Assassination of Jessie James

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by jtk, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. jtk


    That's a poorly seen review, but it doesn't inject too many narrow minded errors
    into the mix, which is why I selected it for this post.

    How it's relevant to "Philosophy of Photography" :

    1) cinematography is photography.
    2) film making influences still photography and vice-versa (as in this case)
    3) 35mm still sprang from motion picture photography

    One key to the story is Jessie James' media fame, the photographic part of which
    is emphasized two ways in the film.

    1) At the end, two famous portraits are made of Jessie's corpse, one with a
    throng of dressed-up hangers-on, the other with him alone, on ice. Two different
    camera techniques, one with a looooong lens-capped exposure on a big plate, the
    other with flash powder.

    2) All through the film there are lens effects that suggest Petzal and other
    seriously-distorting antique lenses, as well as many, many shots through wavy
    glass, torn screen doors, dirty glass, clouds of cigar smoke, etc etc. In fact,
    perhaps the majority of important scenes are shot that way.

    While I watched, I wondered if some of the images might qualify as

    My girlfriend objected to the over-the top emphasis on these effects, finding
    them distracting. I was slightly annoyed by that excess, but the effects were
    interesting of themselves.

    And yes, it was a very good, unconventional Western. Not as good as "3:10 to
    Yuma" but close. Intensely psychological, no graceful resolutions. And "Jessie
    James" featured a much more impressive steam train.

    I do recommend it.

    Anybody else see it? Thoughts?
  2. jtk

    jtk, dead Jessie on ice., re: the book

Share This Page