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Author Topic: Alex Cox article  (Read 24841 times)
cigar joe
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« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2006, 06:42:40 AM »

lets get back to the article instead of these tangents, I think it very interesting what he says about why the industry is shying away from making the kind of westerns I would want to watch.

This is the important point of the article, thay we should be hatching over.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #31 on: May 09, 2006, 09:36:24 AM »

To be honest the article wasnt anything I already didnt know and wasnt that interesting. The only thing of interest(for me) that came out of this was the picture.

I have nothing to say on the subject so as not to upset others I will not post on this thread  any longer, unless a topic of interest arises.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2006, 09:51:48 AM »

Quote
It was a crisis point. The genre, which had once been a celebration of traditional American values of self-reliance and individuality, had forked. Its reactionary tendency - the films of Burt Kennedy and Wayne - had hit a brick wall. Its revolutionary tendency was postmodern, respecting neither genre nor linear narrative: the cowboy version of punk. Hollywood was wasting money on the former, and afraid of the latter. It didn't want any more individualism; it needed reactionary stories, with heroes who worked willingly for the rancher, for the military, for the man. The hero was no longer the outlaw. He was the corporate secret agent played by Harrison Ford, the patriotic airman played by Tom Cruise. He was the vengeful cop played by Bruce Willis, or the vengeful fireman, or war hero, or robot, played by an Austrian weightlifter.

This was the statement I found interesting.

In Unforgiven Eastwood plays a badman gone straight, until provoked by a bad apple sheriff.

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« Reply #33 on: May 09, 2006, 05:12:21 PM »

Well, I thought you wanted some kind of political crap.

No, I don't agree with that analysis, for numerous reasons.  Namely, that unlike America in 'Nam, the Bunch didn't even try or pretend to do the "right thing" until the very end of the goddamned movie, they were more worried about covering their own asses.  And yeah, the "US Army uniform" argument was garbage, they didn't wear them after the first thirty minutes, so what-the-f--k ever. 

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cigar joe
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« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2006, 07:34:32 PM »

I'm not talking about the wild bunch I'm talking about  this.....

Quote
it needed reactionary stories, with heroes who worked willingly for the rancher, for the military, for the man. The hero was no longer the outlaw. He was the corporate secret agent played by Harrison Ford, the patriotic airman played by Tom Cruise. He was the vengeful cop played by Bruce Willis, or the vengeful fireman, or war hero, or robot, played by an Austrian weightlifter.

A plausible explanation of why we don't have films like Peckinpah and Leone's.

mercenary individualist out for himself (bad)

quasi individualist working for system (good)

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« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2006, 01:25:31 PM »

Alex Cox has in general got it right, Hollywood and other film makers are living in strange conservative times they are making safe patriotic movies, looking at the type of leading roles that are being played at the moment it feels like watching the old early forties war movies where the propaganda hits you in the face.
And can you really blame Hollywood, now is not the time to have a raft of  new Airport diaster movies or films dipicting our cities and towns getting blasted by aliens.
The films need to boot national morale and although they are not as propaganda based as the early John Mills, Richard Attenbrough films they still carry the same message that the good ie America, England and the West will prevail no matter what evil we are faced with.
And this carries right through the latest movies to the lead role, what is a great pity is that John Wayne is not around as some pretty neat Westerns would have surfaced or that our man Clint has not saddled up once more, as these icons of our culture would have projected the parts so much better than Cruise, Pitt and co.
Mainstream Films will continue as they are until we have won our war on terror, it will only be after then that we will see more off the wall films, think about it, it was only after Vietnam was well over that Hollywood brought out a raft of movies raking over that messy war, and here is the real problem we have
WW2 was a period in History that everyone knew the Allies would win so there was confidence in the future where at present we do not have that confidence yet, but it will come when we wise up and fight a real war up till then it is importaint that through films Tv and other media sources our morale is boosted by the entertainment we watch where we can see the Cruise government type beating all commers 

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Groggy
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« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2006, 06:15:44 PM »

I wasn't talking to YOU, Joe.  Roll Eyes

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« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2006, 07:27:41 PM »


Quote
I wasn't talking to YOU, Joe.
 
 
ok

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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2006, 11:13:26 AM »

Yeah, I think Groggy was talking to me.

