Week 10 Blog Assignment

Django and Sukiyaki Western Django are both prime examples of the spaghetti Western and employ many of the genre’s conventions, sometimes in unique ways.

The main trope of the genre featured in both films is a certain type of protagonist. Whether it is Django or the lone gunman from Sukiyaki Western Django (or for that matter, the lead characters from the two other Westerns we have seen in class, Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars), the protagonist of the spaghetti Western is typically an emotionless and morally corrupt (signified by his black hat) antihero who walks into the middle of a conflict in which he is a neutral party. The character, who is usually not afraid of anyone and inhumanly skilled with a pistol among other weapons, goes on to massacre both of the opposing sides in the town’s conflict. Battered and bloodied, he then proceeds to slowly walk away in the last shot of the film, likely going on to end up in a similar rundown town in the midst of conflict, beginning the cycle over again. The class is yet to finish Sukiyaki Western Django but so far this is true of every Western film we have finished.

But since, by and large, no movie is entirely a genre movie in order to avoid seeming formulaic, there are ways in which Django and Sukiyaki Western Django make themselves unique. Django makes skillful use of the moving frame, typified by its dramatic zoom-ins and zoom-outs as well as its swift tracking shots. Sukiyaki Western Django employs the flashback and is a modern revision (as well as an homage and parody) of the genre.

The genre certainly has evolved over time, as most genres do, and one can argue that it has gotten better. Django Unchained is my favorite movie, so I am on that train of thought.


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