Monday, October 5, 2015

The Shooting

Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson    d/  Monte Hellman

The first existential western...from 1966. We follow a small group as they conduct a revenge-driven manhunt into the deserts of southern Utah. The details of the plot line were left deliberately obscure - the real meaning of the film was the folly, cruelty and ultimate meaninglessness of human striving.

Beautifully shot using the majestic landscape to full advantage. One shot - the sight of the tiny people scrabbling on the towering mountain - perfectly encapsulates the insignificance of their quest. They will shoot, die and their bodies will rot. The mountain won't notice...any more than it notices the ants which run around on its flanks. It will endure...unlike the people...regardless of their sense of self-importance.

A landmark film which intrigues today, fifty years after its making.


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