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Author Topic: the differences among sub-classes of Westerns  (Read 6729 times)
Lac qui Parle
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« on: May 29, 2008, 04:31:01 PM »

I am not a film student.  Embarrassed There, I said it. Aaaaah! So bear with me while I try to understand the differences among all these classes of Westerns:


1. A Zapata Western is a politically charged sub-genre of a Spaghetti. Correct? Are DYS, GBU and OUATW considered Zapatas? Because I could make a case for each....

2. So what is a Revisionist Western? Is a Spaghetti a subclass of a Revisionist Western? Was SL a Revisionist? Was he the first?
ďElements of a Revisionist include a darker, more cynical tone, with focus on the lawlessness of the time period, favoring realism over romanticism.Ē

3. And what about a Red Western? Is that just a geographic reference or did they have any other cinematic qualities? Were they made at the same time as Spaghettis?

4. Any other subclasses I should know?




Iím sorry this is so broad. If you only want to answer one question, that would be plenty. And most appreciated.   Smiley

Thanks, all.





« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 04:42:18 PM by Lac qui Parle » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 06:06:54 PM »

Zapatas are typically considered those which take place during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1921. Political Spaghettis are not necessarily the same thing (cf. Face to Face, The Price of Power, arguably OUATITW).

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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2008, 06:54:17 PM »

1. What Groggy said.

2. I've only ever seen the term "revisionist Western" applied to AWs. Maybe SWs could qualify, but the whole point of the term, it seems to me, is that it points to the fact that a revision is taking place within a tradition even as that tradition continues to unfold. Personally, I don't have much use for the term because a) the "traditional" Western was never monolithic to begin with, and b) within all genres revision is constantly occurring, otherwise the genre dies. Skip that film crit crap--you're better off without it.

3. Dunno. I recently saw a new Polish Western, though, and it really sucked.

4. Dunno.

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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2008, 07:01:08 PM »

I am not a film student.  Embarrassed There, I said it. Aaaaah! So bear with me while I try to understand the differences among all these classes of Westerns:


1. A Zapata Western is a politically charged sub-genre of a Spaghetti. Correct? Are DYS, GBU and OUATW considered Zapatas? Because I could make a case for each....

2. So what is a Revisionist Western? Is a Spaghetti a subclass of a Revisionist Western? Was SL a Revisionist? Was he the first?
ďElements of a Revisionist include a darker, more cynical tone, with focus on the lawlessness of the time period, favoring realism over romanticism.Ē

3. And what about a Red Western? Is that just a geographic reference or did they have any other cinematic qualities? Were they made at the same time as Spaghettis?

4. Any other subclasses I should know?




Iím sorry this is so broad. If you only want to answer one question, that would be plenty. And most appreciated.   Smiley

Thanks, all.






Some Westerns have the characteristics of more than one sub genre "The Wild Bunch" could be both a Zapata and an End of the West type of film of which "The Ballad Of Cable Hogue" and "The Life & Time of Judge Roy Bean" and "The Grey Fox are examples. "How The West Was One" would cover Frontier Epic, and Western.
 
Pretty much all Spaghetti Westerns are more political in some way or other more so than the vast majority American Westerns made.

A Zapata Western specifically is referencing the Mexican Revolution and its politics seen through the lens of 20th century politics. Only DYS of Leone's films would qualify.

I believe overly nationalistic people who bought into the whole "manifest destiny" fairy tale of American westward expansion consider anything that peels away the veneer to tell it like the brutal way things were accomplished "revisionist" (sounds like communist) .  They like to say the word with a sneer as if its something dirty. So anything not supporting the rose colored glasses legend gets labled "revisionist", but like dj says if a genre is not revised it dies.

Now Red Westerns I've never heard of.

