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THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

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THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

Part of Essential Westerns.

Wed, Sep 19 at 7:30pm: Introduction from film critic Jason Shawhan. BUY TICKETS

As the charismatic and unpredictable Jesse James (Brad Pitt) plans his next great robbery, he wages war on his enemies, who are trying to collect the reward money—and the glory—riding on his capture. But the greatest threat to his life may ultimately come from those he trusts the most. As a younger member of the gang (Casey Affleck) becomes so inextricably drawn to and frightened of his mentor, his own delusions of grandeur force him to consider doing the unthinkable. One of the great Westerns of the Aughts and sorely underappreciated in its initial release, Andrew Dominik’s expertly crafted period piece is an insightful look at one of the enduring figures of American lore.

“The film is concerned less with the content of James' character than with the meaning of his murder. Insofar as it asks a question, it is whether a man who has been elevated to myth can continue to coexist with mere mortals. The answer is right there in the title.” —Christopher Orr, The Atlantic

“…The Coward [Casey Affleck] is so powerfully mesmerized by [Jesse James] that hero worship shades into lust. Since sex between them is out of the question, their relationship turns into a curiously erotic dance of death; it is clear to both of them (and to anyone reading the title) what must happen at the end, and they move together toward that event with almost trancelike inevitability.” —Roger Ebert, rogerebert.com

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