Hazel Miller, Conversations in the Humanities
Robert Horton, The End of the Trail: How the Western Movie Rode Into the Sunset
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, 7 – 8 p.m.
Black Box Theatre, Lecture
Free and open to the public.
The Western was America’s bedrock mythology – and greatest movie genre – for the first 70 years
of film history. But, during a tumultuous period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the “revisionist”
Western took up a fiercely critical argument with the past: In the disillusioned age of the counterculture
and Vietnam, you could no longer distinguish heroes from villains by the color of their hats. Movie
critic Robert Horton will led a discussion asking how movies reflect the history and culture of their
times. Because of the dramatic changes seen in Westerns, the genre forces us to look critically at our
own myths. Why do we need the clarity of “good guys” and “bad guys” at certain times? Why do we
sometimes embrace a more ambiguous view of human nature? How do these movies challenge our way
of thinking – and what happens to us when a movie forces us to question our long-cherished beliefs?