"Each man has a song and this is my song." (Leonard Cohen)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Westerns fill movie theaters

Make more Westerns

Another excellent thing about the new True Grit was that the movie theater I saw it in was packed for a Western at the early evening performance on a Thursday. The Coen brothers and an Oscarable Jeff Bridges certainly help pack them in. But it's a very good sign. See, studios? People will pay to see a good Western. Start producing more!

Immediately, please.

The 'death of the Western' is often predicted or even announced. It hasn't happened yet. There are too many of us willing to pay $$$ to see them.
Yet another good thing, given that I live and watch my Westerns in France, is that this time, unlike 1969, they did not make lame attempts to translate the title. The film was called True Grit and not 100 Dollars pour le Shérif, which is about as lame as you can get. The only non-English word I know for "grit" in this sense is the Italian word grinta. (Perhaps the etymological orgin of grit?) Indeed, the film currently showing in Milan is Il Grinta, an excellent title. French seems to possess no such word.

Although the Italians couldn't resist adding their adored word vendetta. But actually, the Charles Portis story is not one of vendetta, either in the Italian sense or the more common English one of simple revenge.

Some other bad translations are Temple de acero (Argentina), Bravura indômita (Brazil), Le Vrai Courage (French Canada), Indomável (Portugal), Opradová kuráz (Czech Republic) and Valor de ley (Spain). They would all have done better to do as Japan did and call it True Grit.

Anyway, I may have to go back and see it again today.

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