Sunday, 5 August 2012

Week 32: New Mexico

"His honour drove southward, seeking exotica,
 Down to the pueblo huts of New Mexico,
 Cut his teeth on turquoise harmonicas,
 - 'A-Punk',
 Vampire Weekend

Howdy y'all. Looks like we're tradin' in our cars for trusty steeds. We're heading out to New Mexico to see how the West was won.

We're talking cowboys, outlaws and lawmen down in the dust of the South-West. Think back to Arizona and you won't be far wrong. The baking sun on your back, the sand between your teeth and your six-shooter in your holster. It is a wild and savage land that requires bold men to tame it. Are you up to the task?

If I had any length of time in America I think New Mexico would be the first state I would aim for. The desolate landscape, the native American heritage, the old adobe churches of the Spanish (not to mention the UFO mecca of Roswell), the state seems to have so much to offer. I imagine it as being like stepping into an Ansel Adams photograph or a Georgia O'Keeffe painting. Of course, the fact that it is the only US state to contain three UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Chaco Culture, Taos Pueblo and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, since you ask) doesn't exactly hurt either...

This week I have selected two movies from that crazy frontier period and one that is much more recent. So which will I prefer: mythic history or 21st century civilisation? I guess you probably guess the answer to that one...

The three films are:
  • High Noon (1952)
  • Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
  • High School Musical (2006)

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