The Western: Week 10 Blog Post

The Western Genre certainly has its own unique style when it comes to film. Of all the Westerns seen in class, there are definitely many parallels between each film that unify and give them each its own western vibe.  For starters, Yojimbo, Fistful of Dollars, Django and Sukiyaki Western Django (after a great scene with Quentin Tarantino) all begin the same way; the viewers are introduced to the main character with his back turned against the screen, usually walking towards some form of danger and peril. This is perhaps a common technique used by many westerns to establish that its main character, besides a considerable amount of mystery, is an outsider.

Focusing solely on Django and Sukiyaki Western Django, each film has its own form of a desolate ghost town setting that also fits perfectly with the western genre. The town serves as the hub for conflict and action as any western is bound to have a variety of shootouts directly taking place within them. In Django and Sukiyaki, another common western genre aspect is that the main antagonists of the films take refuge within the town. When the antagonists are taken into account with the outsider who happens to stroll into town, the western genre has its prototypical plot.

Ultimately, the most iconic scenes of western movies are its showdowns. In any case, the typical western showdown exhibits the protagonist facing off against the antagonist for a battle to the death. A bit unconventional, the showdown between Django, with two broken hands, and General Jackson fulfill the western’s expectations. Although the class has not seen the ending of Sukiyaki, it can be expected that a showdown is bound to occur. No matter the commonalities between westerns, each film still provides the exhilarating and action packed experience that all viewers want in a good old western.

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One thought on “The Western: Week 10 Blog Post

  1. Great post. I figure I’d finish your conclusions here since we have now seen the final showdown of “Sukiyaki Western Django.” As you expected, there is a tense duel right at the center of the climax. At first, the film follows all the conventions of its genre becoming a very recognizable Western scene. There are the serious, short lines of dialogue, the intense level of focus as they stare at one another, and the preparation of their holstered pistols. The shots are even more iconic of the Western. An establishing, wide shot depicts the distance from one another establishing the “arena” like battleground, classic of any duel in a Western. An even more ironic shot is one from hip level. With the hero’s hand next to his gun in focus, the opponent can be seen in the background. This further establishes the suspense leading up the drawing of pistols. Yet, all this merely plays with the form of the Western, for when the opponent suddenly tosses his pistol and draws his samurai sword, the audience is surprised. The ensuing battle, at which point the hero uses the gun almost as a sword, allows the director to put his own twist on the iconic Western duel in a similar way that you have described in “Django.” The broken handed Django firing the gun with his arms is yet another homage with an unexpected twist.

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