Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990 (Hardback)
  • Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990 (Hardback)
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Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990 (Hardback)

(editor), (foreword)
£65.00
Hardback 200 Pages / Published: 10/10/2013
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Though one of the most popular genres for decades, the western started to lose its relevance in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the early 1980s it had ridden into the sunset on screens both big and small. The genre has enjoyed a resurgence, however, and in the past few decades some remarkable westerns have appeared on television and in movie theaters. From independent films to critically acclaimed Hollywood productions and television series, the western remains an important part of American popular culture. Running the gamut from traditional to revisionist, with settings ranging from the old West to the "new Wests" of the present day and distant future, contemporary westerns continue to explore the history, geography, myths, and legends of the American frontier. In Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990, Andrew P. Nelson has collected essays that examine the trends and transformations in this underexplored period in Western film and television history. Addressing the new Western, they argue for the continued relevance and vibrancy of the genre as a narrative form. The book is organized into two sections: "Old West, New Stories" examines Westerns with common frontier locales, such as Dances with Wolves, Unforgiven, Deadwood, and True Grit. "New Wests, Old Stories" explores works in which familiar Western narratives, characters, and values are represented in more modern-and in one case futuristic-settings. Included are the films No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, as well as the shows Firefly and Justified. With a foreword by Edward Buscombe, as well as an introduction that provides a comprehensive overview, this volume offers readers a compelling argument for the healthy survival of the Western. Written for scholars as well as educated viewers, Contemporary Westerns explores the genre's evolving relationship with American culture, history, and politics.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810892569
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 237 x 158 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Instead of a conventional chronological approach to tracing the history of American TV and movie westerns produced from 1990 on, this volume consists of 11 monographic essays by media-study academics, nine of which deal with individual titles, one with western themes utilized in science fiction films, and one on the career of country music singer George Straight who is supposedly the prototype of the modem non-traditional cowboy hero. The films analyzed begin (chronologically) with Dances with Wolves (1990) and end with the 2010 remake of True Grit. Some of the other films analyzed include Clint Eastwood's 1992 Unforgiven, No Country for Old Men (2007), There Will Be Blood (2007) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Cowardly Robert Ford (2007). There are separate chapters for the TV series Deadwood and Justified. Amazingly, there is a chapter on Ang Lee's 1999 Rider with the Devil. . . .[T]he individual essays and an overview introduction by the editor supply much insightful information on the films discussed and are scholarly in nature and well documented. Each essay ends with copious footnotes and a list of works cited. he book ends with a brief name index mainly of film titles. This work will be of . . . value in library circulation departments rather than reference. As such, it is recommended for collections that emphasize media studies. * American Reference Books Annual *
The insights offered by Nelson, Danks, and especially Matheson will be of interest to anyone with a serious interest in film and television Westerns, and scholars with a specific interest in any of the other films covered will want to consult the relevant essay. * Journal of American Culture *

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