Eeriness made manifest. Hellman's genius editing creates an off kilter world where you never know where anything's coming from, or what's gonna happen (though a flute is never a good omen). Incomprehensible, but mesmerising. Oates is brilliant, as is Millie Perkins - the psychotronic Liz Taylor. Last Gunfight at Marienbad, anyone?
I think some of the bitter feelings or disappointment someone might have towards this film comes, mostly, from the expectations of what a western is supposed to be. It's far from perfect, but the existentialism and psychological weight in the genre is something to value. Since I went into it with no prior context, I may need to rewatch it for the things I might have missed, knowing now where it's headed.
I think this anticipates the kind of revisions they would make to the idea of genre in the 1980s/90s (even up until today), not in the Golden Age. It skims across the tawdry realities in order to grasp at Pure Existential Allegory. It's style is remarkably stripped for the heady days of the 60s, and I must give it credit for that restraint. Yet the central enigma feels a bit fabricated, loosely applicable to analysis
Atypical western, suspensful desert pursuit...heavy and rather atmospheric one for the genre. The bad thing is the lack of substance when you look more in details. I'm not a fan despite I prefere this to most of U.S western films from the so called golden era.
An albeit unique western, it is also one that feels empty. That may have to do with the barrenness of the landscape, portrayed as desolate in a way I haven't often seen in the genre, but also it may have to do with the thinness of the plot and seemingly random and arbitrary aura of the film itself. The characters actions don't seem to make a lot of sense, and the the whole thing feels underwhelming and unnecessary
This Beckettian oater is a rambling, spare vision of doom, with the epic nothingness of the desert standing in for the flames of hell. Figures ride on horses that keep dying, trudging through a meaningless, barely coherent search for a town, or a person, or it's not entirely clear what. Chances are those tracks they left will be followed by another doomed caravan, it's trail of blood resembling an ouroboros.
This masterpiece of a western is such, not in a John Ford or Sam Peckinpah way, but in a way completely of it's own. That is one of the reasons it stands out to me in a sea of genre storytelling. It is minimal and cryptic, but no less immersive than the best of the straight narratives of it's type.
If the West had always been a subject for myth, here it comes closest to allegory: an expanse where Death, Guilt, Other, Self, etc. roam and find their resting place. It's open to myriad interpretations—nothing too tidy, since it's got all the tidiness of a Corman film shot in three weeks—but the point is that it encourages interpretation and makes it irresistible. For 1966, a Western closer to Bergman than Ford.
Atractivo western sobre una huida, una mujer sin nombre y dos hombres que sin saberlo han sdido contratados como cazarecompenzas. "El tiroteo" inicia con varias interrogantes que tienen ese sabor de misterios, los cuales no se responden, sino se asumen. ¿Por qué un hombre se sentó a esperar la muerte? ¿por qué los caballos van muriendo? ¿Las huellas no era de un gran grupo? Un final que incluso desconcierta