Anyway, for another take on the Western (from a conservative/libertarian POV) you might want to check this out:      http://www.lewrockwell.com/mcmaken/mcmaken109.html

This guy makes some good points, although he seems to think that people go to movies to be indoctrinated and/or have their world-views confirmed. Instead, they go to be entertained. This is something that those damned intellectuals never get. I don't, for example, watch a film noir because I'm feeling alienated and under the system's thumb and want to experience more of the same; rather, I watch a film noir to escape from the dull routine of daily life and experience vicariously things that are unfamiliar . Westerns are also escapist entertainment. I don't want to see a representation of what 19th Century frontier life was really like (dull, dull, dull); I want certain elements of the period abstracted and presented in such a way as to make the period seem exciting. And what is exciting for men (at least this one) are stories about other men facing death (which is why if you have a taste for Westerns you should also like war and action movies). This is why the socially relevant 50s Westerns were so wrong-headed: one should NOT mix real-life concerns with genre conventions (That's like going to a guy's house to watch the Superbowl and at half time he turns off the set and gives you an Amway pitch). So, even if the Western repudiates the values of the period it ostensibly represents, this is entirely irrelevant to its purpose. Of course, you can point out that only the triumph of 19th Century liberalism has made it possible for 20th and 21st Century people to denigrate such values (at least for the short time it takes to watch an entertainment), but all you're really showing is how much we take such things for granted. Escapism is only enjoyable if the escapee knows he can return to safety at any time.

Anyway, film companies fail the deliver entertainment not because of political orientation, but because they are incompetent entertainers. People don't like that interpretation because it is so dull, and so they create intricate fantasies to explain it another way. When not sufficiently entertained by others, pundits will always find ways to entertain themselves. And so it goes.     

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« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2006, 05:19:03 PM »

Agreed, Dave.  As a moderate conservative, do you REALLY think I watch "The Wild Bunch", "Major Dundee", or "Dances With Wolves" to get my "convictions" confirmed?  Do you think I'm going to go out and stab somebody with a pen after watching "Casino"?  The mistake intellectuals make is that thinking that everyone is like them, or is indelibly affected by movies.

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« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2006, 05:23:59 PM »

Modern set films incorporate product placement, its a big thing, according to a buddy of mine in the liquor biz, so it goes with cars,  & etc., etc.  Must be much easier to film in the here and now rather than in the past or future. I like the escapism.

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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2006, 04:58:04 PM »

Must be much easier to film in the here and now rather than in the past or future.

That's true. Cox is incorrect.

The REAL reason the western was killed off was simply due to cost. Let's remember that to make a western costs a lot of money. You have to buy horses, guns, gun technicians, costumes, props suitable to the time period, including the cost of just making a movie. Westerns started to lose interest in the 80's so the studios who are only concerned with profit decided to stop making westerns.

Everything goes in a cycle, however. We just need a REALLY popular western to be made to start the trend. It doesn't have to be a Leone epic, just something popular, then we can make Leone style epics.

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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2006, 05:52:53 PM »

Dunno if I can agree with that, Peacemaker.  I mean, "Dances With Wolves", "Unforgiven", and "Tombstone" were very popular, but there wasn't exactly a huge rush of Westerns coming after that (I know there were a couple but again, it wasn't like a wave of popularity). 

Really though, Westerns haven't been popular in the US since the '70s at the latest.  An occasional individual film, like "Silverado", notwithstanding.

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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2006, 09:18:54 PM »

I think another part of the problem is no one is writting Western based best sellers in the book department. You can see how fast popular books are turned into films.

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« Reply #44 on: May 29, 2006, 04:38:40 PM »

The biggest reason for the lack of Westerns is probably that, with the possible exception of Sam Elliot (IMO the closest thing to a John Wayne we have) and Kevin Costner, there aren't really any big Western stars.  I mean, think about it:

- John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, James Coburn - dead
- Clint Eastwood - old, and has said he isn't going to do anymore
- Charlton Heston - pretty much a vegetable at this point, sadly

Who else is there?

Most actors do Westerns (when they do them) as a fun one-off film; I don't think there's been anybody in quite awhile who's made a career out of them (excluding character actors like Terry O'Quinn, who seems to pop up in most every Western of the last ten years).  I mean, Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, and Kevin Kline were all in very popular Westerns, but have any of them made any since?  I'd be surprised.

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