“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Monday, 8 September 2014

True Grit and false dawns.

I watched the Coen Brothers re-make of the old John Wayne classic True Grit the other day. The 1969 John Wayne version was I suppose the point in cinema history when the Hollywood western finally became well and truly politically incorrect. There was no doubting the right-wing views of Wayne and no doubting either that to a very large extent the story of the Old West is one of exploitation of people and degradation of the environment. But the story is also one of rugged individualism and high adventure that has struck a cord with generations of film and pulp-fiction fans. I think that both versions of True Grit paint pretty much the picture of a brief moment in history that we want to believe in and a set of values that, despite the best efforts of the moral gatekeepers of the left, we all have a grudging respect for.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

That is the problem with truth in art, even in the Hollywood movies.We all known that the history of the west was one of exploitation, and sheer gangsterism, but the virtues represented by its actors stand out. There are very few cliches of greater moral significance than the one about 'A man's got to do what a man must do'. Here is where I stand and damn the consequences. From Antigone to High Noon. As G.W.F Hegel said: 'Happy is the land without heroes'.