Presentation on theme: "Image sources: CinecdoqueCinecdoque “The ‘western’ as a genre is very open to metaphor, and has deep roots in classical narrative forms. "Westerns" are."— Presentation transcript:
Image sources: CinecdoqueCinecdoque “The ‘western’ as a genre is very open to metaphor, and has deep roots in classical narrative forms. "Westerns" are most often stories involving journeys into unfamiliar territory, and they are also often shaped around very traditional themes, like retribution, redemption, or tragedy. The openness of the form, and its inseparable connection to ‘America’ in the broadest sense, attracted me to it.” Jim Jarmusch in NY Trash MagazineNY Trash Magazine
o As a genre of “the social order and public sphere” (Nichols 258), what conflicts, resolution, and themes does the Western address? o How is the genre connected to our sense of “America”?
“The result [of living in frontier conditions] is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness; that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends; that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism, working for good and for evil, and withal that buoyancy and exuberance which comes with freedom-these are traits of the frontier, or traits called out elsewhere because of the existence of the frontier.” Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History, 1893, Chapter 1, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” The Frontier in American HistoryThe Significance of the Frontier in American History
“This, at least, is clear: American democracy is fundamentally the outcome of the experiences of the American people in dealing with the West. Western democracy through the whole of its earlier period tended to the production of a society of which the most distinctive fact was the freedom of the individual to rise under conditions of social mobility, and whose ambition was the liberty and well-being of the masses.” The Frontier in American HistoryThe Frontier in American History, Chapter IX, “Contributions of the West to American Democracy”Contributions of the West to American Democracy Image source: University of Virginia American Studies HypertextsUniversity of Virginia American Studies Hypertexts
How does Jarmusch deconstruct the Western, both visually and in terms of narrative? Does the film use strategies of condensation or displacement? If so, how? If not, why?