Using the example of the fundamental American film genre, the Western, this book sets out to evaluate modern Hollywood on the basis of aesthetic, industrial, and ideological factors by the comparison of its formative stage «New Hollywood» (1967-1976) with its contemporary make up «Hollywood Now» (2001-now). The centerpiece of the book is the analysis of a broad range of Westerns, incorporating roughly 100 films and presenting fresh perspectives on classics like
The Wild Bunch and
Little Big Man, but also discussing neglected films like
Billy Two Hats and
Bad Company, and modern films such as
Brokeback Mountain and
No Country for Old Men. A main argument is that the Western has developed from a predominantly conservative genre in classical Hollywood to a medium for artistic innovation and subversive political implications in «New Hollywood» to a cultural artifact that bespeaks a self-reflexive scrutiny of cinematic artifice in «Hollywood Now».
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien 2011. 539 pp., 1 CD
Contents: Theory of film genres – Aesthetic, industrial, and ideological comparison of «New Hollywood» (1967-1976) and «Hollywood
Now» (2001-now) – Formal and thematic analysis of representative films of the Western genre with respect to technical innovations,
modifications of classical genre patterns, reflections of contemporary politics.