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February 1993


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Currie Thompson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Feb 1993 10:13:13 -0500
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>    O.K., I'll bite - how different are American and European
>    Westerns and how does "theory" apply to Westerns??
    My original posting dealt with Argentina, of course, and the major
difference in that case is the remarkable absence of Argentine westerns.
Their absence has been discussed by Argentine cineastes, who note that it
is rather odd that their country did not produce westerns with a couple of
exceptions.  (One of these, btw, is the "Uruguayan" film A PLACE IN THE
WORLD just announced as a finalist for the Oscar.  The film is actually from
Argentina but was proposed for the Oscar by the Uruguayan National Institute
of Cinematography because Argentina's National Institute had proposed
another film.)
    The absence of Argentine westerns is particularly striking since
Argentine history and culture have many parallels to our own--the gaucho is
a type of cowboy; the country had its own series of wars against its
indigenous population, similar to the ones that are a frequent background
for US westerns.  (Mexican culture parallels our own much less closely, but
in Mexico the "charro" film is very popular.)
     The absence of detective fiction in certain countries is frequently
discussed and attributed to various causes.  What causes might explain the
lack of westerns in Argentine film?  Does this lack tell us something about
Argentine culture?  This was what I had in mind when I sent my original
Currie Thompson