While technically the Western as a literary genre predates cinema, what with all the cheap, thrilling dime novels that made the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Wyatt Earp famous, Westerns are synonymous with cinema. Like jazz, the Western is a true American art form, and even works in the genre from other countries acknowledge that. Also like jazz, while there are formal limitations and recognisable tropes, there’s lots of room to experiment within them.

That’s part of the reason the Western remains popular; it’s always ripe for reinvention and reinterpretation as our own mores change; the black and white morality plays of the ‘30s gave way to the psychological dramas of the ‘50s, the wild Italian horse operas of the ‘60s, the revisionist counter-culture offerings of the ‘70s, and so on.

So if you think you know the Wild West, know that there’s always unexplored territory just over the horizon. Don’t believe me? Try these…

Read more at SBS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.