By Heath Iverson
For the fourth issue of Frames Cinema Journal, we are pleased to present a collection of articles representing a continuation of work on issues and themes that emerged earlier this year at a symposium organised by the Film Studies Department of the University of St Andrews. The symposium, “Commies and Indians: The Western Beyond Cold War Frontiers,” set out to offer new perspectives on the genre’s historical and geopolitical significance outside its familiar North American and Western European contexts. Including contributions from several of the symposium’s speakers, this issue explores the various iterations of the western in manifestations as diverse as the East German Indianerfilm, the Hungarian “goulash western,” and the westerns of the New Latin American Cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. Supplementing these articles are selected video recordings excerpting presentations from the original “Commies and Indians” symposium. Frames is proud to highlight the research activity sponsored and organised by St Andrews and to offer a forum in which this staple genre of the cinema can be understood in all its aesthetic, political, and transnational complexity.
Frames would like to thank this issue’s guest editor, Dr. Jonathan Owen. In addition to organising the “Commies and Indians” event, Dr. Owen has been instrumental in assembling this issue. Many thanks are also owed to the symposium’s other organisers, Professor Dina Inordanova (University of St Andrews) and Dr. Dennis Hanlon (University of St Andrews), for their substantial guidance and assistance. Additionally, this issue would have been impossible without the help of Mike Arrowsmith, Computer Officer at the University of St Andrews, and the Frames postgraduate editorial team, including Amber Shields, Phil Mann, and Rohan Crickmar. Finally, Frames is grateful to all of this issue’s contributors for their thoughtful scholarship; we hope readers are engaged by the novel perspectives their work offers on this familiar cinematic genre.