Announcing The Foreign Western Blogathon!

The pandemic and personal issues have kept me out of the blogathon loop for a long time. It’s been a whole year since my last blogathon. Well, I’m back at it now and very excited to announce this new one!

Most of you are probably aware that there was a social media kerfuffle a few weeks ago when actor Sam Elliott slammed Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed Western, The Power of the Dog, claiming it couldn’t be a “real” Western since it was directed by a foreigner and shot in a foreign country.

WELL! The cineastes had a LOT to say about THAT. Because as we all know (except for Sam, I guess), not only have there been many, many Westerns helmed by foreign directors and/or shot in foreign countries, quite a few rank up there among the best of the genre.

I instantly recognized an opportunity for an interesting and fun blogathon. I have long loved Westerns but have never had a Western-themed blogathon because they have been done several times already. This will be a more focused blogathon, with the chance to write about amazing but in some cases less talked about Westerns and Western genre-influenced films and TV shows.

Here are the guidelines:

I will allow posts about feature and made for television films, as well as TV series. Films and TV shows do not have to be set in the late 19th – early 20th century. Time periods before and after are acceptable.

You may pick one or more films or TV shows to write about that fit into the following categories:

Set and filmed in the USA, directed by foreign directors. The director merely has to have been born in any country other than the United States. A few examples would be Fritz Lang, Michael Curtiz, William Wyler, Ang Lee, and Jeymes Samuel.

Set in the USA, shot in a foreign country. This of course includes the spaghetti Western, many of which were made in the 1960s and 1970s. Don’t limit yourself! Besides Italy, Spain (in fact, quite a few spaghetti Westerns were shot in Spain), France, and many other countries around the world have stood in for our American West. Over the past three decades Canada has been a popular place to shoot Westerns. A quick Google search will usually tell you where a film was shot.

Set in a foreign country with their own version of the Western genre.  Many other countries have adapted Western tropes for their own films or have told immigrant stories that take place during our Western expansion. Some countries have their own history of expansion across a frontier, as well as their own version of the cowboy (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina). Over the past decade and a half, several Asian countries have been turning out their own versions of the Western (called Ramen or Eastern Westerns).

Don’t forget samurai films! These both influenced AND were influenced by our Westerns. I will accept samurai films for this blogathon.

Set in outer space or on another planet. Sci-fi is a genre that has borrowed heavily from the Western genre. The entire Star Wars franchise has been hugely influenced by Westerns. Gene Roddenberry originally pitched Star Trek as “a wagon train to the stars.” The cult TV series Firefly is another example.

Some sci-fi films are remakes of Westerns (i.e. Outland is a remake of High Noon, Battle Beyond the Stars is a remake of Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven).

If you are not sure what you want to cover qualifies, just run it by me. I am very flexible but would like there to be some connection to the main topic. Please no duplicates.

The blogathon runs from Friday, June 3 – Sunday June 5, 2022. You may post any day or before, if you wish.

To claim your topic, please request your choice in the comments section below, or contact me on Twitter (@DebbieVee). Include the name and URL of your blog. Then grab one of the banners below, display it on your blog and link it back to this post.

Thanks for saddling up and joining in!

THE ROSTER SO FAR:

Moon in Gemini: Tiempo de Morir (1966)

Silver Screenings: 7 Women (1966)

Realweegiemidget Reviews: Star Trek: “Spectre of the Gun” (1968)

Cinematic Catharsis: Tears of the Black Tiger (2000)

MovieRob: TBD

The Stop Button: El Topo (1970)

A Shroud of Thoughts: They Call Me Trinity (1970)

Destroy All Fanboys!: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Pale Writer: The Big Gundown (1966)

Dubism: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Critica Retro: Uma Pistola para Djeca (1969)

Hamlette’s Soliloquy: The Wild and the Dirty (1968)

18 Cinema Lane: The Sundowners (1960)

Taking Up Room: Love’s Long Journey (2005)

32 thoughts on “Announcing The Foreign Western Blogathon!

  1. Wat, NO one has grabbed Leone’s Once Upon a Time in The West yet? OK. I’ll try to do this epic justice. Er. not quite like the justice presented in plot of the film, though.

  2. While you may have never seen it, there’s a lot of overlap here in a piece we did about Star Wars. A cohort of mine says it’s really a western, and quotes a lot of Akira Kurosawa in his argument.

    On that note, I’m going to ask for a movie that is a well-disguised western, but is a western nevertheless despite the fact it takes place in the 1970s, and I think it fits one of your categories

    I’d like 1974’s Sam Peckinpah work Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia. It’s got “Set in a foreign country” (Mexico) and checks the “their own version of the Western genre” box…is their anything more “western” than a good old-fashioned bounty hunt?

  3. Thanks for inviting me to join your blogathon! Would the 1960 movie, ‘The Sundowners’ be eligible for the event? According to IMDB, the film’s director, Fred Zinnemann, is from Austria-Hungary and ‘The Sundowners’ was filmed in Australia.

  4. Hi Debbie, me again.. had a wee thought, would Westworld (1973) count? If so can I do that instead, and if it doesn’t count can I do a Season 3 episode of Star Trek, “The Spectre of the Gun,”… tell me what good for you

    1. Hi Gill. I’m going to have to say no to Westworld. In my original post I specified “outer space or another planet.” Westworld takes place on Earth and it doesn’t meet any other guidelines for the blogathon. It was shot in America and the director is American. The Star Trek episode is perfect, let me know if you’re want to change to that or something else.

    1. Hi Rebecca. Are you referring to the film that was on the Hallmark Channel? I can’t find any information on where it was shot. The director is definitely American.

      1. Yeah, that’s the one. They’re set in Canada but for some reason the movie’s filmed in Simi Valley which is kinda odd. Would that work? I have a couple of backups if it doesn’t.

      2. Since the guidelines say “set in another country,” that qualifies. I will add it to the list tomorrow. Thanks for joining!

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