Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

In this article from Rolling Stone, David Feuer takes a look at several films in the Western genre, including Jordan Peele's new film, "No Answer". It gives a new definition to the western film genre, which is called neowestern.

BingMag.com Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

In this article from Rolling Stone, David Feuer takes a look at several films in the Western genre, including Jordan Peele's new film, "No Answer". It gives a new definition to the western film genre, which is called neowestern.

Many definitions can be used to describe the film "Nope" (Nope) by Jordan Peele. You could call it an updated version of the 1950s sci-fi film Watch the Skies, or an homage to a 1970s film directed by Steven Spielberg that started the road to blockbusters (What If UFOs Collided Close Encounter of the Third Kind, were only white sharks extraterrestrial and hungry?), or a 21st-century metatext about the things we watch, and why we keep watching them. All of these interpretations are 100% true for Jordan Peele's new film.

But if you read the many reviews and commentary articles that have been written on this film, which is both horror and commentary, one word comes up repeatedly. It hurts your eyes. The themes and allusions that come up in this film, as well as the scenes where the natives tend to the horses or gallop through the Agua Dulce valley, played by Peele, in his deliberately vague take on Hollywood, with an old semiotic, Daniel Kaluuya's presence at the end With that pose on his horse as if he were the reincarnation of Tom Mix and the Morricone-esque soundtrack playing in the background, the film proves to you all that the director of Get Out, again a multi-layered and styled film In particular, he made a western film.

Of course, this film is not exactly a western; Or at least it is not completely similar to the traditional view we have of western movies; The same six shooters and taverns, white hats and black hats, revolvers and outlaws who roamed the plains in the period between the American Civil War and the country's confrontation with the rise of the 20th century. But there are sequences in Peele's film that were included simply to give the feel of a western, and there are sequences that could have been pulled straight from a western. However, this is only one of the elements in this hybrid genre; There's no question that it's horror or sci-fi, but if you call it a Western, you'll be looked at with suspicion. Yes, the movie is also a Western; Neither.

BingMag.com Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

TV series "Yellowstone"

You can say almost the same thing about "Yellowstone"; The extremely popular series whose fifth season is scheduled to air on Fancy CBS or Paramount Plus in November. Also created by writer-filmmaker Taylor Sheridana bona fide gentleman cowboy whose best work is deeply rooted in the popular mythology of the Wild Westis a colossal saga about the Duttons, a Montana cowboy tribe led by Kevin Costner. His family is in both trade competition and blood relations with the native population of the area, and his subordinates can handle anything; From modern herd thieves to wild grizzly bears. Now, if you remove intra-farm competition, contemporary immigrants, the encroachment of civilization on the last frontier bastions - helicopters and mobile phones, it becomes the telefilm of the eighties "Bonanza". "We just want to live the way we've lived for the last hundred years," one of the younger Duttons tells a sullen town. And you keep coming here and trying to take it from us." Of course, it's a hundred and fifty years old, but we get what the movie means.

However, when you ask friends to put this movie in a certain category, they call it a "neo-western"; Or they don't point out what things the film has borrowed or changed to achieve the traditional features of this genre. MTN director Chris McCarthy said in an article in Variety: "Neowesterns are very unique in terms of their cinematic complexity, but it's okay if you're not into the western genre, because neowesterns are just stories about family relationships." message received; Just because the people in these movies tie calves with ropes and wear cowboy hats doesn't mean it's the kind of old western you thought it would be.

In the third decade of the 20th century, Hollywood movies makes Western with this formula; In fact, no one makes Westerns anymore. They mash up a few genres, or throw in clich western elements, or give the movie a cool name to tell people it's not like those westerns your grandfather used to make. Personally, I kind of like neo-westerns, especially when it comes to Sheridan; It's a good way to show the differences between the past and the present in the best possible way, a way that made his screenplay for the 2016 film If Hell and High Water and his directorial debut, the controversial 2017 film Wind River, will do well.

