Module leader : Ed Gallafent
This module is an introduction to one of the richest and most famous of Hollywood genres, the western. Once described by André Bazin as 'the American film par excellence', the western is at the centre of our understanding of Hollywood and the American cultural myths it interrogates and promotes. The aim is to build on students' existing experience of Hollywood film, and to explore the range of achievement within the genre over a period extending from the 'A' western in 1939 to contemporary, and contemporary set, westerns. The module will familiarise students with the elements that constitute the genre, and address the topic of generic hybridity. We will study the contributions of some of the major actors and directors who have worked in westerns. Among the issues discussed will be representation, gender, landscape and violence, all central to the genre. Their various inflections will be explored through the films screened.
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