Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lazy Sunday # 343: The Gunfighter

The launch of the new TV season is well underway. And we’re being inundated by promos for all the new and returning shows, all of them knowing they’ve got to catch our attention quick or risk an early departure.

Most of these shows drive home their premise in these ads, making sure we know exactly what we’ll be getting. Others play coy, hinting at what might be in store, leaving it to our imaginations.

Among the latter group is CBC’s new series “Strange Empire” a Western featuring mostly female characters and promising to upend “Western conventions”.

Now, there’s probably no genre with more conventions than the Western and there’s almost as long a line of movies and TV series which have played around with them.

Sometimes, with “Blazing Saddles” or “F Troop” taking a different tack has proven quite successful. And now and again, a film such as “A Million Ways To Die In The West” comes along to suggest it’s maybe better to leave well enough alone.

However, all of those titles are comedies and from what I can glean from the “Strange Empire” promos, the intent is to tell a serious Western story quite seriously.

That’s a bigger challenge for audiences and after watching the “Strange Empire” trailer here, I started wondering if you maybe might want to get really good at a genre before you went about upending it.

Still -- I hope it goes well for them –- at least as well as upending Western conventions worked for director Erick Kissack and writer Kevin Tenglin’s brilliant little film “The Gunfighter” winner of the Audience Award for Best Short Film of the LA Film Fest.

Enjoy Your Sunday…

The Gunfighter from Eric Kissack on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Birgit said...

I have seen the promos and I love westerns but I can't grapple with a sexy gunfighter wrench. Of course there were female gunfighters-Calamity Jane being the most famous but she definitely didn't wear clothes to make the men go hubba hubba. I don't think it will last because they are trying to modernize the western and that can't be done. It goes against the grain