sets or on location. How much of the NYC street scenes were done on backlots? The detail is incredible.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-07 23:40:25 UTC
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Searching Film Locations it says

"Most of the Big Apple locations on huge and elaborate set, built on the backlot of the de Laurentiis Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina."

I find this hard to believe but if true Cimino must have influenced Kubrick in choosing to create his New York scenes as he did. Also, in the middle of the film there is a Freeway scene almost exactly like The EWS freeway scene. The freeway view seems just like Kubrick's NYC unit shots. I need to see the scene side by side. It may or may not be the same Freeway The background buildings proportions were very much the same.

The quote above doesn't breakdown indoor or outdoor sets. No doubt about it Cimino was a crazed fanatic for detail, but these NYC street shots backgrounds are too incredible to think they are sets.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-07 23:46:15 UTC
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Heres a New York Time article about the sets especially the lavish Girl's aparttment
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-07 23:47:13 UTC
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NY Time article on Year of the Dragon sets.

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/01/24/garden/brief-luxury-an-apartment-made-for-a-movie.html
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-08 08:32:03 UTC
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Post by kelpzoidzl
NY Time article on Year of the Dragon sets.
http://www.nytimes.com/1985/01/24/garden/brief-luxury-an-apartment-made-for-a-movie.html
Seems like France went all-out on "Year of the Dragon", with a restoration, deluxe edition Blu-ray (only Region B + French subtitles) and photo book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019SD88YE

Having never seen the movie, I may rent the HD from iTunes.

Steve
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-08 16:34:02 UTC
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I really want a restored bluray. Apparently Tarantino had a showing fir his fans of a restored copy, including restoring the last line of the film. It's a favorite of Tarantino.

When I first saw the movie in the theater, I thought it was decent, but didn't fully appreciate it. Since then I watched it on VHS a few times, years back, but still didn't fully appreciate it.

Now I am fully converted to it. The current Amazon instant video version lacks the correct last line and has as I remember the VHS had, some poorly formatted cropping with stretching here and there.

After rewatching Deer Hunter on TCM then reading Ciminos comment about Kubrick About Year of the Dragon, I bought it on Amazon instant video and watched it. It amazes me how much it was like seeing it for the first time. I barely remembered it. I had relegated it in my mind to being an entertaining, but throwaway cop picture--- It is an amazing movie. I can't wait to watch it again, but I need to find out more about those sets. Right now I am astounded by the movie. The screenplay credited to Oliver Stone and Cimino based on a Robert Daley book centers on the Chinese Mafia a very interesting topic. I think I had eyes wide shut when I had seen it in the past.

About a year ago I watched "The Sicilian" and thought it was better then I remembered but not real thrilled about it, I couldn't get past Christopher Lambert.

Almost all the writings on Cimino are slanted with an extraordinary hatred, sounding like propaganda. The whole Heavens Gate debacle and the pushback on the Deerhunter, AFTER it won Best Picture and Cimino Best Director, was strange. There were irrational Vietnam protests directed at Deer Hunter as if it was pro war. That made no sense. It happened almost overnight.

Cimino offended the Hollywood politics in some way. Even UA was actively seeking to destroy Cimino and suicided itselt. Was Cimino some kind of Hollywood whistleblower, threatening to expose some dark side of Hollywood?

I remember well the original LA Times Calender Section Cover story, Slam on Heavens Gate, way before release. No one had seen the film and it was akready being called the worst film ever made! It was an orchestrated attack on Cimino. There has to be more to the anti Cimino conspiracy, than the existing books have said. Was Cimino threatening to expose something, as bkackmail to get more funding?

I don't think the story is over yet.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-08 16:39:49 UTC
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That French restoration is probably the one Tarantino showed. I think my bluray player only plays region 2. I want a region one!

