By Peter C. Rollins
Offering either in-depth analyses of particular movies and overviews of the industry's output, Hollywood's Indian presents insightful characterizations of the depiction of the local americans in movie. This up-to-date version features a new bankruptcy on Smoke signs, the groundbreaking self sufficient movie written by way of Sherman Alexie and directed by means of Chris Eyre. Taken as a complete the essays discover the various ways that those portrayals have made an impression on our collective cultural life.
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Additional resources for Hollywood's Indian: The Portrayal of the Native American in Film
In Drums Along the Mohawk, would the Indians have seemed so menacing if their painted faces and the farmhouses they set on fire had been filmed in black and white instead of color? With few exceptions, Indians have come to the screen most often in films about the American West. As Will Wright points out in his Sixguns and Society: A Structural Study of the Western (1975), Western films have a mythology and a method all their own. Wright makes it clear that although the Western has several standard plot variations, its popularity with filmmakers (and other artists) over the years depends mainly on the human conflicts involved in life on the critical edge between wilderness and civilization.
This week-long TV miniseries featured the exploits of two ex-Texas Rangers herding cattle from Texas to Montana. Indians were definitely the backdrop along every mile of this arduous and totally forgettable adventure. Natural Born Killers. 1994. Warner Bros. Directed by Oliver Stone. The film is filled, wall-to-wall, with Route 66 Indian trading-post imagery. One situation is staged around a dances-with-tornado sequence at Shiprock, New Mexico (where, such a phenomena has never been witnessed).
Touchstone Pictures. Directed by Arthur Hiller. A zany comedy chase-adventure that goes nowhere fast. Features elements of Pueblo Indians in the plot. Some of the scenes were filmed in the Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico. Maybe one of its only redeeming aspects. Pocahontas. 1995. Disney Productions. Directed by Mike Gabriel and Eric Goldberg. A revisionist history of an American myth. The English Governor Ratcliffe of the ill-fated Virginia Colony is transposed as a gold-hungry Spanish conquistador.