A Video Tribute To Deadwood, By Matt Zoller Seitz

Deadwood 1877

Editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.Com and New York magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz is a self confessed devotee of David Milch’s western drama, Deadwood. So much so that he has, together with editor Steven Santos, and Jim Beaver on voiceover duties (who played Ellsworth in the show),made a video essay on the show to mark the ten year anniversary of its premiere this month.

In his words, the finished product is “a stand-alone, nearly half-hour-long piece, co-produced with HitFix, that looks at the show’s style and major themes, as well as its roots in different genres, including the Western and the gangster picture. The title comes from the two-part episode that opened season two of “Deadwood”—a slight rewording of a Napoleon quote: “History is a set of lies agreed upon.

Go over to RogerEbert.com to see scans of Matt’s editing script. Towards the end he reflects:

Deadwood is a hopeful series. Why? Because it believes in the capacity of individuals to improve themselves. To learn from their mistakes. To become, if not fully civilised, then at least more civil than when they started out.”

Somehow, I don’t think President Obama had Al Swearengen in mind when he coined his election mantra, The audacity of hope.”

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