Also, right now Ciminos "The Desperate Hours" is "unavailable in your area" on Amazon instant video. I don't think I've ever seen it.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-08 17:30:26 UTC
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The movie even made me hungry for Chinatown deep fried shrimp and I'm a vegetarian. You can almost smell the fried shrimp watching the film. :)
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-08 17:35:39 UTC
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Here is another interesting review of YOTD

https://cinephiliabeyond.org/michael-ciminos-year-of-the-dragon/
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-08 21:26:24 UTC
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Post by kelpzoidzl
Also, right now Ciminos "The Desperate Hours" is "unavailable in your area" on Amazon instant video. I don't think I've ever seen it.
I saw Cimino's "Desperate Hours" remake theatrically back in 1990 (it's pretty bad). Shout! Factory released it in a bargain Mickey Rourke combo Blu-ray:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UART568/

Rented "Year of the Dragon," and the HD transfer is quite good; showing-off the highly-stylized cinematography for the night scenes. I'll watch the whole movie later, but I can confirm the iTunes release doesn't end with the studio-censored final line, but instead step-framed slo-mo to ease out and close the movie. Also, Wikipedia states the theatrical release had a disclaimer on the opening credits, but the iTunes HD rental doesn't.

You've probably seen it already, but Criterion's Cimino-supervised restoration of "Heaven's Gate" looks incredible.

https://www.criterion.com/films/28036-heaven-s-gate

Steve
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-08 23:10:18 UTC
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Yes I have the Criterion Heavens Gate. I will try Desperate Hours to see if its as bad as people say. On Amazon there are some very positive reviews.

Do you think the itunes YOTD is a restoration.? If so ill buy it.
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-09 00:32:24 UTC
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Post by kelpzoidzl
Do you think the itunes YOTD is a restoration.? If so ill buy it.
It's certainly not a restoration, as there are some visible dust specks and the stereo is a poor Dolby surround mixdown. However, it's a good HD transfer with fine detail, colour and contrast; likely from an interpositive.

Steve
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 05:28:18 UTC
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I just went to itunes. It looks to be the same one I have on Amazon instant. It's not bad, but I want to hear the last line.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 05:41:22 UTC
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Filmmaker: Meaning a writer-director is closer to architecture than a mere director?

Cimino: Yes, because when you write something – and that is a terrifying process… Well, I speak for myself, I hate being presumptuous. Stanley Kubrick, who was a friend of mine, had a great line he had printed on T-shirts: “assumption is the mother of all fuck ups” (laughs) It’s true. As soon as you start to assume you start fucking up. (pauses). Where was I?
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 05:42:52 UTC
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The whole interview

http://filmmakermagazine.com/99041-i-never-knew-how-make-a-film-michael-cimino-in-2005/#.WJv_Tus76K0
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-09 07:11:53 UTC
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Cimino: Stanley Kubrick, who was a friend of mine, had a great line he had printed on T-shirts: “assumption is the mother of all fuck ups” (laughs)
So I've learned, that line was from, "Under Siege 2":



I wonder if SK had watched it?
I just went to itunes. It looks to be the same one I have on Amazon instant. It's not bad, but I want to hear the last line.
Does a print exist with that line intact? It seems like MGM nixed it at an early stage.

YotD was much better than expected. Matched Oliver Stone's "Scarface" script in its violent excess and his "Midnight Express" script as a borderline-defamatory culture clash. Huge production, great cinematography (that backlit train bridge at the end...incredible) and some startling stunts. Easy to see why Tarantino likes it so much. Thanks for the recommendation.

Regards,

Steve
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 20:04:01 UTC
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There was a story about Tarantino having the showing of a (the french one?) restoration that has the original line. I should have posted the link. I'll look for it again.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 20:09:17 UTC
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What did you think about the backlot sets vs on-location?

