Tag Archives: Western

Unforgiven

Originally titled Whore’s Gold, Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning western exposes the psychosis, bigotry and misogyny at the heart of the genre’s mythology.

Midnight Cowboy

Released to mixed reviews in 1969, Midnight Cowboy is a landmark film that examines the then toxic topics of male identity, intimacy, sexuality and trauma.

Das Boot

How did Wolfgang Petersen manage to get audiences to care about a bunch of Nazi sailors trying to destroy the British fleet in the North Atlantic?

The Shining

In adapting Stephen King’s best-seller, Stanley Kubrick drew on a genre other than horror and used a new motif that he would repeat for the rest of his career.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

This western opened new frontiers for the genre; celebrity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Released in 1971, critics bracketed Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller as a revisionist western. Truth is, the western has always been revising itself.

Wadjda

Precious few films celebrate the joys of riding a bike. Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda is more than just a celebration; it is a dissection of an entire culture.

Easy Rider

Upon its release, it seemed that Easy Rider typified the spirit of the nineteen-sixties. But it really should be viewed as the first film of the seventies.

The Leopard

All countries have troubled histories they would rather forget. The Leopard is a masterpiece that admits to those troubles as well as the failure to fix them.

Cabaret

Before it was adapted into a film, Cabaret was a memoir, a short story, a play and a Broadway musical. Released in 1972, it now serves as a history lesson.

Great Shots – Part Two

What makes for a great shot? Beauty? The lens? Lighting? Combine them and you have something more than just an image.

Chinatown

Chinatown is often referred to as film noir. But lacking a dark look and a femme fatale, it is the rarest of Hollywood’s breeds; a true tragedy.

Nashville

Robert Altman’s best films capture cultures in transition. Nashville marked the moment politics and celebrity intermingled to create space for Donald Trump.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

An unknown author, a director not known for action, and only one actor fluent in the language. How did this film succeed?

Great Scenes – Part One

What makes for a great scene? Performance? Conflict? Dialogue? Visuals? Music? Combine them and you have atomic weight.

The French Connection

William Friedkin’s Oscar-winner may be a gritty thriller but it owes an enormous debt to a classic of 19th century American literature.

Blazing Saddles

We like to think of ourselves as modern and sophisticated, but is the humour of Blazing Saddles too outrageous for anyone in Hollywood to make it today?

Genocide in cinema

Humanity has been blighted with massacres since Biblical times, but the word genocide was not coined until 1944. How has cinema faired in depicting it?

The Revenant

Originally pitched as a simple story of revenge, under Alejandro Inarritu’s direction The Revenant became a journey of spiritual release.

My Darling Clementine

John Ford made so many great westerns, he is synonymous with the genre. But that doesn’t mean he always got everything right.

The Big Sleep

How can Howard Hawks’ adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s labyrinthine detective novel be heralded as a classic when it is impossible to follow?

The Searchers

The Searchers is both a cinematic monument and an extremely unsettling depiction of the racism that lies at the heart of America’s own mythology.

Once Upon a Time in the West

Sergio Leone’s masterpiece doesn’t only reference American westerns. He also drew inspiration from an English film.

Paris, Texas

Although Wim Wenders’ picture won the Palme d’Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, a lot of American critics thought little of it. Has time proven them wrong?

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