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October 1996, Week 5


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lang thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 02:03:25 GMT
text/plain (32 lines)
******  This may be the most interesting point:  can a film (or book)
be a Western if it's not set in the West?  It sounds pretty trivial but
it goes right to the heart of what we mean by "Western."  Is Outland an
honorary Western because it's modelled after High Noon or because the
plot/thematic elements (law/civilization, individual courage, etc) are
considered the proper subject of Westerns.  (Just as science fiction is
often concerned with the effects of technology or comedy with
disorder.)  One especially convoluted example would be Yojimbo/Fistful
of Dollars/Last Man Standing group.  Is the first a Japanese film
inspired by or based on American Westerns?  Would it have existed
without that example?  Fistful of Dollars is the same plot/structure
but this time actually moved to the traditional Western time and place
so there would be little question that it actually is a Western.  Last
Man Standing is Western in setting but not time and has numerous
elements of the gangster film incorporated.  In fact, it would be easy
to imagine Last Man Standing actually set in New York City, so if the
plot can be easily converted, what is essentially Western about it?
Lang Thompson
In <[log in to unmask]> "Kendall D'Andrade"  One
innovation was the change of setting, meaning that the
>film was a Western in all but its location in time and space (with
>whatever changes were necessary to fit the changed setting).  In that
>sense his film is a model for sci-fi Westerns like _Outland_ and maybe
>_Star Wars_.
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