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  • Mads Mikkelsen in The Salvation

    ‘The Salvation’ starring Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green gets new U.S. trailer and stills

    If you, like the rest of us, can’t wait for the return of Hannibal this June, then hopefully Mads Mikkelsen’s new movie can help hold you over. The Salvation, which reunites Casino Royal stars Mikkelsen and Eva Green, follows the story of an American settler who, after killing the man who murdered his family, incurs the wrath of a dangerous gang leader. In addition to Mikkelsen and Green, the film stars such talent as Eric Cantona and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. More

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    ‘The Homesman’ sees Tommy Lee Jones direct the weirdest western in quite some time

    Set during the pioneer era, The Homesman subverts the usual trajectory of westerns set in this time by instead focusing on a journey from what will eventually become Nebraska territory in the West to more Eastern Iowa, wherein defeat via the frontier is a primary concern, whether it be a defeat of the mind, body, soul, or all together. Director Tommy Lee Jones’s last theatrically released film was The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), a contemporary neo-western with shades of Sam Peckinpah in its flavour. The Homesman may have the set dressing of a more traditional, old-school genre entry, but this film, adapted from Glendon Swarthout’s 1988 novel, is much more offbeat than one might expect. More

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    ‘Django/Zorro’ #1 is an Entertaining Team Up and Genre Mashup

    Even though historically speaking, Zorro and Django were contemporaries, they couldn’t be more different. First, there is their ages. Zorro is 95 years old whereas Django hasn’t even celebrated his second birthday as a fictional character. They come in different social classes and cultures (Mexican aristocrat and former African American slave) and are children of different genres with Zorro taking his cues from the pulp and superhero genres while Django is a product of blaxploitation and the Western. More

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    Trailer for sci-fi/western ‘Young Ones’

    Set in the near future where water is more precious than gold, farmer Ernest Holm has to defend his family for forces both external and internal in Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones. Starring the always great Michael Shannon and Hollywood’s next generation of up-and-comers Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee as his children and Nicholas Hoult as […] More

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    A Contrary Examination of ‘Red Dead Redemption’

    Red Dead Redemption is often considered one of the best video games of the previous generation, a reputation it hardly deserves. The game routinely takes control away from the player when agency is needed, and gives too much freedom when it’s superfluous. Red Dead is totalitarian in its gameplay and narrative presentation, but provides a hollow, laissez faire open world in an attempt to compensate. These problems culminate to create a game that misunderstands, and straight up ignores, the interactive nature of the medium it’s in. Despite its dazzling production values, Red Dead Redemption fails as a video game because of its unengaging, scarce, and meaningless interactivity. More

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    Viewing the West as an Outsider in ‘Red Dead Redemption’

    I’ve got to be honest, I’m a sucker for westerns. The lone cowboy and his trusty horse roaming the open and untamed land is admittedly romantic, but I also find it incredibly thrilling. A time filled with endless possibilities and complex stories that go beyond the good guy/bad guy dynamic. After all, the good guys don’t always have to wear white. More

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    Fantasia Fest 2013: ‘Massacre Time’ is an Exceptional Spaghetti Western

    Lucio Fulci’s Massacre Time is playing at Fantasia in conjunction with the Festival du Nouveau Cinema as part of the The Django Project. The series takes a look at the western genre, as appropriated by other cultures, as it blends with irony, excess and pop-art. Though best known for his giallo thrillers, Fulci’s Massacre Time is an exuberant and exciting spaghetti western. Starring Franco Nero in a role obviously evocative of his work in Django, he plays a prospector who must return to his home and reclaim his family’s ranch from a man named Scott and his sadistic son Junior. More

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    Iconography in Scoring: The Music of the Western

    From its very beginnings as a genre, Western film has trafficked in the iconic, in the larger-than-life imagery of the tall tale and the never-ending, expansive wilderness that forms the crucial backbone to these stories. More than perhaps any other genre, Westerns deal in types, with their characters standing in for the Other, the Immigrant, […] More

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    ‘High Noon’, ‘Rio Bravo’, and the Blacklist

    High Noon and Rio Bravo share a fascinating and perhaps singular position in the annals of American cinema as companion pieces of social commentary that also managed to succeed as two of the greatest and most influential Westerns, and indeed films, of their time. Created seven years apart, with Rio Bravo intended as a direct […] More