BingMag.com Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

The No Answer movie

And yes, there are still the occasional "traditional" westerns here and there. It can be seen that they have managed to open their way to the public mind in the last ten years. For example, Quentin Tarantino, a filmmaker who is a genre in himself, has made two examples of these films. Around the same time that The Revenant was struggling to make its way to the Oscars, a slew of independent westerns were making their way to festivals. Last year's The Harder They Fall gave a whole new generation of black actors the opportunity to play in a cinematic space they rarely get the chance to. (What you will about James Samuel's charming tribute to the Gunners saga; you can't underestimate the joy of watching Regina King transform into Clint Eastwood with those 45 Colts.) Thanks to the runaway success of Yellowstone, Sheridan was able to make 1883. Beshad, a prequel to which the story takes place in 1883 and contains two very famous elements of western films; Sam Elliott and Sam Elliott's mustache. Even Costner wants to see if he can recapture the success he once had with Dances With Wolves. Cover it with contemporary storytelling or layer it with many other elements, whether it's using references to other films or large amounts of violence and visual clutter. Consider God's Country, the upcoming movie about a college professor (played by Thandie Newton) who lives in rural Montana. The plot of the film is that two hunters keep trespassing on his land, and think they are allowed to do whatever they like, and they don't care or respect his private property or requests. With this story line, you realize that you are going to see a film about resistance against the enemies.

The fact that he is black and the two men are white takes Julian Higgins' tense and poor quality film to another level; But you can see how films that were originally westerns, with scenes of snow-covered villages in the background and farmhouses, were manipulated and fed into the form of revenge thrillers. Not like No Country For Old Men, another movie that is deep down a western and at the same time presents itself as a country noir film, and actually hits the mark with two arrows. And if, as James Cameron has promised, the sequel to "Avatar" is finally released this December, it may face the same nativist comparisons to the Western genre as its first film. Take away the 3D effects, blue skins and alien plants, and the movie becomes another 'Dances with Wolves in Space'.

BingMag.com Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

The Power of the Dog Movie

Even famous historical dramas that look like old westerns are merely technical quirks. They open this genre. You must remember the uproar that erupted last year after this same Mr. Elliott's comments about Jane Campion's Oscar-nominated film, The Power of the Dog. He shot this story of love and oppression in the great plains of America because the director didn't know how to make a "proper" western. Of course, many objections can be made to Elliot's statement, and he humbly apologized for his words. But even though Eliot was very traditional in form, he may have meant that the story of the film takes place in 1925, long after the "conquest" of the West.

The central core of the film is a cowboy who can best to tame the cows and take a ride from them; On the one hand, he studied at Yale University and sees the cowboy life as more of a rebellion than a way of survival. The film is full of Western semiotics, just like Ang Lee's 2005 film Brokeback Mountain, which when Campion's film was released many compared it to Campion's psychological drama, for the very obvious reasons that when Campion's film See it and you will understand. Which will no doubt come up when Martin Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon, about a serial killer of Osage people in Oklahoma in the 1920s, enters Oscar speculation. So the question is; Are these movies western? And does it really matter if the answer is yes or no?

It is understandable that some people answer this question in the negative; A good movie is still a good movie, and all the talk about genre is just invented for convenience. And the results that What filmmakers, producers, and storytellers have achieved with what the Western genre has given us still amazes many of us, and we're not ready to see the old versions of the genre fade away completely. So it's understandable why a dual sense of ontological thrill and horror pervades every new neo-western film and its multiple offshoots. Since Justus D. Barnes in the movie "The Great Train Robbery" directed by Edwin S. Porter pointed a pistol at the audience, Westerns have been a staple of cinema. It also seems that this genre is more endangered than other genres; A point that is actually the reason for the "negative answer" gossip about Hollywood.

BingMag.com Neowestern in the 21st century; From Jordan Peele’s “No Answer” to “Yellowstone”

The movie "Prey"

It is true that the western genre has turned the history of the American nation into a myth that is harmful to the political establishment. And on the other hand, there have been many great Western films that have been able to question the past and make us think about the present and possibly correct our path for the future. Many concepts can be conveyed to the audience under the "innocent" cover of cowboy hats and horse saddles. If you look at the Freudian westerns of the 1950s and the revisionist films of the 1960s and 1970sheavy Marxist spaghetti westerns with political slogans produced in Italy at the same time as they belongyou realize just how conspiratorial this conservative genre can be.

Fortunately, these conspiratorial streaks can still be found even in 21st century hybrid films that use the vocabulary and DNA of the Western to entertain and educate and simply drive audiences crazy. . For example, a movie like "Prey" became Hulu's most successful movie to date, because people were eager to see a new movie in the "Predator" franchise.

When "Prey" you watch, you see how the film has used the Indian heroine and the symbologies of this genre; How it pits indigenous culture against something that is based on high-tech colonialism (in addition to the colonial system being historically accurate). The film also expands the idea of how one can be an action hero. Thanks to the film's B-grade, which allows it to pass itself off as a loud, traditionalist film that at the same time shows its roots and gives the audience some food for thought, it proves that filmmakers can still Use the form to your advantage. You can also link elements to the main body. And this is how you can make a 21st century western.

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