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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘the Bad’ Category

THE ORIENTAL WESTERN — Transoceanic Re-Articulations of an American Genre


For reasons I am at a loss to explain I have been on a Western kick for several months now. I’ve read Louis L’Amour’s A Man Called Noon (meh), Ernest Tidyman’s High Plains Drifter (ok), Forrest Carter’s The Outlaw Josey Wales (good), and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (awe-inspiring). In terms of films, I started out watching Spaghetti Westerns I’d never seen before — Death Rides a Horse, The Big Gundown, Django the Bastard, My Name is Nobody, If You Meet Sartana Pray for Death, Keoma, and The Stranger and the Gunfighter. I then proceeded to revisit some American Westerns like Unforgiven, High Plains Drifter, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, Silverado, Tombstone, and The Quick and the Dead. I even treated myself to the highly entertaining PS3 game Red Dead Redemption, of which I’ve finally completed 100% of the various missions.

Now, I know none of this has anything to do with Hong Kong cinema. And I probably should have been spending all that time watching the HK films gathering dust on my shelf (Eight Diagram Pole Fighter is still waiting for me), but when I have a passion, I follow it through to the very end — and in a very thorough fashion.

To tell you the truth, I also wanted to watch something that had nothing to do with my research — Asian American lit and film/detective fiction — and nothing to do with my quasi-professional interests either — Hong Kong and Asian cinema. But wouldn’t you know it? Both of those interests seeped into my pursuit of a good Western.

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