Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Western musings.

by Ryland Walker Knight

I got sick a couple weeks ago and couldn't make it to the press screening of Beowulf -- boo-hoo --, which afforded me more time and space to ask "What is a Western Now?" Not quite sure I answered it but it might spark some more thoughts. Or, it could. Please, reply in the comments. Is this horse dead yet? Maybe we could talk about how sweet The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence is. Or, you know, Deadwood. You tell me. I'm quite literally asking for it. (Also funny? That staff picture. That dweeb is me?)

[Pix stolen from jeem. Peep that piece from Glenn. I find it funny the response to the ending of Glenn's piece is analogous to the response to the ending of the Coens' picture. Oh, and, yeah: still mulling it over.]


  1. “Blood” paints a more complex account of how Americans have grown trained into the myth of individualism to the detriment not only of the law but also the home and the commmunity.

    This would indicate to me it's picked up some lessons from Deadwood, which pretty explicitly killed off the lone mythical figures of the West with Hicock early on (um, spoilers?) before shifting to a much larger "tapestry" view of how a society emerges from relative chaos. I'm wary of PT Anderson at best, but I'm glad to see more filmmakers approaching the Western in this way.

  2. Er, whoops, meant to quote this part:

    This is a country (for the old and the young) built of communities, not prized individuals: a network of individuals and how they relate, not how they stand apart from one another.

  3. Thanks for commenting, Ken. Yeah, I definitely find myself in line with the ethos of _Deadwood_ when it comes to its representation of whatever it is we understand _America_ to be. As Glenn Kenny said, this new PTA picture does that "in negative." You should definitely see it.