31 August 2011

Lonesome Dove

Dir. Simon Wincer

Opening Image:

Closing Image:

Yes, it's a television miniseries; but one with extremely cinematic roots and imagery. Wincer, no slouch in compositions nor in recognition of the tropes of the genre, frames the beginning and ending of the entire series with very similar shots. Both are from the Hat Creek Cattle Creek Company side of the little gully looking onto the "main drag," as it were, of Lonesome Dove itself. Yet our perspective has shifted completely. We have moved from left to right, as if reading in a book.

An entire journey has been undertaken; thousands of miles and many dead left in its wake. The ending shot is beautiful, yes, but notice that we can't see the iconic saloon. When Gus died, did the saloon burn at the same time? What was one, without the other? And we ask that question of Call as he turns back and walks across the bridge. What is he without his friend? Yes, there was a "hell of a vision" that drove them on the cattle drive, but what to make of the vision now that the one who had it sees no more?

1 comment:

  1. "Lonesome Dove" is a pretty great movie, and one of the best aspects is the way the end of the film (or miniseries, if you prefer) brings things to a sense of closure by returning the setting to the place where it all began. It breaks my heart every time I see it.