Final Day! Thursday, November 29
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
- 1:20 7:00
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
Directed by Sergio Leone
THE COMPLETE EUROPEAN RELEASE VERSION
New 4K restoration by Cineteca Di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory
"Seen today, this rise-and-fall chronicle will make you nostalgic—not for the days of New World shtetls and Borsalino-wearing bad guys, but for an era when giants walked the earth and made excessive epics with scope, substance and a true sense of cinematic grandeur, once upon a time."
- David Fear, Time Out New York
(1984) Killers burst into a puppet theater looking for Robert De Niro, who’s actually zoning out in a Chinatown opium den — and a phone starts ringing — bullet-ridden corpses are laid out on a rain-splashed street, De Niro slinks out of a big night at Fat Moe’s speakeasy to make a call — the phone keeps ringing — and as a hand reaches out to pick up a receiver, the ringing suddenly stops. That’s just the start of Sergio Leone’s epic of Jewish gangsters Robert De Niro and James Woods — growing up in 1921, bootlegging in the 30s, with only De Niro returning, decades later, heavy with regret, all intercut via flashbacks and flash-forwards — or is it all just De Niro’s 1933 opium dream? The director’s dream for over a decade — Ennio Morricone’s score featuring Gheorghe Zamfir on panpipes was largely complete seven years before shooting began — and shot in incredible locations from Brooklyn to Quebec to Venice, this is one of the most complex works of popular — or any other — cinema, yet Leone’s hypnotic style and lavish production values make it a puzzle that’s got to be solved. Famously shorn of 90 minutes and rearranged in ultimately incomprehensible chronological order by its distributor on first U.S. release, this is the fully-restored Leone-sanctioned version released in Europe. Approx. 229 minutes. DCP.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ANDREA LEONE FILMS, THE FILM FOUNDATION, AND REGENCY ENTERPRISES. RESTORATION FUNDING PROVIDED BY GUCCI AND THE FILM FOUNDATION
A WARNER BROS. RELEASE
“Leone made fairy tales for grown-ups. When he was a kid in the suburbs of Rome watching James Cagney movies, he felt that somehow, as the cliché goes, they weren’t making ’em like that anymore. And he wanted to make ’em like that anymore.”
– Christopher Frayling
For more of Joshua Rothkopf's interview with Christopher Frayling,
click here for the full Time Out New York piece.
"The director's magnum opus... Leone's gorgeous, hypnotic and occasionally inscrutable ragu of larceny and loss also contains an abundance of coarser dramatic ingredients befitting its painstakingly re-created Lower East Side criminal milieu."
– Bruce Bennett, The Wall Street Journal
Click here for the full Wall Street Journal piece
“Though the intricate flashback structure follows the memories of one man, the film also represents a kind of cultural recall — the fiction remembering itself. Every gesture is immediate, and every gesture seems eternal. Leone accomplishes all of this within the framework of a superb popular entertainment: it’s a funny, rousing, brilliant piece of work.”
– Dave Kehr
"The streetscapes are spectacular. Once Upon a Time in America lends mythological heft to the normally fleet Prohibition gangster genre… the pacing pleasures are narcotic, creating a strong sense of time passing, crucial for endowing the final flashback montage with recalled resonance for patient viewers. America earns its scope."
– Vadim Rizov, GreenCine Daily
“Moves back and forth in a tapestry of episodes, which all fit together into an emotional whole. There are times when we don’t understand exactly what is happening, but never a time when we don’t feel confidence in the narrative.”
– Roger Ebert
“A compendium of kitsch, but kitsch aestheticized by someone who loves it and sees it as the poetry of the masses. It isn’t just the echoing movements that keep you absorbed — it’s the reverberant dreamland settings and Leone’s majestic, billowing sense of film movement.”
– Pauline Kael