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Old February 25 2013, 12:57 PM   #17
stj
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Re: Western genre feature film resurgence 2010-2015

Harvey wrote: View Post
That survey of historians I mentioned is discussed here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4519496 (it turns out it also surveyed western fiction writers and magazine editors and publishers). It was conducted in 1992.

In your earlier post you implied that the films and television you named weren't Westerns because of their geographic setting. In other words, they weren't Westerns because they didn't take place in the "West." This assumes that the "West" can be easily and rigidly defined. The '92 study shows that even the experts are unable of consensus on such a definition.

Now you are claiming -- I think -- that genre is entirely linked to story, suggesting that The Jetsons be excluded from science fiction because it is modeled after family sitcoms. That seems to contradict your original point, no?
The Turner thesis is wrong, something best exemplified by a comparison of US westward expansion with Russian expansion eastward, I think. The supposed controversy isn't much more serious than the controversy between evolutionism and intelligent design in biology. Worse, in literary and cinematic terms, the equivalent of the Turnerian process discussed in the link is exactly what I was talking about. Namely, what kind of narrative structure underlies the alleged Western genre?

Turner's narrative thesis for US history boils down to being a man's man on the frontier made the US a nation of men, who were naturally free. (Turnerians would likely wince at such bluntness.) Are you suggesting that this is the basic story structure of the Western?

Regardless of whether you are able to answer such a simple question, you have misinterpreted a couple of things. First, a fluid definition of the is not the same thing as a completely formless definition. Movies can be in debatable frontier. For instance, The Wild Bunch is set in 1913, not 1915. Would two years make such a difference? Yes, at least for everyone who knew that the US was engaged in WWI. The makers knew that setting was a key, if not the key to defining the Western.

Citing this one is a little odd, because a movie in some respects about the loss of the Old West had by its nature had to be set sometime when the Old West was gone but close enough that old men could have failed to realize it. And insofar as The Wild Bunch was about the nonexistence of the legend of the West, it had to be set close to another period so that its characters wouldn't appear anachronistic in light of expectations about Westerns.

Remarks on The Jetsons are similarly inept. Of course The Jetsons is scifi, and I never said otherwise. The subordinate clause may be subordinate but still counts towards the meaning of the sentence. To rephrase, it's not enough to note that The Jetsons uses scifi tropes. That doesn't tell us anything significant about the show. The fact that ii's modeled on The Honeymooners does.

Lastly, you still haven't made a point, which leads me to suspect that you agree that "Westerns" are hicks flicks, but find that impolitic to admit.

jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
See the wiki
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_(genre)

Under themes
And characteristics
to clarify...

I think most people know a western has horses and is set in american west between 1820-1900.
That link doesn't work for me. As for your definition, of course it needs to be applied with an appropriate fluidity of judgment about geography and chronology. But, yes, that does seem to be the core. There is such a bewildering array of true genres that it is hard to know what else you can point to as an identifier.

Christopher wrote: View Post
jefferiestubes8 wrote: View Post
I think most people know a western has horses and is set in american west between 1820-1900.
Or is set in a different place and time and emulates the tropes of the Western genre, such as Outland or the cartoon BraveStarr.
Tropes are very superficial. Outland may have taken a plot from High Noon but its corporate villains were very different thematically. I believe it is obtuse to think otherwise. Insisting on judging everything by its outward appearance only is equivalent to rejuecting the very concept of criticism, I think. That is your privilege, but it doesn't follow that you therefore have anything to contribute to an attempt to analyze the Western.
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