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Jesse James Revived

In the Fall of 2007  there was  a brand new film about the mythical western character Jesse James called The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.  It starred Brad Pitt as the titular character and boasted an incredible supporting cast (Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell, Sam Shepard, and a young Jeremy Renner).  It stands as the crown jewel of Roger Deakin’s prolific cinematography career as well as featuring a haunting and effective score by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis . It is a beautiful and lyrical study of the life of Jesse James, who is one of the most iconic American figures from the 19th century.  Seems like it could have had a place in the great history of Westerns, a genre that has been in dire need of a reboot.  But then it came and went with almost nobody caring about what how Jesse James was killed and whether or not the man who did so was a coward.

Here we are 6 years later and you might be wondering why I’m wasting your time with this piece of info.  So what, another Hollywood Studio tried to squeeze another ounce of interest from Jesse James because god forbid they went out on a limb with an original character.  Well, it was (and still is) my favorite Western since Unforgiven and now there is a movement to revive it.  Now, thanks to a New York based Film Editor James McGonigle, there is a movement to Revive Jesse James. He started a group called The Revival of the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward of Robert Ford that was a petition to show the film on a 35mm Print.t  I was lucky enough to catch the film in the theatre when it came out originally and believe me, its incredible to see this mournful and haunting film on the big screen.  The film had two sold out screenings in New York and it is now starting to slowly pop up across the country.  I can only imagine how it has to feel to be the director, Andrew Dominick, and see this film that was obviously so personal to him being revived.  Just like the legacy of Jesse James.

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