Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954) presents its most prominent setting, Vienna’s saloon, in a very uncomfortable manner. It represents a landmark doomed by a self-righteous group of settlers (Emma Small and her posse) plot-wise, but by mise-en-scene and cinematographic choices, the quiet saloon also emanates an ominous aura and consistently tries to detach the audience from the locale despite many of the characters, and specifically the protagonist hoping for its salvation. This presents an interesting dichotomy to the vast, orchestra-accompanied wilderness that surrounds the saloon. From the cold, dead stares of the lifeless bartender in the background of many shots, to the absences of close-ups and non-diegetic instrumentals within the first thirty minutes of the film, the saloon, despite its relevance and value to characters such as Vienna and Johnny Guitar, becomes a creepy and unsettling stage for many events of the story; making it difficult for the audience to empathize with it’s inevitable downfall.
The film begins with a title card sequence upon a static backdrop of shrubbery, mountains and distant clouds; a lingering sight that doesn’t truthfully establish forthcoming events in Vienna’s saloon. Her saloon may be quiet, but it is always occupied, and whilst the opening sequence, in which we are introduced to Johnny Guitar, is filled with a bravado of horns and orchestral accompaniment, the saloon itself is inversely populated by the sound of wind, tumbleweed, and stark silences - something perhaps more associated with the western expanse in which the story takes place. Yet for this dichotomy in sound, the initial visuals after the credit sequence foreshadow the destruction of locale, and the audience takes the place ...
... middle of paper ...
... friendships, and many other events within the walls of the saloon. However, the saloon itself remains the same, as do select occupants - which in turn offers a stark contrast to the actions inside of it and the wilderness it lies beside. So at the end of the day, when it all burns down to the ground, all that’s left to feel is confusion and discomfort - the place that occupies a majority of the movie becomes a place that you never quite understood; perhaps your empathy is better directed elsewhere.
Charney, Leo. “Historical Excess: Johnny Guitar's Containment” Cinema Journal 29, No. 4 (1990): 28-30. JSTOR. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
Hardy, Phil. The Western. London: Aurum Press Ltd, 1991. Print.
Cresswell, Tim. Defining Place. Egham: Elsevier, 2009. Web. 20 Nov 2013.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Born in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1963 to a waitress and a civil engineer, John Christopher Depp II was the youngest of four children. When he was young he'd visit his Pawpaw often, and happily recalls the sunny days of picking tobacco together. It was a terrible shock to the seven-year-old boy when Pawpaw died. After the death he and his family moved to Miramar, Florida, but the family spent a long time living in motels and was constantly shifting from place to place, well over a dozen motels in total.... [tags: Biography]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- A perfect movie character is one that the audience can form a complex, personal relationship with in the short time that a movie is viewed, displaying the art of acting and drama perfectly. When the thought of lovable movie characters is brought up, Johnny Depp will almost always be apart of the discussion. With his quirky, lively attitude which blends perfectly into roles that should not have soul, Johnny Depp is truly a one-of-a-kind actor. With a spectrum of characters Depp has played, ranging from Edward Scissorhands in the movie Edward Scissorhands (1990), to playing his role in 21 Jump Street (1987), up until the recent Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), he is involved in roles that “on... [tags: Edward Scissorhands]
1353 words (3.9 pages)
- Film Review Walk the Line The movie Walk the Line, is about the life of Johnny Cash and how he became a famous country singer. He was raised on a farm and was very good at memorizing songs. His brother Jack had a goal of becoming a pastor. Jack was working at a saw mill when Johnny decides to go fishing while Jack finishes his work. Jack was seriously injured by the saw and later died of his wounds with Johnny, his mother Carrie and father Ray by his side. Conflicts between Johnny and his father became hard.... [tags: Johnny Cash, Musician]
628 words (1.8 pages)
- ... An example of a electric bass would be the one I played in the WNE. The electric bass was the only bass that the school could provide for the band but we also felt it had the right sound for the job. Page 2 In the outdoors, you don't have electrical power so you cant plug in a amplifier. The acoustic bass is a hollowed bass to have a much louder sound than the electric bass without a amplifier. Sometimes the wholes in the bass are called F-holes because they are shaped like a F. There are also acoustic-electric basses which can be plugged into a amplifier or played and heard clearly without.... [tags: guitar, music, country]
813 words (2.3 pages)
- Playing guitar can expand an individual’s possibilities. Whether the person is going into business or engineering it is always a good idea to have a back-up plan. The guitar can also serve as way to release stress. A standard guitar has up to six strings. Other guitars can have up to seven or twelve strings. Guitars with additional strings are commonly used in folk music. The most popular form of guitars is acoustic. Acoustic means that a guitar uses the air to create sound within its body, opposed to an electric guitar that uses electrical impulses like an amplifier.... [tags: Guitar, Electric guitar, Finger, Hand]
1229 words (3.5 pages)
- Topic: The Guitar General purpose: To inform Specific purpose: To inform my audience about the history of guitars, the different style of guitars, and the different strings used on guitars. Thesis: The guitar has many I. Introduction A. Attention-getter: Imagine listening to your favorite genre of music. Whether it is either country, rock, or even hip hop, most likely, one of those songs will have a guitar in it. B. Reason to listen: The guitar is an instrument that can be heard in all types of music, it would be nice to know some information about the guitar.... [tags: Guitar, Electric guitar, Bass guitar]
723 words (2.1 pages)
- The gangster genre is notorious for depicting women as dependent, sexualized objects. However, in Johnny Stecchino we are not introduced to Maria in that context at all. While most women are absent from the main conflicts in this genre, Maria is at the forefront. She is the mastermind behind the entire plot to fool the mafia into thinking Dante is Johnny Stecchino. She takes the initiative and inserts herself into the main conflict, thus completely changing the norm for women in gangster films. The only time we see Maria conform to the typical gangster film customs is when she deals interacts with Johnny in the beginning and middle of the film.... [tags: Gender role, Gender, The Godfather, Homosexuality]
1027 words (2.9 pages)
- History and Influences of the Guitar My paper will be discussing the history, culture, and influences of guitar throughout the ages. This will be going back to the time of the lute and rebec as they were all early forms of string instruments related to the guitar family. This is going through the beginning of the instrument’s time, throughout the different time periods, elaborating on its significance in music. The guitar is a well-known instrument and staple in the music industry in all genres of music.... [tags: guitar like instruments]
1313 words (3.8 pages)
- A guitar is an instrument made out of wood or other wood like materials. Many things could affect the instrument's qualities, such as the types of lacquer used or what kind of strings are used. The guitar amp is an instrument in itself just as a guitar, not all amps are created equally. An amplifier allows the guitarist to express his playing to the world. Some amplifiers are made using really simple vacuum tube circuits, and others are made from really complex solid state circuitry. Not any two similar guitars will sound alike, just as how any two similar people are not exactly identical.... [tags: physics guitar amplifier]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- Johnny Walker Sera walked into Circle K on fifth st. without noticing it had not been remodeled since 1986, and that someone from another, more financially kept city might actually find the convenience store to be disgusting, the dirt being so thick on the windows that you could only see blurry faces on the inside. Inside she saw five people in the store and believed that all of them were staring at her, looking through her like they knew more about herself than she did. The clerk, she thought, had even looked up from her monotonous duties at the cash register to glance her wrinkled leathery face in Sera's direction.... [tags: Johnny Walker Short Story Essays]
1308 words (3.7 pages)