Auteur Theory is a fickle master. At its best, helps develop stylistic and thematic points of analysis for a body of work. At its worst, it marginalizes and ignores that unlike many artistic mediums, film is collaborative and those collaborations often inform and enhance the work that it’s hard to imagine the work being as good without certain contributions. Continue reading The Hateful Eight (2015)
The elephant in the room is Lynne Ramsay being pulled from the project. It’s a shame, because there’s a great film inside here, but it’s so clearly in the hands of the wrong director. Gavin O’Connor does an admirable job, but it’s clear he’s out of his depth. Warrior and Miracle are interesting explorations of the softer side of masculinity where Jane Got a Gun is a look at the harder side of femininity. This is Ramsay’s jam. Her films Movern Callar and We Need to Talk About Kevin are fascinating explorations of this idea. Continue reading Jane Got a Gun (2016)
After a violent opening sequence, the film lulls you into a lot of quiet, sweet moments. Patrick Wilson copes with his sprained ankle while his wife tries to cheer him up with humor and sex. Kurt Russel acts pig-headed while his long-suffering wife ribs him. Matthew Fox deliberates on the unfair rate of paying more for three songs together instead of three separate songs in the bar. It’s all in all a nice little town. Continue reading Bone Tomahawk (2015)
Once Upon a Time in the West is a film of faces. While the sprawling dusty landscapes of the West comprise many of the shots of the film, the film is more fascinated with the human landscape of the face. The face can be rough with many crevices and the signs of age, or smooth with youth and beauty. Emotions and expressions bring the face to life. Continue reading Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
While set in Japan, Yojimbo is a Western. It carries many of the tropes of the America genre, but with some noticeable differences. Although the change in geographical location, culture and time certainly add texture to the film, it’s not what makes Yojimbo distinct as a Western.
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