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cigar joe
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« on: June 02, 2014, 10:48:26 AM »

for shits & giggles.... to declare the Classic Western dead, and to designate all Westerns past the Classic Era as Neo Westerns  Afro Afro Afro

We just have to debate a cut off or phase out point. I'm thinking also it will be pegged/linked to say, the end of TV's Gunsmoke or a similar TV Western with roots in the Classic Western.

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 04:57:23 PM »

1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2014, 03:15:40 AM »

1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976

That is valid, but I think we have to include TV Westerns in the mix they had similar vibes to the film Westerns.

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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 01:53:33 PM »

YES!!!!!!!!!

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stanton
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2014, 02:15:55 PM »

1976, the death of the John Wayne character in The Shootist, is end of classic era. I'm only counting sound movies, so call the classic western era 1939-1976

With or without sound, this is indeed the classic era of the western, from Stagecoach (1939) to The Shootist (1976). Heaven's Gate (1980) could be another contender for the "last" western, but The Shootist fits the lay-to-rest pattern more precisely. In 1980 the western was already dead, Heaven's Gate only buried it much deeper.

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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2014, 03:33:34 PM »

To me Heaven's Gate is one of the first westerns to re-bury a genre that had already been dead for years. Just like any Eastwood directed western, for instance.

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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2014, 04:43:35 PM »

Please tell me I'm not the only one around here who thinks Heaven's Gate is an unjustly maligned masterpiece of cinema.

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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 04:51:12 PM »

I think Rrpower is on your side.

I see an overflawed film with lots of great stuff. It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.

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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 02:59:38 AM »

To me Heaven's Gate is one of the first westerns to re-bury a genre that had already been dead for years. Just like any Eastwood directed western, for instance.

No, Heaven's Gate killed the genre finally. There wasn't much happening in the genre between 76 and 80, the genre was more or less dead, but after Heaven's Gate it was mega-dead.

And Heaven's Gate is clearly just another 70s twilight western, a last whisper from the past. Eastwood's Unforgiven is also a typical 70s western, but it had at least some success, and looked more fresh than it actually was.

The problem of the genre since the 70s is that nothing really new was developed. Still there were a few singular westerns which had originality, but had no real success.

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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2014, 04:29:09 AM »

I don't really see the difference between Unforgiven and Heaven's Gate. To me they're both neo-classic westerns playing around with the rules of the genre and talking about its death ( la OUATITW/FFDM/MNIN). I may very well be wrong because I'm not too well versed in 75-80 westerns but I doubt very much people at the time thought "Cimino is doing the last western". I think they thought "Cimino is doing a western? Seriously? They're still doing those films?" Just like with Unforgiven.

On the other hand, Unforgiven clearly talks about old westerns as something that happened decades ago and that people from today only heard about.

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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2014, 05:56:17 AM »

Yes, because at that time the western was a genre that was not popular for 20 years. The twilight westerns of the 60s and 70s (beginning with the highly influential Ride the High Country) often had this self-reflective "something that happened decades ago" feeling. Only that in the 60s and early 70s the western was still developing into all directions, was then a still very vital genre.

When Cimino made his film it was clear that the western had a problem with the audience, but of course Cimino hoped to re-vitalise the genre, but the disastrous box-office results of HG ruined the genre ultimately. But actually the year's before HG there wasn't much happening either.

OUTW and MNIN are probably the only Spagies which are also twilight westerns. Especially MNIN is very much walking in Peckinpah territory.

FAFDM does not belong in that category imo.

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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2014, 06:19:55 AM »

To me FAFDM is about the death of the good old AW and the rise of the modern SW. The last minutes (From the 0:50 mark in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBdBCTvK5zM) make it very clear.

Anyway, ok for Cimino. I agree.

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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 08:43:04 AM »

It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.
A very pregnant comment. Well played.

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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2014, 04:39:59 AM »

(The version of Heaven's Gate I saw was 3:39; I saw it streaming on Netflix.)
I thought the first approx. 3 hours were terrific, but the last approx. 39 mins. didn't live up to that. I rated the movie an 8/10; discussed it more extensively in that movie's thread.

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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2014, 06:14:13 AM »

I see an overflawed film with lots of great stuff. It's a missed masterpiece, just like Renoir's La Regle Du Jeu.

interesting comparison given the huge stylistic difference between the two. La Regle du jeu always makes me think of Citizen Kane due to its wonderful use of deep focus and angles in a relatively static composition in Academy ratio (a reflection of the times as much as anything else) . Heaven's Gate on the other hand draws me in through its use of anamorphic widescreen coupled with beautiful camera movement.

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