Twenty-first Century Approaches (2000-2012) from the University of Vigo (Spain)
Edited By Veljka Ruzicka Kenfel
The Rise and Fall of the European West for Youth: Spaghetti and Chorizo Westerns at a Glance
Javier Gil Castaño
The so-called Western genre has always been a part of our lives. In the past, some kids liked imitating the classical cowboy’s way of life, playing the “good guy” who fights evil, eventually winning the lady’s love. That was a continuation of the archetypal medieval male heroes, but peppered with some specific features that have made the genre an eternal source of inspiration.
As adults, most of us have sometimes thought about the values, symbols, and even challenges that these films pose, maybe as a way of understanding why it became such an important genre, capable of making such an impact on the lives of millions for decades.
However, it is known that the different levels of influence of Western films and stories vary depending on features such as social and historical context, motion picture classification (subcategories) and cultural-idiosyncratic elements.
The main purpose of this short paper is to explain the importance of the genre and to analyse the details of the rise and fall of one of its most important subcategories, the Italian-Spanish Western (also known as Spaghetti or Chorizo Westerns for the films made in Italy and Spain, respectively). As some sort of context is always necessary to see how different phenomena develop, the main analytical focus will be on how it influenced children and young adults all throughout its Golden Age in Spain until it decayed and disappeared. Classic...
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