Skyfall of Western

Skyfall of Western

     In 2012, 23th movie of James Bond has been published. This movie, “Skyfall”, is very meaningful because after the first film, 007 series celebrated its 50th anniversary in that year. On encountering the UA’s marketing strategy using “Bondian” aspects of Leone’s Dollars trilogy(Western, Go Home!, William Mcclain, p.55), I thought that the destiny of Bond and that of the western have something in common.

Since the development of new technology, the existence of Bond has been considered as unworthy. The way for him to carry out the missions is inefficient and old-fashioned in the modern society because he depends on his body, not the technology. In the film, Bond was shot by a co-worker. This indicates the time using his own body was ended, which means the death of Bond era. Similarity, the western, which was regarded as the national symbol and genre of America, experienced a period of decline. We were used to think the horses, the hats, the spurs, leather vests and good against evil (William Mcclain, P.61) as the representation of America. As the typical western symbols became just a cliché, the western experienced the moment of death. (William Mcclain, P.61)

Moreover, both movies have a new change in common. By changing the existing genre, the spaghetti western (Willian Mcclain, p.52) announced the launch of a new Western. In A fistful of Dollars, a masterpiece of the spaghetti Western, the man with no name (Willian Mcclain, p.55) appears and he fights for the benefit of his own rather than the confrontation of good and evil. (Willian Mcclain, p.62) In addition, he received criticism from critics because there was no clear theme but only ruthless violence.(Willian Mcclain, p.56) However, it was gradually recognized as a genre that had been modified so as to be allowed to intention of Western criticism. (Willian Mcclain, p.62) James Bond in the movie also starts a new life with a destruction of Skyfall where his trauma remained. The destruction of Skyfall implies the emergence of new James Bond, like the spaghetti western, who is different from the past.

Q. what is the future of the western?

Q. Is there any other challenges to the western?

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2 Responses to Skyfall of Western

  1. Janice says:

    To respond to the evolution of the western genre in response to changing times and the loss of the “frontier”: Westerns embody the fantasy of raw interaction between humans and nature and between humans and humans on the frontier (the edges of civilisation). No matter how advanced a civilisation gets, I imagine that there will always be a desire to experience those situations in the unsettled wilderness (an environment hostile to people, such as a baking desert or freezing tundra).

    I once read that the cowboy could be considered akin to the knight errant of Arthurian romances – the lone figure of undetermined alliance/morality and sometimes self-serving goals. He travelled in search of adventures or quests to prove his fighting skill or nobility. The archetypes within a western (the scruffy hero with a mysterious past, the town in need of saving, the unscrupulous gangster) will always persist, just in different settings …like space, the “final frontier.” Star Wars and Firefly are stories about space cowboys battling injustice or trying to make a profit on foreign planets, in the way that A Fistful of Dollars was a shogun-era story set in a western town.

    I liked your comparison of the Bond movies to the western genre, since both are a sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy: James Bond is for everyone who has ever wanted to be a suave secret spy, and the cowboy is for everyone who wants to ride alone into the untamed frontier and exercise justice. In a meta sort of way, Bond needs to adapt the way the western genre is. He learns to also use technology instead of solely relying on his physical talents, the same way that westerns are evolving to accommodate spaceships and proton cannons.

  2. Liz says:

    First of all, I want to say that your reading response is really interesting in that making relation between James Bond movie, Skyfall, and western movie that we’ve learned. I really like this kind of interpretation which is related to movies. In that sense, your interpretation reminds me another movie, Dark Night, which is another one-man hero, Batman, like James Bond in Skyfall. In this movie, Dark Night, there is super hero agonizing his faith. He is not just simple super hero who are just happy with helping people. Of course, he want to help people and secure his city, but the new and more powerful villain like Joker appears because of him, and he also had to give a city’s hero’ seat to the new prosecutor who is in the boundary of law and has official authority unlike batman. There is also another movie about agonizing super hero, which is Spider-man series. Like the characters in these movie, these super heroes are not the only one who can solve the whole city’s problem and also, not the one who have outstanding power over everything. They are also human being in the society. They also consider relationship between themselves and society, and also their effects.
    I think our new western hero is like these super heroes. As the sense of the times has been changed, the only one power overwhelming everything does not make sense. I think the future western would be understood in the context of the relationship with other things and heroes without concerning anything like old days’ hero also would disappear.

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