sun 23/01/2022

westerns

The Power of the Dog review - of rawhide and roses

The archetypal fascinating male in Jane Campion’s films – whether his allure for a woman owes to his earthy virility or emotional sensitivity, his animal appeal or his soul – has a malign other.That’s true of The Piano (1993), In the Cut (2003) and...

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Blu-ray: Johnny Guitar

Watching this restored print of Nicholas Ray’s delirious Western reminded me of the discovery that those pristine white statues of the Ancient World had once been painted in gaudy colours. When I first saw Johnny Guitar, it was one of those movies...

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The Toll review - once upon a time in west Wales

Budget constraints. In the hands of the right filmmakers, they can be a blessing in disguise, forcing creativity from simplicity. That’s exactly what works for The Toll, a dark comedy set in the wild west of these isles: Pembrokeshire.Michael Smiley...

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Blu-ray: Straight Shooting / Hell Bent

There are moments in Straight Shooting (1917), the first feature directed by John (then "Jack") Ford, when its star Harry Carey (1878-1947) exudes a naturalism that the famous Western actors who followed him, most notably John Wayne, strove to...

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The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the titles below is well worth your attention.Enola Holmes ★★★★ Millie Bobby Brown gives the patriarchy what-for in...

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DVD: Fanny Lye Deliver'd

There’s something very familiar and also a little disappointing about Fanny Lye Deliver’d. Set in the years following the English Civil War, the story follows a young couple who enter the home of a stern, God-fearing family, disrupting their lives...

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Fanny Lye Deliver’d review - blistering English civil war western

Ten years in the making, Thomas Clay’s third feature, starring Charles Dance and Maxine Peake, is a remarkable and potent example of genre-splicing British independent filmmaking. The story opens in 1657. Cromwell is in power and, on a small,...

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Blu-ray: Destry Rides Again

A calculatedly nostalgia-infused town-taming Western, 1939's Destry Rides Again out-sparkled Errol Flynn's contemporaneous light “oaters" and anticipated noir-tinged classics like My Darling Clementine (1946) and The Gunfighter (1950). Because it...

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Blu-ray: Rio Grande

Although it followed on from the previous hits Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande found director John Ford suffering from straitened finances. The third of his so-called “Cavalry Trilogy”, Rio Grande was made under a...

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Bacurau review – way-out western

After his two mysterious, tightly-coiled and idiosyncratic first features, Neighbouring Sounds and Aquarius, the masterful Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho lets his hair down with an exhilarating, all-guns-blazing...

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Blu-ray: A Fistful of Dynamite

A Fistful of Dynamite and Once Upon a Time in America are Sergio Leone’s films with the most explicit political underpinning. Indeed, given recent events, A Fistful of Dynamite is a thoroughly pertinent film, asking how we might achieve social...

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Blu-ray: High Noon

The canonical town-taming Western High Noon brought Gary Cooper the 1952 Academy Award for Best Actor (his second). It also won Oscars for Best Editing, Best Score, and Best Song, Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s “Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darlin...

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