News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by

Director Ti West on embracing and subverting the Western genre

Director Ti West and John Travolta on the set of
Director Ti West and John Travolta on the set of "In a Valley of Violence."
Ursula Coyote

Listen to story

Download this story 20MB

The new film "In a Valley of Violence" is a Western, starring Ethan Hawke as a former soldier, traveling to the Mexican border with his dog.

At the start, his character Paul runs into trouble in a small town called Denton. He gets into a brawl with the local deputy whose father, played by John Travolta, happens to be the Town Marshal:

West first made a name for himself as a director with horror films like "The House of the Devil" and "The Sacrament." But he says his real first love was the Western genre. 

In both genres, violence plays a big role. But West says that in either case-- a horror film or a Western-- he's looking to help the audience see violence on screen in a different way.

"Violence on screen is often exploited and it's often escapism and it's generally fetishized and it's very fun," West says. "But then there's something interesting about reminding everybody what it's like in real life. Because people often love to see violence in movies, and hate to see violence in real life."

To hear the full interview with Ti West click the blue player above.

"In a Valley of Violence" opens in theaters October 21st.