on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2016 7 Mai

Lonely Rangers

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment

Only a boy’s thing? Who did never have a knack for „wild west movies“? Just remember. The early cowboy movies were built on a simple moral struggle between goodies and baddies. So why did they so quickly evolve into psychologically bleak depictions of damaged souls? This is the question. Michael Newton explores „Western Noir“ in his excellent essay in „The Guardian“.


„Among the rocks and dust of an Arizona canyon, a man and a woman want to kill each other.

Each draws closer, gun in hand, and they take turns to fire, inflicting wounds. Yet between each shot, the desire they feel for one another overwhelms them.

Here, love reveals itself as murderous, and murder proves loving. Mortally wounded, the woman crawls through the dust so they may die, stilled at last, in each other’s arms.

The scene is over-the-top, it is preposterous, and yet in being so it is also exceedingly magnificent. From Duel in the Sun (1946), David O Selznick and King Vidor’s delirium-dream of a movie, this moment encapsulates the operatic astonishment of the postwar Hollywood western, with a shootout that sets the tone for the genre’s descent into hallucinatory strangeness.

From then on, the vast distances of the American landscape would be matched by the depth of fall into the human psyche.“


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