The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: “Meal Ticket” (2018)

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs:
“Cold, Hard Facts, But No Newspaper Nor Legend” One of the most cited moments in John Ford’s revisionist Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962) occurs near the end: Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) completes his confession to the town’s newspaper editor. A lawyer turned U.S. Senator, Ranse has risen to power through a lie: ...

Hell or High Water (2016)

Hell or High Water (2016)
“Calvary, but not Cavalry” The first of many startling images in director David Mackenzie’s neo-Western, Hell or High Water (2016) is of three crosses embedded in tile into an adobe building. We see the Christian icons in the background of the image, through the drive-through lanes as a teller opens her branch of the West ...

The Hateful Eight (2015)

The Hateful Eight (2015)
“The Cabin in the Snow” In The Hateful Eight (2015), Quentin Tarantino uses the cinema’s ability to manipulate space in ways that harken back to the great baroque Westerns made during the late classical Hollywood period. The film’s opening sequence, a grandiose exploration of the snowy landscape of the American northwest, with a mountain looming ...