Author Topic: This is the West, sir.  (Read 20338 times)

1SO

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2012, 12:49:23 PM »
Sandy, I also just rewatched Destry Rides Again. Western screwball comedy so you should love it. Plus, it presents a very strong portrait of women in the West, though this is done through the contrast of broad stereotypes. (Painted women vs. rolling pin wives.)

Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2012, 03:40:23 PM »
You'll see tons of women like her in John Ford and Howard Hawks movies.

Yay!

I guess Feathers is similar. I forgot about her. :-[


Also interesting that you responded to Jill McBain the way you did since Bronson, Fonda and even Robards at the end mostly respond to her on more sexual terms. ("Can't imagine how happy it makes a man to see a woman like you. Just to look at her. And if one of them should pat your behind, just make believe it's nothing. They earned it.") With Bronson it's more of a grey area. He comes on like a rapist, but ultimately in his own wordless way is telling her that to survive she needs to drop the lace fringe.

You cracked the code! I was still a little fuzzy about the lace ripping and thought maybe, just maybe he did it to make her a better lure to get those cowboys to come out for easier shooting.  But I think you got it! Forgo the trappings and be real, for that is where her strength lies. Thanks for that insight! I don't know anything about being PC, but going back to a comment I made regarding Allison in The Breakfast Club, A woman would like to be considered attractive. Correct me if I'm wrong, but all of Cheyenne's comments to and about her were complimentary, right? From a man's perspective aren't they complimentary? Maybe I'm confused. :-\


I want to get back to Frank, but have to run, but wanted to talk about women before I do. :) I'll get back to everyone's great  comments when things quiet down here again.


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And sdedalus is correct. Strong female role models are constant in John Ford films. From Maureen O'Hara to Shirley Temple. Hawks' women prove their worth by being just as capable as the men, whether through work or verbally sparring.

Something to look forward to. Can't abide any namby-pamby women. :D I do like Mareen O'Hara in the Quiet Man.


Sandy, I also just rewatched Destry Rides Again. Western screwball comedy so you should love it. Plus, it presents a very strong portrait of women in the West, though this is done through the contrast of broad stereotypes. (Painted women vs. rolling pin wives.)

I think that's what I meant about Jill. She's both mother and whore. The conflict is inside her instead of with another woman.
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Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2012, 08:20:10 PM »
I made the point, recently that only this film and 2001 are as good cinematically as they are musically, for me, perhaps the reason they are top 5.

That's a very small list. If you ever find another to add, I'd love to hear about it.

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I can't comment on their operatic quality since I know bugger all about opera, but opera is that art form that intends to marries drama and music?

:D You're asking me a music question?! If you say it's so, it's so.


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It was Drive and The Good The Bad and The Ugly that I was thinking start quite as musically dynamically, but don't hold up that standard. Close Encounters closes as strongly- those notes turning into an orchestral sweep as the film closes. 2001 is interesting for the abrupt/ long/ excruciating silences. OUATITW for the explosion of, normally, tiny sound effects.

Great examples. You have to take it where you can find it. You've probably been on the lookout for a long time for any other movie to sustain that level of "married" craftsmanship. Even though I'm new to the hunt, I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open. I could have went on and on about those explosive sound effects--they sure kept me on the edge of my seat.

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The musical device (shoving the harmonica into Frank's mouth, the discordant note of resignation/realisation) is so powerful, as if to say, "that's why we had the music to the fore, ta da!". The gunfight/ Harmonica backstory may be my favourite section in any film, certainly the one I watch back the most. Then I spend days whistling/humming the music.

ta da! :))

"that's why we had the music to the fore, ta da!" I've been smiling about this line all day. The filmmaker's way of saying, "oh, the cleverness of me." I watched that scene more than a few times. The tension is intense and there's nothing going on--how'd they do that?

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"Glad you liked it" doesn't really cover it. ;D

 :)) liked doesn't really cover it either.
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Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2012, 08:44:28 PM »
Love that you mentioned the warped wood planks from the opening.

 :D If I wasn't so committed to my West Side Story theme, I'd make those planks my avatar.

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This film is full of these great details. There must be a paper somewhere about the authenticity of the production design and the theatrical way the scenes are shot.

