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Dax Phelan
Director , Producer , Screenwriter
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"The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford"

A few nights ago, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Andrew Dominik’s film, “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.”  I was a big fan of Andrew Dominik’s first film, “Chopper,” back when it was released in 2000 and couldn’t wait to see his sophomore effort.  Production stills, showing Brad Pitt as Jesse James, only added to my desire.  Then, when I heard that Pitt won the Best Actor award for his portrayal at the Venice Film Festival, I was officially dying to see this film. 

Unfortunately, I spent most of the awards season in New Orleans where, to my knowledge, the film wasn’t even released.  In fact, it seemed as if the only person I knew who’d seen it was a member of the Academy who had access to a screener.  He said the film was great.  As time went on, though, I heard rumors that the film was troubled.  Apparently, there was a disagreement between Dominik, the producers, and the studio over the length of the film.  Dominik’s first cut was four hours and the studio forced him to trim it down to 160 minutes.  Perhaps it was this disagreement that led the studio to dump the film into a mere handful of theaters, with virtually no marketing push behind it.  Perhaps we’ll never know the real reason. 

In any case, I’m here to tell you and to spread the word that this was, easily, one of my favorite films of last year.  I found its oblique approach to the Western genre completely refreshing, as it was completely true to itself… it was full of interesting choices… and, at times, it even conjured up fond memories of Terrence Malick.  If you want to be “entertained,” watch “3:10 to Yuma.”  But, if you want to see something special, see “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.”  Personally, I think that it is films like these that, as artists, it is our duty to support.  I’ve included a link to the trailer below.  Enjoy.

-Dax

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp2ppYB9fDo&feature=related

over 11 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares
Photo 23337
I'll see it. I like westerns. I'm glad they still spring up once in a while.
over 11 years ago
Photo 23166
WITH BRAD PITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!
over 11 years ago
Photo 23166
WOOOO i gotta see thiss!!
over 11 years ago
Photo 23166
awwwwww whatttttt he kills brad pitttttt?!?!! =.=
over 11 years ago
Photo 23902
Nice. It is very Malick, from the lighting to the music. I'd like to see this.
over 11 years ago
Photo 1967
I've got a poster of this. I knew Brad Pitt was in it, so when I saw it in the "Free Posters" bucket, I took one home. The poster's not that great, and sort of put me off wanting to watch it, but I think with your encouragement, I might just have to.
over 11 years ago
Photo 33091
Ha! Finally, a film we can agree on from last year. I told you it was good. I especially loved the work of Roger Deakins (the cinematographer) and Casey Affleck (the coward).
over 11 years ago
Default avatar
JS
I saw it advertised but to be honest it was Brad Pitt that put me off, I wasn' sure he'd be able to pull it off, but from the trailer, it looks decent. I like to see Westerns coming back into fashion. They brought us so many classics and inventive style. Albeit the ones today have a modern twist.
over 11 years ago
Photo 33405
Normally I'm not big on Western films, but this one looks interesting..
over 11 years ago
Photo 31055
It's nice to get a review and perspective from a pro indeed :-) I like Western movie and I like the story so most likely will jump on this movie as soon as it hit Blu-Ray. Lots of girls will shoot me for saying this but I'm not a big fan of Brad Pitt given I like 3 of his movies, Legend of the Fall, Seven Years in Tibet and Interview with the Vampire....Thank you for sharing your views...it helps.
over 11 years ago
Photo 34119
Surely you can't go into market with a 4- hour long film ,since you can't expect the audience to sit there for 4 hours just to watch a film. it is very reasonable to cut it within 3 hours. And so pity it can not be released
over 11 years ago
Photo 34119
It is great!
over 11 years ago
Photo 31055
Dax, have you read the book? It's very well-written. I love how much details that was given that I almost convince no way the movie can do this. Now I just have to watch the movie to compare. Soon....
over 11 years ago
Photo 45602
thanks, will watch it soon. if its anyting like the classic westerns, im sure me and some friends would like it.and u are ryt, i havent seen an ad about it here.
over 11 years ago

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\"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.\" -Henry David Thoreau \"The harder I work, the luckie

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Los Angeles, United States
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June 22, 2007

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