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Archive for October 3rd, 2013

high_plains_drifter_red

by Sachin Gandhi

A town aching for justice but brutally oppressed by corrupt men! A stranger arrives in town and fights the corrupt men, restores order and leaves town. Or so the traditional story of the Old West goes, as depicted by countless Westerns, including the Spaghetti Western sub-genre. Clint Eastwood made his name with such Spaghetti Westerns, Sergio Leone’s “Man With No Name” trilogy, where he played a stranger who arrived out of nowhere and restored order. Therefore, it isn’t surprizing that when Clint Eastwood set out to direct his second film, High Plains Drifter, he revisited the Da Pasta landscape. High Plains Drifter is also the first Western directed by Eastwood but it isn’t a traditional Western. Instead, High Plains Drifter is both a revisionist Western and a homage that incorporates familiar genre elements and layers everything with a different coat of paint, literally. The town, Lago, looks like a traditional Western town with a similar number of sparse building structures such as a barber shop, bar, jail and a hotel. Lago also contains a coffin maker, something which was a necessity in the Old West given the constant body count. However, writer Ernest Tidyman’s script ensures the town is instead transported into pulp territory and oozes with revenge, bullets and blood. Also, the story removes the traditional good and bad boundaries often found in Westerns and instead depicts everything in varying shades of grey. No one in the town, including the stranger, is a purely good person. An alternate title for this film could easily be “the bad and the badder.” The heightened violence along with the grey nature of the characters allows one to observe the irony of the situations and greed of the characters. (more…)

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by Jaime Grijalba.

Hiya people, I’m back! And this time I’ve got a treat for you. Since we are in the western mood due to the incredible Western Countdown here in Wonders in the Dark, I thought that maybe I could make something out of it. When I first knew about what was going to be next in the most famous countdowns in the world of the internet movie blogs, I said that maybe I wanted to actually participate, by watching a lot of westerns and then chime in with a list of my own. I finally had the excuse and the chance to watch a lot of westerns, a genre that I could say that I’m not a fan of because I’ve seen very little of it, and that very little, while some great, some meh, wasn’t still representative enough to give a list to the members who were running this countdown. But, time and work came, and I was unable to fit westerns in my film schedule. I still wanted to participate, but I had only strong reasons to write about one particular movie that made it to the countdown (it’s my favorite western of all time, even if it’s definition as a western is… shifty to say the least). But I still wanted to do something, so I came up with doing this small series, that will run every thursday for as long as the western countdown runs, where I’ll talk about some obscure westerns that I’ll be seeing.

Every one of the films will be placed in 4 different categories based on how they rate in this obscure western world that I’m dwelling into, from worst to best, the categories are as follows: (more…)

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