Movie aged pirates and cowboys on the screen those two professions (two lifestyle? two types of rogue?), regularly appearing there since the dawn of cinema, often were and are Mature men and we have somehow forgotten that in fact most of them were very young people, even teenagers. Yes, and likely to survive to adulthood they had little, and who lived usually the more quiet life of the Marina.
But then came the 50s, young people in the United States was suddenly a new, senior and incomprehensible even to herself the power of reflection in the Wake of its largely concentrated the best forces of cinema, and the popular and venerable cinematic genre of America it’s time to think about the age of their heroes. Moreover, in the Pantheon of westerns were character, the youth which is reflected in his nickname Billy the kid.
The first movie Arthur Penn seems to anticipate it a lot more well-known film “Bonnie and Clyde” “Shooter-left-handed” is also a film about a young criminal from the past of America, clearly eager to talk about the “rebels without a cause” from her present. There is very little biographical, of course, except that Billy supposedly inherent charm, which meets Paul Newman however, the question of biography and the image of Billy in the culture is also dealt with in the film, see below.
We know practically nothing about the past of William Bonnie, about the reasons and experiences that have formed his character. The first time we see Billy walking across the desert from nowhere to nowhere and later in the film, will see it almost in the same position, and again support him and shelter met by chance people; it allows you to consider the events of “Arrow-left-handed”, except, of course, the ending, as typical of Billy the kid. He’s not a thug and not a villain in the film Penn, but absolute freedom from authority (including the authority of the law, public morality or those an ordinary person would call friends) and the absolute absence of any private interests, dreams and aspirations, combined with decisiveness and impetuosity make Billy the kid something like a natural disaster. Himself Billy childish blind to the fact, as destructive to peace, and often of life, almost everyone comes into contact. He himself is suffering due to this forced exclusion, but can do nothing about it, apparently without even realizing thoroughly what the social order, which he destroys by their presence.
The tragedy of the situation all the more noticeable thanks to Pat Garrett, played by John dener. Garrett feels obvious sympathy for Billy, and it’s obvious father-figure; Billy also sort of good to Garrett, but destroys the world of his father, and defile the most expensive moment for him simply because is not willing to control their impulses. This is not a traditional conflict of fathers and children, but just the form that was characteristic of the turn of the 50-60s, when the hippies had not yet developed into a movement with a complete ideology directly opposing the establishment and the conservative values of the older generation, when no grown children or their frightened bewildered parents could not explain in what consist the contradictions between them, but felt this formed the gap between generations.
The second important topic “Arrow-left-hander”, also rhyme in part with “Bonnie and Clyde”, that surrounds these characters and myth-making to public attention. Billy is the universal idol partly because he has taken on the role of just avenger (until the end is not perceived, however, by Bonnie), but mostly because a humanoid natural disaster, which represents Billy the kid, turns out to be quite an attractive sight from a safe distance (how can we avoid analogies with emerging rock stars or, for that matter, beat?!). The legend of Billy the Kid for a while inspires even the most Billy surrendering for some time, though not pleaded guilty, he again goes on the run, seeing that in someone’s eyes he’s a hero, and thus freed for a while from isolation, which is doomed by its nature. However, it is the ability to suffer from this isolation, not even realizing what caused it, and not quite being able to feel affection to people dying by his whim, is the difference between Billy-legends from a living person, and Bonnie is not adequate to its own myth. So in the end he hostile people, fell in love and who cares about William Bonnie, and those who are fascinated by the brightness of his glory, Billy the kid.
From a purely formal point of view, “the Shooter is left-handed” is not a something unusual. Cinematography is good, but without experiments. Penn, a newcomer with experience only on television, quite rightly decided not to gamble with the shape, especially because the content of his film and so it is unusual for westerns. With a visual point of view I want to highlight perhaps the only scene of the death of the second mate Billy during the siege of their huts.
However, in this regard, it is worth noting something else: an atypical Western interpretation of violence. Murder in the “Arrow to the left-handed” not just a plot tool, it is fully understood as murder, every death should leave the viewer with a sense of shock and discomfort. Although bloody texture “Bonnie and Clyde” speech here is not yet violence is definitely a transition here to a different quality, as if anticipating the films of the “New Hollywood.”
“The shooter is left-handed” is not a great film, but an interesting document of the era. And do you often have movies where the tragic death of the protagonist justifiably framed as a happy ending?..
7 out of 10