I have to disagree with “How the Western Was Lost (and Why It Matters)”; the article took the waning popularity of the genre as a dire outcome created by our society.
“For a century plus, we have relied on Westerns to teach us our history and reflect our current politics and our place in the world. We can ill afford to lose that mirror now, especially just because we don’t like what we see staring back at us.”
To say that other film genres lack the ability to “hold a mirror” up to society is a vast overstatement. While to the author of that article westerns are an essential medium for social commentary, to me westerns serve as a reliable source of heroes and action packed adventure. While they may be quite predictable, (the town hero comes to save the day from the villainous bandit all while saving the damsel in distress), they remain as timeless stories of heroism and virtuous actions.
I was very excited to learn about the western theme of this course. This allows me the chance to review western film (all in the name of homework!) and develop a better understanding and appreciation for it. I’m curious to learn of our next assignments and how they relate to this theme.