SCREENED in the RE-MIX/ MEDIA Festival 2010
An American morality tale, with a female reporter’s voiceover about disguising herself as a soldier in Israel, The setting starts in a typical motel room: 2 beds, a picture on the wall, a lamp on a table. Mixed in are landscapes of New York City’s judicial neighborhood and Western locals: Monument Valley, Glenwood Springs, CO (grave of Doc Holliday) and Tombstone, AZ (shoot out at the OK corral), and appropriated images from American movies and TV shows: JACK SLADE, The RIFLEMAN, HOUR of the GUN, GUNFIGHT at the O.K. CORRAL, and the holler from TOMBSTONE.
The “Western” is an American fiction genre, devoted to telling stories set in the 19th Century American West that existed as popular entertainment for the American public. They are often set in brutal landscapes that act not only as a spectacular backdrop, but also as a character itself. Indeed many such places could be said to influence actions that took place there.
Westerns tell simple morality tales. Stories about “how the West was’won’” parallel those about conquering “the enemy”. The historic gunfight at the O.K. Corral, portrayed in numerous films, has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order. A number of long-running TV Westerns became classics; their peak year was 1959, with 26 such shows airing during prime-time. If this was the television/entertainment staple for the American public what effect did it’s continued broadcast have in shaping our society’s mindset?
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