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Westerns nowadays

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kotte:
What happened to this wonderful genre?

PTA once expressed that he would like to do a western.

Who would be the best man/woman for the job? The job to resurrect the western genre? And who would be the star? Clint's too old.

Gold Trumpet:
Good thread idea. Sparks of conversation about this genre has been appearing here and there lately with not much follow through by anyone on bring a comprehensive discussion about it.

I think the genre is dead. For some people, Open Range marked a return of the western in quality. It was a well made movie, but it just recreated a very classical movie. There is no relevance in the western anymore. With every western, there is a retreat to basic themes, consequences and solutions. The idea of solution (to my problems) is finding a way to actually get the western to speak for something unique in our times. Dramas do update their stories. Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men is a very strong and unique movie for something of our times told with filmmaking to specifically show that uniqueness. The Western is like an old parable where you know all the details and you hope it works to fulfil a nostalgic need.

In ways, I think The Good, The Bad & The Ugly was the death nail to the genre. It showed that the genre had milked itself clean of every character and plot trait that was going to be explored and so this film came along and essentially did a riff on the entire genre finally because it just could. Even by the late 60s, it seems everything that was said about the genre had already been said. Pulp Fiction, I think, had similiar consequences for the gangster film.

kotte:

--- Quote from: The Gold Trumpet ---Good thread idea. Sparks of conversation about this genre has been appearing here and there lately with not much follow through by anyone on bring a comprehensive discussion about it.

I think the genre is dead. For some people, Open Range marked a return of the western in quality. It was a well made movie, but it just updated a very classical movie. There is no relevance in the western anymore. With every western, there is a retreat to basic themes, consequences and solutions. The idea of solution (to my problems) is finding a way to actually get the western to speak for something unique in our times. Dramas do update their stories. Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men is a very strong and unique movie for something of our times told with filmmaking to specifically show that uniqueness. The Western is like an old parable where you know all the details and you hope it works to fulfil a nostalgic need.

In ways, I think The Good, The Bad & The Ugly was the death nail to the genre. It showed that the genre had milked itself clean of every character and plot trait that was going to be explored and so this film came along and essentially did a riff on the entire genre finally because it just could. Even by the late 60s, it seems everything that was said about the genre had already been said. Pulp Fiction, I think, had similiar consequences for the gangster film.
--- End quote ---


The epic roman genre was resurrected with Gladiator...like it or not but it was one hell of a comeback.

You may be right, the character's and everything we know as western have been milked out. It wouldn't be a western without the revolvers, hats and horses. And also, I don't think it would be good to set a western in contemporary Los Angeles or whatever.
I think the Coens would make a great Western.

I'm not the sensemaker on this site. That's for sure.

modage:
i think i agree with GT as far as the new westerns just trying to do what was good about the old westerns.  (although i think there were plenty of good westerns after TGTBATU, i loved Tombstone and Unforgiven are probably the most recent.) Open Range did feel like a story i'd heard before.  Raimi's The Quick And The Dead was a total homage to spaghetti westerns.  i love westerns and we do need someone to come along and bring something new to the table to revive them.  maybe Ridley Scott?

SHAFTR:
I have a feeling that Vol 2 of Kill Bill will help resurect westerns.  My dad used to always watch Westerns and I hated them.  Lately, most of my rentals have been westerns.  The genre may be dead but I think it is b/c of economic purposes.  Westerns thrived for so long b/c they were so cheap to make but I don't think so anymore.  There are very few places to go and film a western at and capture the needed authenticity.  I haven't seen Open Range, but it has been so long since I've seen Dances with Wolves, I think that deserves a rental.

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