Could we be seeing a quiet resurgence of the Western?
During the Comic-Con presentation for “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Tarantino talked about being a Western director, and said that he doesn't feel like he's earned the right to call himself that until and unless he makes a third Western. The idea that we could see three Westerns inside of a decade, much less from one filmmaker, feels sort of groundbreaking considering how many times the genre has been pronounced dead over the years.
What's really exciting is seeing that there are big studio Westerns being made as well as small indie Westerns, and once again, as in the heyday of the genre, any numbers of stories are being told. The Western is the American mythic form, a type of storytelling that allows us to tell big moral stories against this remarkable backdrop. And it sounds like “The Keeping Room” is about as stark and brutal as the era itself:
In this radically reimagined American Western set towards the end of the Civil War, Southerner Augusta (Brit Marling, Arbitrage, The East) encounters two renegade, drunken soldiers (Sam Worthington, Avatar) who are on a mission of pillage and violence. After escaping an attempted assault, Augusta races back to the isolated farmhouse that she shares with her sister Louise (Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit, Pitch Perfect 2) and their female slave Mad (newcomer Muna Otaru.) When the pair of soldiers track Augusta down intent on exacting revenge, the trio of women are forced to take up arms to fend off their assailants, finding ways to resourcefully defend their home–and themselves–as the escalating attacks become more unpredictable and relentless.
Based on Julia Hart's revered 2012 Black List screenplay, and directed by Academy Award® Nominated Daniel Barber (Harry Brown), The Keeping Room is a tense and uncompromising tale of survival that also shatters both gender and genre conventions
Okay. I'm in. I like the cast. I like the premise. And today, we've got the exclusive debut of the film's final one-sheet:
Yep. I like that, too.
“The Keeping Room” opens September 25 in limited release and then begins a roll-out through October.