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El regreso definitivo del western

“You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.” Clint Eastwood

Pistolas, duelos y cantinas son los elementos claves en las historias del Oeste. La puesta en marcha de una mitología entre esotérica, violenta y hasta ritual, el western es un espectáculo puro del imaginario cinematográfico y un ideal que definió en algún momento la vida norteamericana.

Se podría resumir que este género es una doble verdad, o una doble mentira, histórico y mítico, factible y fabuloso. Quienes han conocido el Oeste americano actual (Nuevo México, Arizona o Texas) no les cuesta trabajo representar esa imagen que el género nos vende. André Bazin alguna vez dijo: “El western nació del encuentro entre una mitología y un medio de expresión”. Toda esta autenticidad que nutre al western, toda esta historia, mil veces contada, se ha convertido en un trampolín para mitos y fábulas.

Pero es cierto que el género se oxidó por algunos años. Los años de oro del western americano, el spaguetti italiano y hasta nuestra propia versión de vaqueros mexicanos empezó a desaparecer poco a poco. Como iban pasando los años había menos cintas del género en cartelera. ¿A dónde se fueron los vaqueros?

A partir de los años 70’s el género sufrió una jubilación casi forzada y no muy placentera. La tecnología estaba avanzando, las modas estaban cambiando y el western llegaba a su crepúsculo. En los próximos 20 años el western daba patas de ahogado para querer volver pero nunca lo lograba para quedarse.

Aunque algunas cintas en ese lapso son dignas de recordar, como la ganadora al Óscar Danza con lobos, no fue hasta los 2000’s que esto verdaderamente cambió. ¿Cuál fue la fórmula secreta para que los vaqueros regresaran? La respuesta fue la innovación. No solo regresó con la ideología del vaquero americano sino que sumó algo más, aquí la creación del nuevo western. Cowboys VS Aliens, Django Unchained, Serenity, I Girl Walks Home Alone At Night son cintas vaqueras no tradicionales, son películas que utilizan el western y le dan un giro al género para crear algo inusual.

Aliens, vampiros, ciencia ficción, viajes en el tiempo, explosiones todo eso que sabemos que ahora llama la atención son recursos que el nuevo western utiliza. The Revenant, la película del género más impresionante de esta época, también ocupa estos recursos. Incluso cuando el guion no sale de los estándares de un western como tal, la pelea de Leonardo DiCaprio con el oso no podría haber sido realizada sin la tecnología computarizada de hoy.

Este mundo de ideales fuertes, vaqueros bien fajados y sherrifs seguirá enriqueciéndose con nuevas perspectivas, estilos, crossovers con otros géneros y continuará su camino en la evolución cinematográfica. El western regresó y no se va a ir a ninguna parte.

Por Alfredo Álvarez

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