Appreciating the Western in film and TV
March 7, 2019
McCall Public Library
6:30 – 8:30 pm
A Cabin Fever Series, $26. Registration here.
The Western offers an artistically rich microcosm to explore our ideas about justice, moral dilemmas, and our roles within a community. Who chooses the ethics and how do we collectively agree to follow them? What happens when conventional roles such as the hero and villain muddle, or women take up guns?
From the early days of romantic, epic landscapes, we can trace the evolution of these elements and how they mirror contemporary culture. The 1960’s bring artistic and moral complexity with the spaghetti western. A wealth of genre crossover follows, highlighted by the phenomena of Star Wars. The cultural precedence of the western may argue a wide influence, specifically in political thrillers, police procedurals, science fiction, and gangster/mob/spy genres.
21st Century aesthetics bring more depth, realism, and ethical inquiries. Offerings such as Deadwood and 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma subvert our sensibility about a villain, while the sheriff in No Country for Old Men relinquishes his role as the hero. Longmire captures 6 seasons, Godless provides a richly-layered exploration, and we continue to see the trouble with justice eloquently played out across a range of genres.
The evening will consist of a survey of the western and discussion using a range of clips from these examples and more.