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Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The films of Peter Strickland

    After the release of his latest film, In Fabric, Peter Strickland could be considered one of the most distinctive voices in British cinema today. Is there another filmmaker whose work is similar to his? Are there any signature traits which permeate his films to-date?

    • A well-known name by many thatis very influential on others. – devonmb0709 8 months ago
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    I liked your article as I’m very interested in the emergence and evolution of the Neo-Western, however there were a few points I’d like to question:

    – You refer to Llewelyn Moss as “the heroic gunslinger” character type however I feel there isn’t a lot which is ‘heroic’ about him, given that he steals money (albeit from a drug-deal shootout) and runs from danger whenever it arises.

    – It is mentioned that “classic westerns have the lawbreakers as bank-robbing champions, oozing sex appeal” however this seems to be too much of a generalisation; I’m not sure the careers and casting of Lee van Cleef (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), Emilio Fern├índez (The Wild Bunch) or Ian McDonald (High Noon) were a result of their oozing sex appeal.

    – You claim that No Country For Old Men “acts as a deterrent to breaking the law” – whilst this might be true for Moss, Chigurh’s regular committing of crimes and no comeuppance suggest otherwise.

    Neo-Westerns: Conquering The New Frontier

    Something which is worth noting about the post-9/11 American war film is how the American public at the box office started to ‘vote’ (by buying tickets) for a certain type of war film, at the same time as (many of them) voted for the change from Bush to Obama.

    By the end of the Bush-era, the 9/11-themed anti-war films waned in popularity (e.g. Redacted, Stop-Loss, The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs, A Mighty Heart, Rendition, etc.) until Bigelow and Boal released The Hurt Locker, which changed that landscape.

    I find it interesting that the post-9/11 American war film often didn’t reflect the country’s zeitgeist: the years of the Bush administration yielded many (seemingly) anti-war texts, whilst under Obama, Zero Dark Thirty, which appeared to condone extraordinary rendition in the name of getting results, enjoyed commercial and critical successes.

    The Changing Face of Heroism in Post 9/11 Films on War

    I often feel that one of the saddest things about this great film is that people Fletcher, unfortunately, are going to be part of Andrew’s dreams, and he’s going to need to survive them in order to pursue his dreams. Andrew adopts an attitude of “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” which in turn means the more time Andrew spends with Fletcher, the more he becomes like him: adopting an aggressive tone, changing his language (as shown in the family dinner scene) and becoming so single-minded as to marginalise the most important people in his life such as his father and Nicole.

    Whiplash: The Cost of Dreams