"Brands are about meaning. In this case, Leo Burnett was able to transform a mild woman's cigarette into a rugged masculine product virtually overnight by using iconic imagery. The brand was literally re–imagined and thrust into the number 1 position as a result. The state of California realized that they needed to disempower this same iconic imagery and bluntly point out that even rugged cowboys can suffer serious diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease caused by smoking."
(Kurian M. Tharakan)
I created this short clip in 1995 from re–purposed shots from Fritz Lang's 1952 film 'Rancho Notorious'. This sequence works to expose homoerotic tensions inherent in the Western film genre.
The sequence shows Vern Haskell (Arthur Kennedy) Rancho Notorious' protagonist, struggle to 'escape the frame' and the admiring advances of his outlaw compatriots - Frenchy Fairmont (Mel Ferrer), Mort Geary (Jack Elam), Kinch (Lloyd Gough), Wilson (George Reeves), Starr (Stuart Randall), Red (Roger Anderson) et al. Through deleting the subject of the cowboy's attentions Marlene Dietrich, I was able to shift the meaning of the scene from one that centred on heterosexual interest to one that centred on homosexual desire.
I created the sound track using a similar technique. I did so through splicing sections of the original sound track together so that it would evoke some of the melodrama of the original film.
The clip was created using the early non–linear editing platform Avid Media Suite Pro.
Fig.1 Simon Perkins (1995). 'Wranglers' digitised and cut–up VHS video, 3:21 minutes.