The Wild West in the South of France


The Cannes Film Festival has become a rescue home for lost movie genres. In our last post we discussed the return of the erotic drama, notably Mathieu Amalric’s The Blue Room. Today, it’s the Western. The backbone of American movies from the 1930s through the ’70s, the Western nearly disappeared as Hollywood traded in the historical past for the fantasy future, and six-shooters for light sabers.

Yes, Star Wars is a Western in space suits (actually, it’s a version of Akira Kurosawa’s “Eastern Western” The Hidden Fortress, inspired by many a Hollywood oater). And the superheroes of Marvel movies are often outsized outsiders with grudges: John Wayne types who save the world instead of a stagecoach. But real Westerns, set in 19th-century pioneer days as wagon wheels dig ruts into the unforgiving plains, are hard to find — unless you come to this year’s Cannes and find…

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