Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Western website

WAI! contributor Lee Broughton has set up a website called Current Thinking on the Western which hosts materials relating to the International Scholars of the Western Network that he convenes. The website, which you can access at , is a resource page for scholars, writers, media practitioners and enthusiasts of the Western worldwide. I recently wrote an article for the website detailing the history of the Westerns All'Italiana! fanzine and blog. You can read the article here

Goodbye Gringo

Goodbye Gringo – International title

A 2017 Italian, Spanish co-production [Istituto Luce Cinecittà (Rome), TV3 –
Televisió (Catalunya), Victor Manuel Fornies, Aragón TV (Madrid), Colibir Studio
Producers:  Iris Martin-Peralta, Pere Marzo, Victor Manuel Forniés Castelar, Raúl Martínez,
Federico Sartori
Director: Pere Marzo
Story: Pere Marzo, Raúl Martínez
Screenplay: Pere Marzo, Raúl Martínez
Photography: Oscar Guillén [color]
Running time: 70 minutes

Romolo Guerrieri, Giorgio Capitani, Alberto Gadea, Paco Marín, Maurizio Amati

Story: Fifty years have passed since the golden age of the western Spaghetti western. The era in which cowboys, Indians, craftsmen, technicians and Italian and Spanish artists lived in different locations in Spain to create, in addition to a profitable economic industry, a real imaginary space. Esplugas City, a western village built 10 kilometers from Barcelona, was one of these places where an authentic cult was born, like Duccio Tessari’s Ringo saga, "Ognuno per sé" by Giorgio Capitani and "Yankee" by Tinto Brass. "Goodbye Ringo" is a reflection on cinema and a movie industry that no longer exists. Through testimonies and revisting the locations, we recollect memories of a now vanished age.

Special Birthdays

Giulio Petroni (director, screenwriter) would have been 100 today, he died in 2010.

Fred Beir (actor) would have beem 90 today, he died in 1980.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RIP Bernie Casey

Actor Bernie Casey, who appeared in such films as Boxcar Bertha, Never Say Never Again and Revenge of the Nerds after a career as a standout NFL wide receiver, has died. He was 78. Born Bernard Terry Casey in Wyco, West Virginia on June 8, 1939 He played football at Bowling Green University and then professionally for the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams before becoming an actor Casey made his movie debut in the sequel Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969), during the  Blaxploitation era starring in such films as “Black Chariot” (1971), “Black Gunn” (1972) and “Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde” (1976), and years later, he appeared in the genre parody “I'm Gonna Git You Sucka” (1988). He’s probably best remembered for two roles TV’s “Brian's Song” and the horror film “Gargoyles”.

Cowboys and 'Indianerfilms' Ride High With Film Lovers in Germany

The Hollywood Reporter
By Scott Roxborough

As Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin and the Coen Brothers “True Grit was welcomed by an audience wild for Westerns.

Germans have a long and enduring love affair with the most American of genres. Wild West tales from “High Noon” to “Once Upon a Time In the West” to “Dances With Wolves” have been huge hits here. There are more than a hundred Wild West clubs across the county where grown men (and a few women) gather to play cowboys and Indians on stage sets of saloons and hitching posts. Iconic Western images of the wide, unbroken horizon, the solitary cowboy on the lonely trail or the sheriff bringing justice to a lawless land are as engraved on the German mind as the characters of Grimm's Fairy Tales.
But there is also a tradition of Westerns made in Germany. In West Germany in the 1960s there were the Winnetou films, based on the Wild West novels of Karl May, a German writer who never visited America. The adventures of the Apache brave Winnetou and his white-skinned blood brother Old Shatterhand were instant hits and are still staples on German TV.
Quentin Tarantino paid tribute to the franchise in “Inglorious Basterds” in the scene where German soldiers are playing a who-am-I guessing game where the answer is "Winnetou, chief of the Apaches!"
Bavarian director Bully Herbig went one step further with his 2001 western spoof “Mannitou's Shoe”, which lovingly mocks the Winnetou films. It earned some $90 million, making it the most successful German film of all time.
It was a different story in the East. If anything, in the former GDR, Westerns were even more popular.
"When I was a kid in Leipzig, East Germany, playing Indians was an antidote to the Young Pioneer's indoctrination and propagated anti-Americanism," says Peter Bischoff, president of the German association for the study of the Western, a non-profit group which boasts the world's largest collection of Western literature worldwide outside the Library of Congress.
But Bischoff, like most Germans, sympathized more with the redskins than the palefaces.
"When the roles were chosen (to play cowboy and Indians), everybody wanted to be an Indian," he says. "It was left to the losers to play the cowboy. Playing Indians connected us to the land of our dreams, the officially scorned capitalist America."
But love of these "imperialist" movies didn't suit East Berlin's communist regime. Instead of fighting their people's love of Westerns, they decided to replace American cowboy movies with state-approved homemade "Indianerfilms" or Indian Films. In these East Germany productions, the traditional hero roles are reversed.
"The imperialist cowboy was substituted by the anti-imperialist Indian who was honored for his brave resistance to Yankee greed and imperialism," says Bischoff. "They were really just agitprop. But popular from 1966 through 1975, DEFA studios made one 'Indianerfilm' a year."
The Western has gone in and out of style in America. Many hailed “True Grit”, with its 10 Oscar nominations and U.S. box office success, as a return to form for the genre. But in Germany, East and West, there's no need for a Westerns comeback. German cowboys and Indians never hung up their guns.