The Battle at Elderbush Gulch and Straight Shooting
Dir. D. W. Griffith (1914). Dir. Jack (John) Ford (1917). A rancher on a ridge surveying his dogies – and his scions – below. The first shot in the first feature from John – then Jack – Ford is so out-of-time blunt it might have been carved from stone. The opening of 1917's Straight Shooting has all the scope and clarity of the master's mature work, as well as that quality of hard-edged elegy: Even at the dawn of cinema, Ford was mourning a west that was lost. The rest is good, to, as is Griffith's 26-minute puppies-and-Indians adventure Gulch.
Wed., Sept. 26, 1:30 p.m.; Thu., Sept. 27, 1:30 p.m.; Fri., Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m., 2012
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