Monday, December 12, 2005
The Old West Ain't What It Used To Be
And I'm not sure about the notion that gay cowboys wouldn't be interested in a job that is 'seething with testosterone.' And I won't go near the question of the metaphor of job seething a hormone of any sort.
But I have to point out a problem with your premise:
The Western myth had been thoroughly deconstructed decades before Dances With Wolves by Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah and the scores of lesser films their work inspired. There have never been badder good guys than in Leone's films nor more graphic wounds than in The Wild Bunch. Films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid certainly presented some of the great Western anti-heros of all time and films like McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Buffalo Bill and the Indians from Robert Altman were designed to go counter to all genre expectations. Eastwood himself, with High Planes Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales and Pale Rider had already begun his work of countering the genre. By the time of Dances With Wolves, just about every myth of the Old West -- from Little Bighorn to the OK Corral -- had been retold in a revisionist way.
Also, not to be too much of a schoolmarm, but as far as I know, the Calvary plays no role in Costner's film, though the Cavalry does play an important role. And when they show up, I may have shuddered, but I didn't shutter – the theater didn't provide any shutters for me to shutter.