ore homage than biography or critical inquiry, Guilo Reale’s docu “Sergio Leone: The Way I See Things” is an OK if superficial study of the late Italian director who launched Clint Eastwood and Spaghetti Westerns. Array of clips and interviews with former associates will please fans. Arts-oriented nets rep likeliest exposure; short feature will make a good extra for future Leone DVD re-releases.
Helmer Reale skips past Leone’s long industry apprenticeship and early directorial work on sword and sandal flicks, jumping to breakthrough “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), a film evidently made just to milk extra mileage from sets built for another, higher-budget Euro Western. Via surviving collaborators and Leone’s brief archival comments, docu tracks increasingly large-scale subsequent efforts, ending in the much-delayed “Once Upon a Time in America.” Leone’s command of striking widescreen imagery is conveyed, but the assumption that his films are all masterpieces ignores the opinion in some quarters that Leone was a visual stylist with scant interest in or knack for plot, character, acting, etc. Fondly nostalgic Claudia Cardinale, less-so Eli Wallach, and long-suffering producer Claudio Mancini offer some of the more penetrating anecdotes and insights.