Ahead of her season exploring a new generation of female filmmakers challenging the masculinist mythologies of the Western, UWE MA Curating student Lola Mckinnon talks more about her relationship with the Western genre, and discovering new films that re-imagine the West…

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the classic Western? Nomadic, horse-riding cowboys? Stetson hats and Winchester rifles? Whether you love or loathe them, there’s no denying that the Western has one of the most defining and enduring cinematic iconographies. For many, it’s the genre that first got them excited by film.

As a young cinephile navigating my way through film history and cultivating my tastes, I learnt to love a broad variety of cinema, from the French New Wave to Italian Neorealism, Musicals to Cult Horror, yet you’d often hear me saying: “I don’t really like Westerns”.

Perhaps this was because I simply didn’t think there was anything in there for me – a British mixed-race woman whose appreciation for film was developing in tandem with an eye-opening education about feminism and postcolonialism.

New Frontiers: Myth and Masculinity is curated by Lola Mckinnon, a student at the University of West of England who is on placement at Watershed as part of an MA in Curating, mentored by Mark Cosgrove and the Watershed team.