The American West is an imaginary landscape, a shared myth that communicates ideas about reality rather than the reality itself. In recent years the wild west has shifted from the realm of history to that of myth, a foundation upon which we tell stories about ourselves and our so-called civilization. The Revisionist Western exists as… Continue reading Revisiting the West
There is a certain kind of person who loves the minutia of mechanical processes. Whether they are car lovers or guitar collectors, these people love to learn and reiterate jargon, issue dates and the names of long bankrupt companies that mean nothing to the layperson. Then there is the kind of person who just wants… Continue reading What is The Hateful Eight Roadshow?
Quentin Tarantino is fluent in various cinematic languages, to the point that he’s liable to switch dialect not just sentence to sentence, but word to word. The heist film, Blaxploitation cinema, the kung fu epic; his films duck and weave in and out of all of these. But it seems like he thinks in the… Continue reading Tarantino’s Wild West
It takes a unique kind of confidence to take millions of someone else’s dollars to make a movie. To possess that confidence because you’ve made a hit album seems almost heroically misguided. It’s like thinking you can fly a commercial plane because you’re an experienced formula one racer. Giving the GDP of a small country to a… Continue reading Musicians Behind the Camera
“Toke, toke it up man! Kinda grabs you by the boo-boo, don’t it?” Tommy Chong, Up in Smoke The stoned protagonist is a proud cinematic tradition. Red-eyed and confused, these baked heroes give the audience a pleasing contact high while generally lacking the self-destructive impulses of their heavy drinking counterparts. Their love of marijuana is… Continue reading Reefer Madness
No matter how close they might try to hew to reality, movies can’t help but be a reflection of the people who made them. Despite ostensibly being set in the same city a couple years apart, the New York of Woody Allen’s Manhattan is not the same place as Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. The former is… Continue reading Evolution of the West
“Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?” Captain Oveur, Airplane The stock of spoof films has fallen quite a lot in recent years. From the relentless battering of Scary Movie’s in the early 2000’s to the Friedberg and Seltzer glut of jokeless reference-athons (Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck, the forthcoming Who the F#@K… Continue reading The Incredible Trip in a Crazy Airplane