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Month in Review: June 2011

by on 2011/06/30

We’ve been watching so many westerns this month that I’ve been dropping my g’s. I mean, I done been droppin’.

I am also beginning to use a startlingly large amount of double negatives to express myself. I ain’t never seen so many cowboy movies in a single month no how.

I suppose it is all a bit like coming home. First of all, I spent most of my formative years growing up on a cattle ranch. There were stray cattle and coyotes and cowboy hats worn without irony.

 In my unenlightened youth, I watched westerns and listened to country music with a certain amount of resentment. “Western” was like state music/cinema where I’m from. Now I suppose I’m older and I’ve come back to it with nostalgia and fondness.

Here is my list of favourites, surprises, disappointments, and least-liked, as well as the movie I’d like to see.

“Some boys have bit this old cow trail for pleasure. Whoop-ee-ti-yi-o get along little doggies.”

Favourite Film:
One-Eyed Jacks (1961) on 2011/06/17

“You have to see Brando to believe how cool he is in this movie. Brando oozes medically unsafe amounts of charisma simply eating a banana during a bank robbery scene. In fact, I realize that the preceding sentence sounds ridiculous. However, I defy you to watch the opening sequence and tell me you don’t agree.”


Greatest Surprise:
 Sukiyaki Western Django (2007) on 2011/06/05

“To understand this film, we first we need to begin at the beginning. Django (1966), directed by Sergio Corbucci, is the high holiest of holies of the Spaghetti western genre. For those misguided few who have not seen this sublime film, it involves a stranger wandering into a small town that has been divided and terrorized by the KKK and Mexican bandits. Sukiyaki Western Django takes this concept, sets it in Japan (or perhaps more accurately, the Japan of another astral dimension) spatters it with red, then white paint, mixes in some shiitake mushrooms and a few magic ones in for good measure, adds a dash of Quentin Tarantino, and then flicks on the blender.”

Most Disappointing:
The Searchers (1956) on 2011/06/21

“Why is everyone shouting? WHAT?!

Why is everyone shouting? WHAT?!

While I watched this western classic I was forced to assume that the director John Ford whipped everyone into such a foaming, psychotic frenzy that the female actors actually quivered like terrified bees.”

 God’s Gun (1977) on 2011/06/19

“I have this huge collection of spaghetti westerns in a big box. I bought the box a while ago, fishing it out of a discount bin at a department store. It has yielded some very pleasant surprises. Regrettably, God’s Gun is not one of them. The story is a quirky, somewhat amusing mess – like a Mexican soap opera written by people high on nitrous oxide. “


Show Me:
Stagecoach (1939) on 2011/06/18

“I’m going to stick my neck out here, though I believe my reasoning’s valid. I’d venture to say Stagecoach is the earliest feature of interest to a modern western fan. A short, sharp, fast-moving tale of flight through dangerous territory, it needs none of the cinematic advances pioneered in the last seven decades. But that’s not really why most people watch it, is it?”

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