The Cultural Gutter

building a better robot builder

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Appreciating Westerns and Poetry

guttersnipe
Posted November 4, 2012

“Many decades ago I took a class in English Romantic poetry from a professor who made the peculiar claim that anyone who wants to understand poetry should read or watch Westerns.” Bill Ott writes of appreciating the poetry of Westerns.

Comments

2 Responses to “Appreciating Westerns and Poetry”

  1. Mentor
    November 4th, 2012 @ 1:36 am

    I’m part of a film club “roundtable”. We spent a year watching nothing but film noir. As many as we could find. It was intense but incredibly fun. When it was over, the majority wanted to do the same thing with Westerns. While I had a few Westerns that were near and dear to my heart (Big Country, Good, Bad and the Ugly, Red River)I always considered the genre the least complex and kind of boring. But I hunkered down and took part. It was an amazing experience.

    I was wholly unprepared for how much fun the genre was and equally surprised at how many westerns would end up on my all time favorites list by the time the roundtable ended. I was also surprised at how so many westerns from the 40s and 50s were actually noir with a western setting and how similar the two genres were in many ways(sometimes even using the same scripts and director as was the case with Raoul Walsh and High Sierra and Colorado Territory).

  2. Carol Borden
    November 7th, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    i had a similar experience. i spent years kind of disdaining westerns. then secretly liking sergio leone’s westerns. now i just love so many of them and i’m always finding new ones and new directors. your point about westerns and noir is a really interesting one. thank you!

Leave a Reply





  • The Book!

  • Support The Gutter

  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

    ~

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

    ~

    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

    ~

    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

    ~

    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

    ~

    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n’roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

    ~

  • Spilling into Twitter

  • Obsessive?

    Then you might be interested in knowing you can subscribe to our RSS feed, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter or Tumblr.

    -------

  • Weekly Notifications

  • What We’re Talking About

  • Thanks To

    No Media Kings hosts this site, and Wordpress autoconstructs it.

  • %d bloggers like this: