Saturday, May 28, 2011

From: "The Book of Air and Shadows" (Of tropes and gunslingers ...)

R World: Michael Gruber on Life and Fiction:


Quick Draw McGraw (via TV Acres)


"No, the movies come first. For example, no one ever had a fast-draw face-to-face shoot-out on the dusty Main Street in a western town. It never happened, ever. A screenwriter invented it for dramatic effect. It's the classic American trope, redemption through violence, and it comes through the movies. There were very few handguns in the real old west. They were expensive and heavy and no one but an idiot would wear them in a side holster. On a horse? When you wanted to kill someone in the Old West, you waited for your chance and shot him in the back, usually with a shotgun. Now we have a zillion handguns because the movies taught us that a handgun is something a real man has to have, and people really kill each other like fictional western gunslingers. And it's not just thugs. Movies shape everyone's reality, to the extent that it's shaped by human action - foreign policy, business, sexual relationships, family dynamics, the whole nine yards. It used to be the Bible but now it's movies."

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