Wednesday, July 15, 2009

For the Love of Westerns

I am taking a few classes in the film major courses, particularly the one called ‘The Cinematic Western’ and I have always loved western movies but after spending a few days in this class I have now found a whole new appreciation for the western genre and how it went from b-movies, to big budget movies and how they struggled with sound and their reflection of the time periods. They are amazing and very violent… even for the 30s, 40s and 50s.

We watched “Stagecoach” and we talked about how John Ford was experimenting with different social cliques and how the rough, rugged and socially awkward people; the kind of people that society frowns upon, turned out to be the heroes where as the ones that are prim and proper, the socially expectable ones, turned out to be the ones that were utterly helpless. I guess that’s what you get when you have an outspoken, alcoholic director and a socialist writer.

Today we watched the movie “Shane,” which has always been a favorite of mine. We compared the old ways with the new ways and how the heroes in most westerns could never return to society… they fix society but they can never return to it. This movie is an example of how Shane is between the farmers (old ways) and the ranchers (new ways) and how he is caught up in between. Joey’s family is the new ranchers where as the Ryker brothers are the old traditional ways fighting against the new guys.

I will be watching “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence” and comparing that movie like what we have been with these other movies… well, see ya’ll on the homestead pilgrim! 

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