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'Art and the theory of art': "The Man from Laramie" and the Anthony Mann Western

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Anthony Mann

As much as any other filmmaker who found a niche in a given genre, in the 10 Westerns Anthony Mann directed from 1950 to 1958 he carved out a place in film history as one who not only reveled in the conventions of that particular form, but also as one who imbued in it a distinct aesthetic and narrative approach. In doing so, Mann created Westerns that were simultaneously about the making of the West as a historical phenomenon, as well as about the making of its own developing cinematic genus. At the same time, he also established the traits that would define his auteur status, formal devices that lend his work the qualities of a director who enjoyed, understood, and readily exploited and manipulated a type of film's essential features.

Though he made several fine pictures outside the Western, Mann as an American auteur is most notably recognized for his work in this field,
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Director & Actor Teams: The Overlooked & Underrated (Part 1 of 2)

Cinema is a kind of uber-art form that’s made up of a multitude of other forms of art including writing, directing, acting, drawing, design, photography and fashion. As such, film is, as all cinema aficionados know, a highly collaborative venture.

One of the most consistently fascinating collaborations in cinema is that of the director and actor.

This article will examine some of the great director & actor teams. It’s important to note that this piece is not intended as a film history survey detailing all the generally revered collaborations.

There is a wealth of information and study available on such duos as John Ford & John Wayne, Howard Hawks & John Wayne, Elia Kazan & Marlon Brando, Akira Kurosawa & Toshiro Mifune, Alfred Hitchcock & James Stewart, Ingmar Bergman & Max Von Sydow, Federico Fellini & Giulietta Masina/Marcello Mastroianni, Billy Wilder & Jack Lemmon, Francis Ford Coppola & Al Pacino, Woody Allen & Diane Keaton, Martin Scorsese & Robert DeNiro
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Making Of The West: Mythmakers and truth-tellers

The “adult” Western – as it would come to be called – was a long time coming. A Hollywood staple since the days of The Great Train Robbery (1903), the Western offered spectacle and action set against the uniquely American milieu of the Old West – a historical period which, at the dawn of the motion picture industry, was still fresh in the nation’s memory. What the genre rarely offered was dramatic substance.

Early Westerns often adopted the same traditions of the popular Wild West literature and dime novels of the 19th and early 20th centuries producing, as a consequence, highly romantic, almost purely mythic portraits the Old West. Through the early decades of the motion picture industry, the genre went through several creative cycles, alternately tilting from fanciful to realistic and back again. By the early sound era, and despite such serious efforts as The Big Trail (1930) and The Virginian (1929), Hollywood Westerns were,
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