I am finally back to reviewing Western movies, which I will share now and then along with my other thoughts on films. For more of my movie reviews, click here to follow me on Letterboxd.
This week focuses on a Western documentary about Wyatt Earp, early cinema, and the myth of the West.
AND WITH HIM CAME THE WEST (2019)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Mike Plante presents a video essay that has ambitions to connect the birth of film, the history of Wyatt Earp, and the myth of the West. He sometimes succeeds, especially when his edit relies more on the essay-like assembly of images and narration. But he gets distracted with a more documentary approach to showing modern day Tombstone and trying to connect pieces that don’t.
As much fun as it is to see the city where I’ve spent a good deal of time and have affection for (along with some familiar faces), the sections of the film showing re-enactments of the OK Corral gunfight and interviewing the performers draw away from Plante’s more fascinating and original ideas. They feel like part of another film, one that aims to point fingers at such shows for glorifying violence. Unless I misread his intentions, Plante was reaching for a much more in depth examination of cinema, myth, and the West which sadly doesn’t quite come together.
Watched on Criterion Channel