Saturday, February 21, 2015

New westerns

I've said this before on here----there are some westerns I like, but, in general, I never cared for them. Everything in them---the clothes, the towns, the landscapes---were ugly. The men wore stupid-looking ties. The dancing girls and prostitutes wore terrible outfits hanging around in ugly, garish saloons with terrible piano music. The richer the people, the uglier their homes, clothes and furniture were. Their only recreation is hanging around in bars. The violence was dull. Everyone had the same gun. The fistfights were just guys punching each other over and over and over. I saw one where a fight consisted of two men punching each other in the face over and over.

The spaghetti westerns were more interesting.  The characters didn't all talk about their life's dream of owning a ranch. The dialog, written in Italian and translated into English, was more interesting, and there was an occasional machine gun.

But American westerns were so popular outside the United States. Stalin loved them. They were popular enough in the Soviet Union that they produced their own versions. Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country beat Fillini's 8 ½ in at least one European film festival. I want to see what other people see in them.

I used to like Samurai movies. I like the Soviet "Easterns".

I thought the genre was dead. But I see quite a few fairly recent low budget westerns on Netflix. They're well-made, they're very violent. Cheap and violent----that's what the genre is all about. It's when they spend tens or, in the case of The Lone Ranger, hundreds of millions of dollars on them that things go horribly wrong.

With these new westerns, it's surprising how little homosexuality there is. They're living in the Old West. There's a shortage of women and most of the men in these things look like fashion models. The old novel The Virginian (made into a couple of movies and a TV show) had two cowboys living together with a pet chicken as their surrogate child.  

I'm sitting here with one on TV right now. They have a reference to Yojimbo---a dog walks around with a severed hand in its mouth. And there's a karate fight in a bar.

Everyone speaks plain English. I'm not sure if this is better or worse than western gibberish.

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