Sunday, 4 July 2010

Westerns Week

I am glad to announce that I will start my filmmaking course at Metfilm School this September. It's located in Ealing Studios famous for films like Dorian Gray, Easy Virtue and Little Ashes (and many more).

Certainly main goal is to learn the craft of filmmaking, but the craft isn't enough - you also need inspiration. And Metfilm stands for it so they sent me a list of films and books recommended to studying. Half of those films I have already seen but I decided to take this to a different level and review all these films. To make it easier for you and myself I am gong to divide films by genres.

So this week (5--11 July) I am watching Westerns.

Here are ten wonderful Westerns in my list:
*I made some changes to my list due to advices frim my twitter friends*

1. Stagecoach, 1939.
2. High Noon, 1952.
3. The Magnificent Seven, 1960.
4. 7 Samurai, 1954 - It's back!
5. The Misfits, 1961.
6. A fistful of Dollars, 1964. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969
7. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, 1966.
8. The Wild Bunch, 1969 - if I find it
9. Once Upon a Time in the West, 1968
10. High Plains Drifter, 1973.
11. Unforgiven, 1992.
12. The Proposition, 2005.

The choice of films is made according to the IMDB index, different sorts of best western lists and certainly, based on the availability of films. But please do make suggestions and corrections to this list, I am more then welcome to add some more films and welcome your opinion.

So see you on my blog every day - for a fresh review of western classics. And please keep in mind that I am a girl who was born in USSR, so this is quite a different genre to me.


  1. Hi Victoria

    have you seen any Sam Peckinpah movies?
    I would highly recommend The Wild Bunch (1969) but think you might prefer Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid (1973). Extraordinary piece of work.

    Tony Paley

  2. What are some of the other genre weeks you're thinking of?

    Some suggestions:

    Vegas Week
    Movies of TV Shows (that week will probably suck)
    Pixar Week
    Oscar Winning Documentary Week

    I'll try and think of more.

  3. Hi, Tony, thanks for suggestions, no I haven't seen those films, let me check if I can find them - I am especially interested, you were right, in pat garrett and billy the kid. :)

    Hi, Kristopher, to be honest, my genres will be less more prosaic, like Musicals, thrillers, sci-fi. But I liked the idea of Pixar Week (or maybe I'll make it animation week so I can compare Disney, Pixar, Ghibli and some European animations) and documentaries. Thanks for suggestions :)

  4. Hi Victoria
    Slept on it
    Some extra thoughts:

    Rio Bravo (Hawks, 1957), especially as the director made it as a direct riposte to High Noon.

    You have two Leone films. Do consider Once Upon A Time In The West (1969). The summation of his themes and a thesis on Western myths from a European perspective. Title says it all really.

    Something off-the-wall? Johnny Guitar (Ray, 1954)



    If you want one movie that encapsulates the western and is perhaps the masterpiece of the genre it's The Searchers (Ford, 1956).

  5. I saw not many westerns but your upcoming reviews may be a good impulse for me to change this situation. Congratulations with your new filmmaking course, that's very exciting.

  6. Tony, hi, I decided to include Once Upon a Time in the West in my list, thanks again for all the advices, you helped a lot :)

    Lesya, I hope you'll like my reviews, thanks for visiting :)

  7. I am also a firm believer in the fact that you should also have a "Comedian Who Plays the Villain Week."

  8. Victoria
    You will not regret the inclusion of Once Upon A Time In The West.
    It made a deep impression on me when I first saw it.
    Unlike any other western before or since and yet the film "quotes" from any number of great Hollywood westerns of the past.
    Amazing to see on the big screen too.
    If you are interested in reading about it in detail after you have written your thoughts I can recommend the book Spaghetti Westerns by Christopher Frayling. It was the first academic movie book I bought and I still cherish and revisit it today.

  9. ps you are so lucky to be studying at Ealing Studios. A fabulous history. Some of the best British films were made there.
    Kind Hearts And Coronets considered the greatest but my personal favourite is Dead Of Night, a portmanteau of ghost stories, the last of which is brilliantly creepy. The whole story is so clever . . .
    Good luck with that.

  10. Hi Victoria
    Did you find The Wild Bunch?
    Have you seen Once Upon A Time In The West?
    Are you going to post reviews?

  11. We have to the end of week. What say you, Ms. Russo? It would be so funny if your next blog was:

    "Western Week was fun. Next week: Musicals!"

  12. Tony and Kristopher, thanks for checking, as I included 12 movies instead of 7 (and I missed weekend because of football and last Airbender) it takes me a bit more then a week to watch films :)) so consider term "week" to be like two weeks in my Universe. I am going to post all review sin one post as I want to put them together.
    Tony, I have found The Wild Bunch just today, going to watch it tomorrow :))

    Kristopher, I think next week will be animations :))

  13. Football....mmmhmmm.
    The Last *cough* Windbreaker? My goodness! I guess two weeks it is. That's about one a day, I suppose it's alright.

    I do, however, wish you'd let us know after you watch each one and give a 'star' rating. (Or to make it fun-a different object depending upon the theme that week. Western week could be "Seven gunshots outta ten")

    Just a suggestion.

  14. About Animation Week. Some pre-feedback to think about. Even though you haven't asked. hehehehe

    Brad Bird--Went from Iron Giant to Ratatouillie.

    Disney--of course, hand drawn for years, then they tried more than one of their own computer animated films.

    You mentioned the Japanese one. (Can never remember his name)

    There was that one flick: Walking w/Bashir(?)

    Of course, the Richard Linklater movies (A Scanner Darkly and others.)

    Wallace & Gromit is a must!

    Anyway...I was just trying to think of other styles of animation.

  15. Glad you found The Wild Bunch Victoria. Aside from anything else the editing is extraordinary and ground-breaking for the time.