ScreennStylish VoidnThe Long Riders; Written by BillnBryden; Directed by Walter Hill;nUnited Artists.nby Eric ShapearonThe Western is epic literature,nwhichever its dimension—trash or art.nEpic means dramatic growth—charactersnmust change, or “develop” as thentrade term goes. When they renouncenthe dynamics of personal drama—shallow,nschmaltzy, melodramatic, whichever—therenis no epic matter on thenpages or the screen, and no Western.nAt the beginning of Long Riders wenlearn that the legendary brothers—thenJameses, the Youngers, American badnboys/folk heroes—rob banks because,nit is suggested, they are dissatisfiedn”rebels,” former Confederate soldiers,nchallengers of the established order. Atnthe end, they are still robbing banks,nwith the pretext that some higher sentimentsnare the basis for their criminality.nSome bloody shoot-outs, idealized marriages,ntorn-apart flesh and sexual ornamentationnare put in between, but thenmen on the screen are exactly the same.nTheir ideological or patriotic sensitivitiesnhave turned into an unintentionalnfarce. Neither the sequence of eventsnnor the travails of human cerebralnefforts have made any dent in their dramaticnimage or their fictional behavior.nOne leaves them behind on the celluloidngory, dead and boring.nAnd then there’s that remarkable falsitynof tone melted into theatricality,nstage setting, the very texture of thenpicture and its particular scenes. It isna visually attractive movie, but its appealnis of a type of advertising-industry excellence.nIt seems as if it were made bynRalph Lauren and Giorgio Armani fornthe masculine-fashion section of Voguenmagazine. It has graphic elegance insteadnof stylish veracity. But a lack ofnS6inChronicles of Culturenauthenticity can still be stylish, can stillnturn into a sophisticated parody—butnnot in this movie. This projection ofnmodish proclivities in shirts, ties, poses,nfacial expressions and dialogue is a dolefulnexercise in form, even if a tonguein-cheeknattitude is hinted. It is infinitelynworse when these projections affect thenliterary fabric of the movie. In The Godfather,nwe saw Mafia types, that is criminals,nwho loved and venerated theirnfamilies when they were at home. Thatnrang true. Jesse James, shown at homenwith his family, looks like an impeccablengentleman, a civic leader and thenconscience of his community. But a momentnago we saw him killing lawmen,nrobbing stagecoaches and behaving likena knavish hoodlum—and we are advisednby the authors that it’s okay becausenhe has political convictions. But Bonnienand Clyde, Charles Manson and Al Caponenall had political convictions, and it’sneven said that Dillinger voted Demo­nMusicnDiz—or: On Creative DignitynDizzy Gillespie with Al Fraser: TonBe or Not to Bop; Doubleday & Co.;nNew York.nby Douglas A. RamseynNearly forty years ago, Duke Ellingtonnwarned Dizzy Gillespie against lettingnhis music be labeled. Gillespie saysnhe didn’t know why until it was too late.nWhether he could have done anythingnto prevent the labeling is conjectural.nIn any event, for better or worse, thenmusic was labeled, and the label wasn”bebop.”nMr. Ramsey is a jazz musicologist fromnNew Orleans.nnncratic. The Robin Hood yarn is difficultnto make, either in pulp or in high art.nThis is why Shakespeare never touchednthe subject.nFinally, the Western mythology ofnJohn Ford, perhaps, abused reality, butnhis legends dealt with human motivationn—primitive or falsified as it might havenbeen, but always one notch above thenmodern, intellectualized (actually debased)nversions of the Western epic.nCurrent Hollywood directors, like Peckinpahnand in this case Hill, derive theirnfables from the modern theater, wherensensitivities are jarred by naturalisticndetails of horror—physical or psychological—rathernthan by the cautionary valuesnof a tale. In the movies, this fashionnends up in a void. It’s hard to make anbeautifully photographed Western film,nfull of choreographed images of motionnand form, turn out to be empty. LongnRiders shows how to do it. DnIn one of the great injustices ofnAmerican culture, formal commentarynon bebop lumped the music with the bizarrenclothing, customs and fads whichnthe press publicized in the 1940’s withnundiscriminating and condescendingnglee. As a result, the popular impressionnwas that the most important revolutionnin the first half-century of jazz wasnthe work of a collection of eccentrics innberets and goatees who shook hands inncontortions and played wrong notes. Thenleaders of the movement were occasionalnaccomplices in making bebop seem ludicrous.nJohn Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie,none of the music’s virtuosos and itsngreatest teacher, recalls with regretnwhen Life magazine cajoled or dupedn