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Film review: The Furnace (2020) by Roderick MacKay

Film review: The Furnace (2020) by Roderick MacKay

John Huston’s classic “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948) echoes through Roderick MacKay’s feature debut “The Furnace” which premiered at last year’s Venice section Orizzonti, before heading on a festival tour with the final stop at Karlovy Vary, where we caught it. Both films are the stories of gold and greed, but the key difference between them are their milieus and the differences between the American and the Australian use of western genre tropes.

In America, westerns were created to preserve the myth of the hardy pioneers that fought the savage Natives for the land and have pushed the frontiers of the so-called civilised world from one ocean to another. Only in the New Hollywood era, the revisionist westerns appeared aimed at debunking the myths and used as the metaphorical canvas to expose the American imperial politics of the 20th century. In Australia, however, the western setting

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