NYFF Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

NYFF Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs screenshot

Like Hail, Caesar!, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a film about films. Hail, Caesar! took the tropes of the old fashioned studio footage and grew to become them into an interconnected backlot pastiche of cinematic kinds. You had composites of real-life figures and homages to bygone genres, all enjoying out on a kooky, scale-model model of Hollywood. I nonetheless really feel like that film would have benefited from being a chain slightly than a function—the arena the Coen brothers constructed was once larger and richer than the runtime.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which had its North American Primiere on the 2018 New York Film Festival, will get round some of those issues by way of embracing the anthology shape. The six brief movies that contain the film are discrete, and not using a try to interconnect them. Each brief inhabits a selected western subgenre, growing those self-contained, visually and verbally distinct cinematic worlds for each and every tale to play out. There’s a Gene Autry singin’ cowboy tale that embraces and subverts that shape. There’s a John Ford-style wagon teach epic concerning the conflict between frontier lifestyles and domesticity. There’s even a brief that’s a bit of like Robert Altman’s vintage revisionist western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, with the similar icy, transactional notions about relationships.

Your enjoyment of Buster Scruggs will rely fully for your love and data of westerns.