Monday, March 05, 2007

The Great Train Robbery

I'm taking a course called "Ideas of the Western", where we read Western novels and watch cowboy movies and discuss how the ideas of the Western that we're seeing function to create American national identity (hello, George W. anyone?) Last class, I gave a presentation on "Brokeback Mountain", and a conversation came up about the song "Quizas Quizas Quizas" (in English, it's "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps", and there are versions by Doris Day and Cake, I think). I sent my friend B a copy of a clip from one of my favourite movies, "Strictly Ballroom", where the characters dance to "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps". B is Mexican, and apparently in Mexico, when you want to know if someone will commit to you but they won't say it, you play them this song, which I thought was really cool. An entire mating ritual based around a song that everyone knows is so interesting! And in exchange for sending her that clip, she sent me "The Great Train Robbery". For any of you interested in film history, you probably already know that "The Great Train Robbery" is the first movie to tell a story, and, lo and behold, it's also a sort of Western. So, for your enjoyment, here it is. Just a couple of things to keep in mind when watching. A) This was once cutting edge technology B) Watch for the moment when the body gets thrown off of train. Prepare to laugh C) People thought that the final frames were so shocking that many of the women in the audience fainted. Compare to the advent of 3D movies and you might kind of understand. Enjoy!


The hubby said...

ahhh, fun classic cinema.
The end scenes would be surprising and shocking in those days, it's true! xo