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“The power of the dog” revives the general western to lead the Oscar nominations

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By Daniel Trotta

March 22 (Reuters) – Oscar favorite “The Power of the Dog” tops the list with 12 nominations ahead of the awards show on Sunday, heralding a revival of the western, the genre that has nurtured Hollywood since his infant.

Given Hollywood’s tendency to imitate success, “The Power of the Dog” — a tale of machismo and revenge set in 1925 Montana — is sure to inspire more Old West projects, industry insiders say.

Usually a cowboy or gun story set in the American Old West, the ‘western’ was a staple of the Hollywood studio system for much of the 20th century. It has seen periods of decline in public taste in recent decades, but the combination of spectacular landscapes and classic themes such as good versus evil has often proved irresistible to filmmakers.

“Cinematically it’s an incredible canvas for storytelling,” actor Benedict Cumberbatch, a near-actor Oscar nominee for his role in “The Power of the Dog,” said in an interview at the British Academy Film Awards this month. AN INCREDIBLY COMPLEX STORY

The western became very popular not only in the United States, but also abroad, underscoring the universal appeal of its narrative power, says MarĂ­a Elena de las Carreras, a film professor at California State University Northridge.

“It really boils down to the essentials. What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? The stories are magnificent. That’s why it’s popular,” said Elena de las Carreras.

Early Westerns were often based on racist portrayals of Native Americans, a stereotype that star Kevin Costner reversed in 1990’s “Dances With Wolves,” which won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and most director.

A gay cowboy couple rocked the movie world with “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005, and more recently, the black cowboy has gained screen time, such as in last year’s Netflix Inc movie “The Harder You Fall”. “.

“The western is very layered and complex. It’s not just one color on the palette. It’s multiple colors, some of which haven’t even been painted yet,” said Grauer, curator of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Cumberbatch Calls “The Power of the Dog” a gothic, revisionist western. Like “Brokeback Mountain”, it has a homoerotic plot.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta. Additional reporting by Hanna Rantala in London; Spanish editing by Vicente Valdivia)

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