Cinema Station

Western Impressions: The Good Old Boys

May 13, 2015
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As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

The Good Old Boys (1995)

good-old-boys

Tommy Lee Jones’s first Western as a director is just as good as his second, though they couldn’t be more different from each other. This is so low key and wonderful. It shows that westerns don’t need to be driven by action. This one just follows these beautifully drawn characters from event to event and by the end of the picture I feel like I know them as friends. And damn, is it romantic.

Lasting impression: The scene where Spacek tells Jones about her love that died and he says “He didn’t look like me, did he?” before he kisses her for the first time.

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Western Impressions: Ulzana’s Raid (1972)

January 8, 2015
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As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, produced by our company Running Wild Films and 5J Media which will begin production in 2016, I have decided to share my thoughts on films from the genre as I study Westerns in preparation to make our own.

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

Ulzana’s Raid (1972)

600full-ulzana's-raid-poster

It wasn’t what I expected. Sharp’s writing is there but overshadowed by a sentimental and overabundant need to question the “Apache’s” intention. Aldrich’s tough cinema isn’t quite as tough as I always hoped it would be. The best part was the end, Lancaster under a wagon, getting shot and shooting Apaches and wanting to just die out in the desert.

Lasting impression: The final shot of Lancaster licking the cigarette paper.


Western Impressions: 3 Godfathers (1948)

January 5, 2015
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As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, produced by our company Running Wild Films and 5J Media which will begin production in 2016, I have decided to share my thoughts on films from the genre as I study Westerns in preparation to make our own.

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

3 Godfathers (1948)

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I was surprised at this one, somehow I had avoided it, turned off by the “baby” plot and the impression that it wasn’t a “serious” work of Ford’s. But it has much more weight than I guessed and also far more than it gets credit for. While the film may lean towards “comedy”, people die in this film. Tragedy rides alongside comedy from beginning to end and thus the film has a deep resonance. In some ways, these deaths feel more like the death of Howard Hawks professionals, doing their best until they just can’t anymore.

Lasting impression: Harry Carey Jr. singing “Shall We Gather at the River” with all three godfathers in silhouette on the top of a sandhill during their funeral for the baby’s mother. Beautiful moment that stands among Ford’s best.