Lone Star Film Analysis

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Numerous screenwriters and directors have often dealt in their films with the theme of borders, whether literal and officially recognised, like military ranks or state frontiers, or abstract and metaphorical, like those of morality, justice, race, and gender, along with several others. As a consequence, as John Gibbs points out, one could assemble these movies, especially those taking place on the confines between Mexico and United States, under the label of ‘border films’ (2002: 27); thus contextualising them in a very specific tradition, which includes pictures such as Touch of Evil (Orson Welles 1958) or The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones 2005).
Accordingly, another notable movie belonging to the ‘border film tradition’ is Lone Star: an acclaimed 1996 hybrid of western and mystery film conventions, directed and written by independent filmmaker John Sayles. The picture recounts the story of a murder investigation, which leads the main character, Sheriff Sam
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This label is particularly fitting to the context of Lone Star, in fact, as anticipated, history emerging and permeating the present is a major theme in the picture, being also introduced first and foremost in the very opening sequence of the movie, which emblematically shows the chance finding of a human skeleton, that of Charlie Wade, former Sheriff of Frontera. This event serves to establish and initiate the narrative as an investigation into an archaeological yesterday, which is literally and metaphorically being dug up and analysed thoroughly, as the line of demarcation separating it from the present weakens and languishes. This process is particularly exemplified by the many flashbacks that punctuate the narrative, and by John Sayles’ distinctive directorial
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