Several adventures in the Wild West are the subject of Maverick, albeit less bloody or perilous ones than in some of the previous features shot by Vilmos Zsigmond. Who would have thought that the cinematographer would use a different language to tell the story in each of his Westerns? And yet he managed it. No matter how strong and definitive a cinematographer's vision, it is always in the service of the film. And Maverick is a comedy - what's more, a Western comedy. Its titular hero is a ...professional card player who is trying to collect money to enter a high-stakes poker tournament. We are inclined to believe that the source of humour can only lie in the dialogue and the playing of the actors. But punch lines also have to be seen. Consequently, there are many more close-ups here, where faces and gestures are highly visible and the camera moves in a much more restricted space than in Zsigmond's previous Westerns. Meanwhile, in keeping with the concept of the director Richard Donner, we must feel at every moment that we really are in the Wild West.
For his part, Zsigmond has produced a devilishly exciting, dusty, smoky and steamy series of images, operating - as it were - with "filters” incorporated into the story throughout . Does this make Maverick a classic of cinematic history? Certainly not. But the leads (Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster), the playful story, the music evoking classic Westerns, the landscapes and who knows what else combine to produce a delightful and entertaining movie. What will be worthwhile discussing, therefore, is how a modern film can be assembled from the building blocks of a classic film genre - and how comedies, farces and parodies based on classic genres only work successfully if the filmmakers recognise, respect and are able to creatively reinterpret the original.
The series is made possible with the support of the Hungarian National Film Fund.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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