Another subgenre I can think of are possibly the "Frontier Epics" films that span from the colonial times to the advent of the six shooter. The guns used would be pistols and flintlocks. Some films off the top of my head of these are "Hudson's Bay", "Northwest Passage", "Last of The Mohican's", "Jeremiah Johnson", "Unconquered", "The Alamo", "Black Robe", "The Mission", "Man In The Wilderness" "The Big Trail", and "Drums Along The Mohawk".

Another possibility may be the "Great White North" Films taking place in the Yukon & Alaska, "The Far Country", "North To Alaska", and "Death Hunt", "The Gold Rush".


« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 07:11:34 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 05:32:21 AM »

What about comedy westerns/western comedies?

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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2008, 05:58:02 AM »

Comedy is a genre. Comedy Western is a sub-genre of that. Blazing F-ing Saddles is not a Western.

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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2008, 07:40:06 AM »

Red Westerns were Westerns made in the USSR/Eastern Bloc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Western

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Lac qui Parle
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2008, 09:17:27 AM »

Iím starting to gather that these are not common terms. (I didnít realize that Zapata only referred to politics as in Mexican politics. It seems obvious in retrospect.)

So Cigar Joe categorizes Westerns by the storyís timeline. Groggy categorizes more by theme. The term Revisionist alludes to the overall tone of the film. Red refers to the set location.

Then you take a movie like ďOpen RangeĒ (one of my favorites, I might add) and thatís a Modern Western. So that categorizes a Western by the time it was filmed.

So itís not really a science, is it.

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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2008, 03:15:51 PM »

Open Range would be just a Western even though its made recently its still in the 19th century to early 1900's), a Modern Western would be something like "Hud", "Lonely Are the Brave", "The Misfits", somepeople will refer to these as dramas set in the West though. ;-)

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Lac qui Parle
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2008, 03:28:14 PM »

Open Range would be just a Western even though its made recently its still in the 19th century to early 1900's), a Modern Western would be something like "Hud", "Lonely Are the Brave", "The Misfits", somepeople will refer to these as dramas set in the West though. ;-)

Oh lord! Shocked So whatís the definition of a Modern Western? (Iíve never seen any of those three films.) Does it have to do with the culture --- the lack of gunplay?

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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2008, 04:25:07 PM »

Oh lord! Shocked So whatís the definition of a Modern Western? (Iíve never seen any of those three films.) Does it have to do with the culture --- the lack of gunplay?



Modern Westerns aren't really westerns at all such is the case with Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia.
A movie which is usually referred to as a modern western.

I've seen a few so called "Red westerns" and there is hardly any difference between them and their US counter parts (actually, most of their influence lies with the Italian westerns). They all take place in the American west (at least the one's I've seen) but have Russkie actors posing as Americans.

Now Turkish westerns are a whole different ball park...

They usually concern fantasy elements and the hero having super powers...

...all taking place in the American frontier...

to give you an idea...

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEoYUvon0dg

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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2008, 04:45:26 PM »


Now Turkish westerns are a whole different ball park...

They usually concern fantasy elements and the hero having super powers...

...all taking place in the American frontier...

to give you an idea...

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEoYUvon0dg

This is great! Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin

And I thought the Turkish Star Wars movies are the peak of Turkish film production!

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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2008, 05:12:46 AM »

Hey, CJ, is The Mission really a western when it takes place somewhere in Brazil or where? Would, then, e.g. Das Vermšchtnis des Inkas be considered a western, too? Huh (Sorry, that's the only thing taking place in South America that came to my mind...)

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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2008, 06:55:58 AM »

Paraguay, actually. I wouldn't consider it a Western, more of an historical epic in general.

Quote
Comedy is a genre. Comedy Western is a sub-genre of that. Blazing F-ing Saddles is not a Western.

What about the Trinity films? My Name is Nobody? Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter?

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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2008, 09:53:32 AM »

What about the Trinity films? My Name is Nobody? Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter?

True, those are definitely westerns.

Paraguay, actually. I wouldn't consider it a Western, more of an historical epic in general.

I couldn't remember... And I think the same.

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