The New Western: Critical Essays on the Genre Since 9/11
Scott F. Stoddart
McFarland, Feb 19, 2016 - Performing Arts - 268 pages
American moviegoers have long turned to the Hollywood Western for reassurance in times of crisis. During the genre’s heyday, the films of John Ford, Howard Hawks and Henry Hathaway reflected a grand patriotism that resonated with audiences at the end of World War II. The tried-and-true Western was questioned by Ford and George Stevens during the Cold War, and in the 1960s directors like Sam Peckinpah and George Roy Hill retooled the genre as a commentary on American ethics during the Vietnam War. Between the mid–1970s and early 1990s, the Western faded from view—until the Gulf War, when Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves (1990) and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) brought it back, with moral complexities. Since 9/11, the Western has seen a resurgence, blending its patriotic narrative with criticism of America’s place in the global community. Exploring such films as True Grit (2010) and Brokeback Mountain (2005), along with television series like Deadwood and Firefly, this collection of new essays explores how the Western today captures the dichotomy of our times and remains important to the American psyche.
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American Western Amir Naderi Ang Lee Anthony Mann appears audience Avatar Batman becomes Boetticher Brokeback Mountain Butch Chaney character cinema civilization classical Coen brothers Cogburn contemporary cowboy Cox’s critics cultural Dances with Wolves Dark Knight Deadwood death depiction Earp Ennis Ethan father’s fiction film film’s filmmakers Firefly Ford’s frontier Gotham Hollywood homosexuality Hong Kong Huang ideology Jack jiang hu John Ford John Wayne Joker kill Kitses LaBoeuf live male man’s Marston martial arts masculinity Mattie Ross Mattie’s McCabe Mitch Mohican movie myth Na’vi narrative novel obsession outlaw Perf political popular Portis Portis’s Print protagonist Reavers Red Dead Redemption relationship revenge riding role Rooster Rooster Cogburn scene Searchers Serenity sexual Shane shot Shot Liberty Valance Slotkin space Star story style television traditional tropes True Grit Valance Vegas Vietnam violence Warner Bros Wayne’s Western genre Western hero Whedon York