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Story of Our Lives: How Hollywood Won the West

Various, Film Series (1992)

Story of Our Lives: How Hollywood Won the West

Story of Our Lives documents a film series of that title screened in Fall, 1992. The series attempted to give local movie audiences a critical entree to Westerns, the Hollywood entertainments that have become synonymous with popular history. The curator of the series was Paul Chaat Smith, a Washington-based Comanche screenwriter and critic. Transposing the post-structuralist critique of master narratives into a more vernacular history of The Big Movie, Smith's essay humourously demonstrates the complex relationships between mainstream movie making and First Nations audiences, actors and would-be filmmakers. Equally critical of the recent pictures that nostalgically exalt and idealize Indians, Smith asks, "Why are bad intentions often so much more entertaining than good ones?" The essay is followed by suggested readings and detailed program notes on 15 movies. Selections include Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josie Wales, several John Ford movies, and Robert Altman's Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson. A poster reproducing the cover design is also available.

Curator: Paul Chaat Smith
Description: 12 pages
Essay: Paul Chaat Smith
ISBN: 0-920085-54-7

Retail Price: $2.00
Wholesale Price: $1.50
RPL Call Number: 709 SMITH

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