I loved Midnight Express when I saw it originally in theater. I immediately read the book, which taught me lesson about Oliver Stone. All the main extreme scenes, (biting off the tongue etc. ) were invented in Stone's imagination. Made a great movie but lots of it was made up by Stone.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 20:12:30 UTC
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I wonder what year, Cimino heard that t-shirt line from Kubrick? Under Seige 2 was 1995.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 20:36:31 UTC
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It was an Amazon reviewer where I read about the restired version:

"Buyer beware you are being cheated out of the Director's intended final line!! I saw this shockingly good film projected at Quentin Tarantino's 'New Beverly Cinema' this weekend and was horrified to later find out that the movie's final line where Mickey Rourke's character says "Well, I guess if you fight a war long enough, you end up marrying the enemy" was cut out because of studio politics and people know an inferior version of the Film which is what you are buying here on Amazon.
If there is a God, this movie will have a Director's Cut Ultra UHD 4k restoration release of the 35mm Film print I witnessed this evening in Los Angeles. They don't make movies any more today. After seeing this movie I am convinced that there was once a breed of mythological human beings that told stories with no regard to the delicate "feelings" of a hypothetical audience. We live in inferior times where movies are no longer made. Politically correct nightmare collages is what we have today. All who work in the business can take a cue from this film and consider to make stories that are what they are instead of what you think they should be in the homogenized politically correct sense. Audiences are dying to see stories like this.

Release the Director's intended cut! Restore the final intended line! It is the only version that makes sense because it is the only one I know after seeing it for the first time this evening."
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 22:31:35 UTC
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My DVD of desperate hours arrived this AM. watvhing it now.

I find this trivia page from IMDB interesting

Trivia
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This remake of the classic The Desperate Hours (1955) was made and released in 1990 which was about thirty-five years after this original movie had launched in 1955. The picture was the third English language version of the story being made and released about twenty-three years after 1967's second version The Desperate Hours (1967) which was made for television.
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The original Broadway production of "The Desperate Hours" written by Joseph Hayes opened on 10th February 1955 at the Ethel Barrymore Theater where it ran for 212 performances until 13th August 1955. The play had previously opened in New Haven's Shubert Theatre earlier in 1955 before re-launching on Broadway in August 1955.
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Final major theatrical feature film [to date, May 2014] directed by Michael Cimino as 1996's The Sunchaser (1996) primarily went straight to video in most territories.
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Third and final film featuring Mickey Rourke and directed by Michael Cimino. The earlier films had been Heaven's Gate (1980) and Year of the Dragon (1985).
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The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor - Mickey Rourke for this movie and Wild Orchid (1989) - but Rourke lost out on a Razzie to Andrew Dice Clay for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990).
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The film was critically poorly received and was a commercial failure at the box-office.
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First film in three years directed by Michael Cimino whose previous movie at the time he had directed had been 1987's The Sicilian (1987). The movie was also Cimino's last film for six years until 1996's The Sunchaser (1996).
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The picture is considered director Michael Cimino's next significant commercial failure after the box-office disaster of his 1980's Heaven's Gate (1980).
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According to some official sources, Michael Cimino's original cut of Desperate Hours was mutilated by producers, resulting in very badly edited film filled with plot holes. Only known proof of deleted scenes are some stills which show few of them.
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Joseph Hayes, the film's source novelist and playwright of both the 1954 novel and 1955 play, also wrote the screenplay for the original classic 1955 Humphrey Bogart film The Desperate Hours (1955) and also co-wrote the script for this 1990 version. Hayes won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay for the screenplay for the original 1955 The Desperate Hours (1955) film.
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The film's source stage-play "The Desperate Hours' (1955) by Joseph Hayes was a smash box-office hit on Broadway and won Tony Awards for both Best Play and Best Direction - Robert Montgomery.
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In the film, Michael Bosworth (Rourke's character) contemplates about going to live to Juarez, Mexico, as a sort of fantastic stint he has. Years later his character Patrick Jefferson in the movie 13 (2010) is shown to be held as a prisoner in a Juarez jail.
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Fifth version of Joseph Hayes' "The Desperate Hours" after the first, the original The Desperate Hours (1955) theatrical feature starring Humphrey Bogart, and the second, 1967's made-for-television The Desperate Hours (1967). The third was the 1970 Indian film Drohi (1970) and the fourth was the 1974 Hindi Bollywood film 36 Ghante (1974).
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The only English language filmed version of the movie's source play and novel both by Joseph Hayes not to be titled "The Desperate Hours".
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The setting in the intro of this film's source "The Desperate Hours" play by Joseph Hayes was described as: "Setting: The City of Indianapolis. Time: The Present". In this film, the setting was relocated to Utah.
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Filming reportedly ended five days ahead of schedule, an accomplishment for Michael Cimino, who is known for being a perfectionist.
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According to the American Film Institute: "Interiors of the Cornell house were built at the Ventura Entertainment Center in Orem, UT, with fully constructed rooms instead of studio breakaway walls and false ceilings, in order to create a look and feel of claustrophobia, both for actors and viewers."
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An interrogation scene between Chandler and Breyers was cut from the final film because test audiences were convinced that the scene implied that the two are lesbians.
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kelpzoidzl
2017-02-09 23:29:06 UTC
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John Alcotts son Gavin Alcott, was second assistant cameraman on The Desperate Hours
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 00:24:14 UTC
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The Desperate Hours, was better then I expected. Cast, acting, script, direction was pretty excellent. The story was a play and the author did the screenplays of the Wyler, 1955 version as well. The acting really stood out.

