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Images of the West in Lone Star

7 Pages 1804 Words February 2018

John Sayles’ Lone Star is an exciting film that incorporates the classic western vision into the theme while diving deep into the social and political issues of the modern American Frontier. Set in both present day and past, Sayles provides rich examples of western culture through many facets of the film such as the classic concept of law versus justice. Characters in the film such as Charlie Wade and Sam Deeds struggle through past and present to paint clear pictures of the American Frontier with stories and memories that bring us deeper into their lives on the border. Through aspects of the film such as setting, character roles, and the dialect, Lone Star portrays an almost perfect image the American frontier and West as what we know it to classically be. Although this film does provide some counter-argument in it being a western based piece, the overall theme of this film revolves around western ideals that outweigh the modernized touch given by Sayles. I will be expanding on many examples from the film regarding the location, people, and dialogue, to make better sense of the rooted western cultures and traditions that illustrate the complex storyline.
The setting of most films plays a considerable role in the overall theme and mood of the piece. Lone Star does not prove to be an exception from this group. In the film’s opening scene, the audience is dropped into a barren desert, looking onto a vast space of dryland and cacti, bringing the sense of the West to the audience before any character even speaks. Based in a small town near the Mexican border, Frontera, Texas is as western as it gets. By basing the name of the town on the idea of the frontier, Sayles is reiterating the image of the West and emphasizing its role to constantly better the image for the audience. The location of Frontera in the film plays a large role in the idea of it being portrayed as a western piece. Frontera is situated near the border of Mexico, maki...

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