While the western as a living genre continues to fade into a folk memory, the postmodern neo-western – melancholic, world-weary and demystifyingly ironic – is well established as its inheritor. Jim Jarmusch arguably provided the modern template for this strain with his 1995 Dead Man, and the British director John Maclean rode in that film’s wake with his recent Slow West. Jacques Audiard looks as if he’ll be continuing the tradition with his forthcoming The Sisters Brothers, based on the supremely knowing, not to say Coens-y novel by Patrick deWitt. Meanwhile, playing in the Berlin competition, here is Damsel from eccentric film-making duo David and Nathan Zellner.
The Texan brothers weighed in with a quest narrative with their last film, Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, about a young