Arts Commission features movie critic Robert Horton
The Snohomish County Arts Commission presents “The End of the Trail, How the Western Movie Rode into the Sunset,” with Robert Horton, Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Cole Gallery in downtown Edmonds. The lecture begins at 7 p.m.
The Western was America’s bedrock mythology – and greatest movie genre – for the first 70 years of film history.
But during a tumultuous period in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the “revisionist” Western took up a fiercely critical argument with the past: In the disillusioned age of the counterculture and Vietnam, you could no longer distinguish heroes from villains by the color of their hats.
Movie critic Robert Horton will lead a discussion asking how movies reflect the history and culture of their times. Because of the dramatic changes seen in Westerns, the genre forces us to look critically at our own myths.
Why do we need the clarity of “good guys” and “bad guys” at certain times? Why do we sometimes embrace a more ambiguous view of human nature? How do these movies challenge our way of thinking – and what happens to us when a movie forces us to question our long-cherished beliefs?
Horton has spent more than 30 years writing and talking about film. A graduate of the University of Washington, he reviews movies for The Herald in Everett and KUOW-FM in Seattle, as well as a number of national publications.
His books on film include Billy Wilder: Interviews and Frankenstein, and he co-authored the zombie Western graphic novel Rotten.
Horton also curates Magic Lantern, a film-discussion series at the Frye Art Museum, has taught film at Seattle University and blogs on movies at The Crop Duster.