Sounds like a job for 1SO. :)

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What do you think about Henry Fonda? The nicest, most warm-hearted presence this side of James Stewart (and we've seen Jimmy lose his temper a few times). He comes on all mean and leathery, and if you're still not buying it there's his shocking act of murder.


I lost my love for him as soon as he said, "Now that you've called me by name." Gone was Frank Beardsley. This smile is the most nauseating, creepy image and it's going to be hard to shake.



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To verbALs point, Sergio Leone's collaboration with composer Ennio Morricone is one of the greatest screen partnerships ever. The dollars trilogy will show you what I mean.

I am so looking forward to their other films. 

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BTW, have you considered watching The Quick & The Dead? Sam Raimi's western tribute is a whole lot of fun and puts a woman right into the center of the action.

I saw it on TV a long time ago and vaguely remember Sharon Stone's character's strength. :)
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Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2012, 09:04:00 PM »
It probably wasn't, because it's now all downhill from here. And I don't mean that successive films won't be good, but Leone reach the ultimate strata with this film.

I do believe you are right. Maybe I should cheat and end the marathon with Seven Samurai. :)

(Goodbye Mr. Chips is going to be watched sometime in the next few days.)
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oldkid

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2012, 09:17:49 PM »
I vote for the Wood Planks Avatar!
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Antares

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2012, 11:34:31 PM »
(Goodbye Mr. Chips is going to be watched sometime in the next few days.)

Watch it when you can have a cup of tea and some sweet pastry just before you start the film, it will set the tone perfectly.

And Sandy, I'm warning you ahead of time, you will weep at the end of this film, especially when Chips says his last line of dialog in the film.
            
                                                           Beep! Beep!

Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2013, 12:30:15 AM »
(Goodbye Mr. Chips is going to be watched sometime in the next few days.)

Watch it when you can have a cup of tea and some sweet pastry just before you start the film, it will set the tone perfectly.

:D

You are so great!

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And Sandy, I'm warning you ahead of time, you will weep at the end of this film, especially when Chips says his last line of dialog in the film.

I know you are right because I weeped at the end of that awful musical version. Peter O'Toole is perfect even so.
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Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2013, 02:20:24 AM »
Wagon Master


Though hard to you this journey may appear...

The film looks like it was shot around Moab and Arches National Park, so there are no Monument Valley Mitten Butte sightings. That landmark in the back is as close as I could get. I think I saw it on several occasions from many different angles.



Conjecturing here, but I'm wondering if the story's roots are from the 1879 San Juan Expedition, or as it's better known, the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition. Instead of trying to recreate with exact details, it may have been used as a broad template for a general concept of a pioneer wagon train. It's a good thing too. The film only touches on the digging that had to be done to make some of the terrain passable. Here's a picture of the path cut into the Slick Rocks.



And, even John Ford, who made some pretty gutsy and dangerous shots in the movie, would know better than to recreate the descent through the Hole-in-the-Rock fissure.



No one's that crazy, well except for the Mormon pioneers. :) The film also isn't interested so much in those details either--just another template to show disparate groups traveling together and the dynamics that surface. The only things that seem amiss are the women who look more like puritans than pioneers and the men not carrying firearms (though it's useful to the plot). They do get the singing and dancing right. Speaking of which, The Sons of the Pioneers should sing in all Westerns. :) They're swell. I also like when the characters break out in song on a few occasions. John Ford knows what he's doing when it comes to music. He also has a great eye for telling a story visually. I'm not saying anything that's not better known and understood by Ford aficionados, but as a novice, I notice and am impressed.

Wagon Master isn't a big story and even the climax isn't more than a passing glance, but it is an interesting story, or I should stories. Each of the characters is worth more time than is allotted. The film has the look and feel of a type of embedded journalism assignment, where you get to walk among the participants and see things up close and personal. I'm more than happy to have taken this assignment.

Now I'm trying to conjecture what kind of fines/jail time would be accrued for a film cast and crew knocking down formations in a National Park.

   
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Sandy

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Re: This is the West, sir.
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2013, 02:17:45 PM »
Speaking of which, The Sons of the Pioneers should sing in all Westerns.

THIS.  8)

 :))

flieger, you know what's what!

What do you think about recommending some music you like over at that Breathing Life thread? I'd me much obliged. :)
"Don't be shy. You learn to fly and see the sun when day is done. If only you see."