But God Made Him a Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century

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But God Made Him a Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century
By The Maze Editor and critic Scout Tafoya

John Ford's reputation today can be summed up perhaps best by a quote from the poster of Orson Welles Citizen Kane. "Some called him a hero...others called him a heel." Welles himself said Ford was one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, while Quentin Tarantino called him a white supremacist. Ford and his leading man John Wayne have come to stand in, for some modern audiences, for America's legacy of colonialism and white washing, for the worst crimes committed in the name of American exceptionalism. And yet in their movies is breathtaking poetry and emotional catharsis second to none in the American cinema. This director, the great poet of the cinema, also kept in his images the malicious violence of the American mission. But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century is a reckoning with all the beauty and the white hot pain in the movies of Ford and his Right wing stars. Ford the socialist, Ford the anti-communist, Ford the general, Ford the artist, they all lived in one body and this book is an attempt to track his art and politics, to make sense of the greatest contradiction of the American cinema, as well as show just how much his influence is still felt today. 

As William Boyle put it in his rave for the Southwestern Review But God Made Him a Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century is a profound work of film scholarship—accessible, concise, and moving—and it’s essential reading for cinephiles and casual film fans, especially those interested in grappling with complicated art.

With a Forward by Adam Piron
Cover Design by Tony Stella
8.5” x 5.5”, Softcover, 253 pages