Cimino a former Architech, built the real house from scratch, designing it for shooting. For a little picture the house is incredibly detailed. Look at the Library. Makes me want to start zooming in on book titles like ha been done in Kubrick films.

It seemed to have some John Ford tributes going on. The Use of the song, Red River Valley was curious.

In the imdb Trivia, the film was said to have been "butchered" by the studio, removing a suggestion of lesbianism, between the head investigator and the girl friend of the escapee. The dvd was very good quality.

Had I seen this in 1990 I probably would have liked it but forget it quick. As part of the context of Cimino's work I liked every moment of it.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 01:07:58 UTC
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Grafitti on a Stop sign in YOTD was curious.
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 01:37:14 UTC
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The library in The Desperate Hours stock photo for sale.

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-release-date-october-5-1990-title-desperate-hours-studio-mgm-director-90083995.html
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 01:41:08 UTC
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Red River Valley scene from The Desperate Hours



Looks like Zion National Park
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 02:52:09 UTC
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Filming locations does list Zion National Park.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099409/locations?ref_=tt_dt_dt

I'm curious about the extremely detailed Police station.
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-10 07:49:03 UTC
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Post by kelpzoidzl
What did you think about the backlot sets vs on-location?
Like SK, I probably wouldn't have noticed them as such if I hadn't been told in advance. However, you can spot them in that the camera never points too high, keeping sight-lines at street level most times as not to destroy the illusion. I can see why those backlot sets were created for YotD, as its Chinatown scenes involved lost of crowd control.

Regards,

Steve
s***@hotmail.com
2017-02-10 07:50:20 UTC
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Post by kelpzoidzl
What did you think about the backlot sets vs on-location?
Like SK, I probably wouldn't have noticed them as such if I hadn't been told in advance. However, you can spot them in that the camera never points too high, keeping sight-lines at street level most times as not to destroy the illusion. I can see why those backlot sets were created for YotD, as its Chinatown scenes involved lots of crowd control.

Regards,

Steve
kelpzoidzl
2017-02-10 21:26:13 UTC
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Good points.
kelpzoidzl
2017-05-03 02:35:19 UTC
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Been still digesting "The Sicilian," bluray. Did a youtube search Salvatore Guiliano looking for the Rossi film from 1962. And instead found the full The Sicilian named Salvatore Giuliano is on youtube:


kelpzoidzl
2017-05-03 02:52:10 UTC
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Here is the full Criterion Edition of the 1962 Salvatore Guiliano


kelpzoidzl
2017-05-03 02:54:49 UTC
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Whoops the link didn't take...it still had Cimino link in the buffer.

I'll try again
kelpzoidzl
2017-05-03 02:59:00 UTC
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Here is the Criterion Edition of Salvatore Guiliano 1962

http://youtu.be/ObC_lOd3Z54

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