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Racism and Wayne

Film 'The searchers' with an introductory lecture by George Blaustein

15Nov2018 18:30 - 22:00


15 November, the Library organizes a film event in the Belle van Zuylenzaal of the University Library Singel.

Belle van Zuylenzaal

The western classic ‘The Searchers’ (1956) is considered one of the most influential movies of the post-war period. It is a psychological study of a revenge-driven Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards (sublimely portrayed by John Wayne) and his quest to find his kidnapped niece.

The themes that the film is dealing with are as typical as they are universal. Clash of cultures, racism, chaos versus civilization, family and honor, but it’s mainly the intensity and the ambiguity of the main character that make the film so groundbreaking and timeless. 

Countless film makers of the so called New Hollywood were influenced by the uncompromising and psychotic portrayal by John Wayne, in particular Paul Schrader’s ‘Hardcore’ and the chilling masterpiece by Martin Scorsese ‘Taxi Driver’. 

portrait of George Blaustein

photo by Raymond van Mil

Assistant professor of American Studies George Blaustein will look at The Searchers as the apotheosis of the Western as a genre. But John Ford’s greatest film is also unique, remarkable for its afterlife outside the United States. This introduction will reflect on the workings of the genre that won’t die: what the Western meant, as well as what it might mean now, as new spins on the Western abound.

Librarian and cinephile Marko Petrovic will give a short introduction about the making of the film and the contradictory persona of the legendary film director John Ford. 

Seats are limited, so please register if you plan to attend.

Published by  Library UvA