Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Guns On The Clackamas (1995)

March 27th, 2012 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · 1990's, Oregon actor, Oregon director, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregon film old definition, Oregon location (primary), Oregon writer, Westerns

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“Actually, I prefer not to have the cooperation of my subjects.” Nigel Nado

I am not sure but that Guns On The Clackamas is the first Western written and directed by an Oregonian which was actually shot in Oregon. This credential would be more impressive if Guns wasn’t a spoof.

Guns On The Clackamas was Bill Plympton’s first live action feature. Here’s his description:

Nigel Nado, the notable documentary filmmaker, is trying to make a behind-the-scenes movie about the making of the western “Guns on the Clackamas”. But everything is going wrong. The lead actress has a severe stutter, but since she’s also the Executive Producer’s mistress, when she’s fired, he pulls the plug on the film’s financing. Then, the cast members start dropping like flies, due to accidents on the set and some really bad catering…….

Guns On The Clackamas is not for Bill Plympton beginners.

In Alexia Anastasio’s new documentary Adventures in Plymptoons, one remark is heard over and over again from the people being interviewed. They marvel that Bill Plympton consistently chooses, as an artist, to reveal all. Guns On the Clackamas is a great example of Bill’s confidence in process, and his thick skin when it comes to criticism. Bill taught himself how to make feature length narrative films. Guns On The Clackamas was part of that journey. Not every art house animator would choose to subject himself/herself to such trials.

Bill’s mock doc about the making of a fictional Western was made in his ancestral backyard.  Putting myself in his chairbound-at-the-drawing-board shoes,  I can see that going outside to collaborate with friends on a live action film would be irresistible. If you are doing this in the backyard where you grew up playing cowboys and Indians, so much the better.

I hereby claim Guns On The Clackamas as an Oregon film on the basis of just about every criteria you can think of.

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