Western, genre of short stories , novels ,motion pictures, radio and television are set the in the western part of America .This genre’s era was between 1850’s till the early 19th century . It did revive in the 20th century but dint gain as much popularity .
What are the western characteristics that catches everyone attention ?
The most obvious one would be the costume of the cowboy .The main props the hat and the six-gun (pistole ) . I found the gun part also know as the” pacemaker ” a bit interesting and found out that there are some icon guns that are used .Colt Single Action Army,Winchester Model 1873 and Sharps Rifles. “The appearance of one distinctive gun that has long been viewed as the quintessential peacemaker, and that gun is the Colt Single Action Army, also known as the Colt 45 and the Colt M1873. Not all of our western pistols are the famous Colt, though” (Dark Knight Armoury 2016)
Another characteristics that stands out is the landscape . A typical western landscape would be a place surrounded with tall mountains , desert , small villages /town a place where it’s very hot and the sun is shining . Dust is important as well .The village / small town will have small houses lot of stables and the most important place the bar .
•Some of the camera angles that are used in a western include:
•Wide shots- The wide shot ( establishing shot because it show the setting ) show and tell a lot about the film .
•Tilt shots- this usually introduces the stranger, sometimes going from the boots to the head. This can be used to have the character seen as intimidating . They use this shot to create curiosity and built up an interest for us audience . This shot can be used for the hero ,villain or a third person (side kick).
•Close-Up shots- can be used to emphasise drama and facial expression . It’s mostly used when two characters are having a conversation or having a face off .
•Extreme close-ups- usually on the characters eyes when in a duel, showing that they are prepared to fight.In westens it’s mostly the eyes or the sweat the is dripping down the chin . The ECU on the eyes also show the concentration and show that the character might have a plan and he is thinking about it. If the eyes is really focused on one object and the kind of relaxes and the character seems relaxed it might me he has a plan, the other character has done a silly mistake and that could be the week target or the back up of his fellow team mates have surrendered him so he is save
Like another genre western movies also have sub genres and some of them are quite successful ones . I have pick three sub genres and the movies that have stood out which managed to highlight the western genre again
•Sci-fi western: Cowboys vs Aliens
Initial release: July 29, 2011 (USA)
•Western horror: Tremors
Initial release: January 19, 1990 (USA)
Director: Ron Underwood
•Western Comedy: Million ways to die in the west
Initial release: September 18, 2014
Director: Seth MacFarlane
I havent watched Alien vs cowboy and Tremors but I have watched Million ways to die in the west . This movie has a typical hero villain story and how someone stands up to the villian . This movie has all the techniques I mentioned in the camera angles sections.The comedy in the movie is also a bit old stand up type , bur the costumes of the actors were proper westen costumes. The villlian gets a more dark coustume and the hero get the more light costume and the guns play an key role in the movie .
western was a new genre for me as well and exploring was a bir difficult but managed to get and explain as much of infromation I could understand and find . This genre is very diffrent because I felt this genre has very specific characteristics which not followed can changed the genre and it would not match the western theam anymore .