Western Film Festival (25th – 27th September 2014) - Celebrating the World Tourism Day at American Center Auditorium

A Potpourri of Vestiges Feature

Western Film Festival, Festival Poster

American Center, in collaboration with Cinedarbar, is organizing 'World Tourism Day' and 'Western Film Festival' from 25th -27th September 2014 at the American Center Auditorium, 24, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110001. As the name suggests, the three day film festival will celebrate Western genre as a theme and will screen as many as six classic Westerns viz. ‘High Noon’, ‘The Searchers’, ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’, ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’, ‘The Wild Bunch’ and ‘Unforgiven’.

Western genre often depict conflicts with Native Americans and generally take place in the post-Civil War era, raising a number of important issues about the nature of American society. Cowboys play a prominent role in Western movies. The breathtaking settings, open landscapes and distinctive western clothing (denim, jeans, boots, etc.) are the persistent theme of Western movies showcasing American culture set between 1850’s and 1990.

Western genre has often been looked upon by less gifted filmmakers as a convenient framework to transform their commonplace ideas into financially successful films based on tried and tested themes like revenge, redemption and tragedy. 

Owing to the dearth of ideas that combine novelty with practicability the Western genre, from time to time, finds itself in a mess. The genre is often plagued by the underlining mediocrity of the run-of-the-mill films made by opportunistic, less gifted filmmakers as the stereotype that the Western is a simplistic, racist and misogynistic genre lingers on, occluding the reality that the Westerns are fully capable of presenting complex themes that highlight the conflict of savagery versus civilization, morality versus law, life versus death, etc. It, therefore, becomes essential to revisit the timeless classics of the genre that demonstrate the aforementioned complex motifs an be leveraged upon to  formulate a powerful cinematic treatise enriched with several vital elements of poetry like metaphors, symbolism, allusion, and imagery.   

Coming back to the Western Film Festival, please bear in mind that the movie screening will be followed by the interactive sessions with eminent film scholars who would be sharing their knowledge and thoughts about the films on display at the festival as well as the ‘Western’ genre at large. The audience members can also win exciting prizes by answering fun quiz questions based on the movies. The visitors can also enjoy music inspired by the Western genre which will be played throughout the duration of the festival creating the atmosphere. Handouts which will include film reviews will also be available at the venue after each screening for the audience. The whole center will be in its true American mood in order to bring Indian audiences closer to America.

The entry to the festival is free and open for general public. Please carry an original valid photo ID to enter the American Center.

Festival Schedule

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

High Noon (1952) (85 minutes)

Gary Copper and Grace Kelly in High Noon, Directed by  Fred Zinnemann

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.

Friday, September 26, 2014, 3:30 p.m.

The Searchers (1956) (119 minutes)

John Wayne as Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, Directed by John Ford

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.

Friday, September 26, 2014, 6:00 p.m.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) (123 minutes)

John Wayne as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart as Ransom Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Directed by John Ford

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 12:30 p.m.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (110 minutes)

Robert Redford, Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Directed by George Roy Hill

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Saturday, September 27, 2014, 3:00 p.m.
The Wild Bunch (1969) (143 minutes)
William Holden as Pike Bishop in The Wild Bunch, Directed by Sam Peckinpah

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Unforgiven (1992) (131 minutes)
Clint Eastwood as Bill Munny, Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan, in Unforgiven, Directed by Clint Eastwood

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

- Murtaza Ali

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