Jun 05, 2023  
Catalogue 2022-2023 
Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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FILM 218 - The Western: Global and Intergalactic Frontiers

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
The western is one of the formative American film genres with origins in early silent, “raid-and-rescue” pictures like The Great Train Robbery (1903) The Lonedale Operator (1911) and The Hazards of Helen (1914).  This course offers historical and cultural contextualization of the Western film genre. It highlights the relationship between the genre and the dominant myths embedded in American history that have concealed, obscured, and glorified the colonialism of settler culture.  The changing nature of masculinity, the representation of violence, the dehumanization of BIPOC, and the marginalization of women are addressed. The course also considers generic evolution and revision. Over the years, filmmakers have reimagined and reconfigured the Western, adapting it to, and adopting, the political sentiments of the day. European iterations (i.e., “spaghetti” and “sauerkraut” Westerns shot in Italy, Spain, and Germany), feminist westerns, Black westerns, parodic westerns, pro-Native/anti-Settler westerns, queer westerns, and even science fiction westerns emerged.  With each revision the template of the genre rotated on its axis. The course examines the evolution of Western movies in North America, Europe, and the global south. It also addresses intergalactic iterations in which outer space is “the final frontier.” Screenings may include: The Ox-Bow Incident (1943); High Noon (1952); Cat Ballou (1965); Django (1966); Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969); Buck and the Preacher (1971); Rosewood (1997); Pitch Black (2000); Alien vs. Predator (2004) and Django Unchained (2012). Readings, screenings, and papers required. Mia Mask.

Prerequisite(s): FILM 175  or FILM 209  and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

Course Format: CLS

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