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Setting out to tell the story of a mysterious cowboy -- a stranger in town with a terrible secret -- Christine Montalbetti is continually sidetracked by the details that occur to her along the way, her CinemaScope camera focusing not on the gunslinger's grim and determined eyes, but on the insects crawling in the dust by his boots. A collection of the moments usually discarded in order to tell even the simplest and most familiar story, Western presents us with the world behind the cliches, where the much-anticipated violence of the plot is continually, maddeningly delayed, and no moment is too insignificant not to be valued. Montalbetti's daring theft of movie technique and subversion of a genre where women are usually relegated to secondary roles -- victims, prostitutes, widows, schoolmarms -- makes Western a remarkable wake for the most basic of American mythologies.
Dalkey Archive Press
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