Examines fourteen of Sam Peckinpah's feature films, focusing on the director's editing techniques, approach to power, attention to violence and affection, and moral values, along with pacing and mood in his film directing
Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE Written exclusively for this collection by today’s leading Peckinpah critics, the nine essays in Peckinpah Today explore the body of work of one of America’s most important filmmakers, revealing new insights into his artistic process and the development of his lasting themes. Edited by Michael Bliss, this book provides groundbreaking criticism of Peckinpah’s work by illuminating new sources, from modified screenplay documents to interviews with screenplay writers and editors. Included is a rare interview with A. S. Fleischman, author of the screenplay for The Deadly Companions, the film that launched Peckinpah’s career in feature films. The collection also contains essays by scholar Stephen Prince and Paul Seydor, editor of the controversial special edition of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In his essay on Straw Dogs, film critic Michael Sragow reveals how Peckinpah and co-scriptwriter David Zelag Goodman transformed a pulp novel into a powerful film. The final essay of the collection surveys Peckinpah’s career, showing the dark turn that the filmmaker’s artistic path took between his first and last films. This comprehensive approach reinforces the book’s dawn-to-dusk approach, resulting in a fascinating picture of a great filmmaker’s work.
A comprehensive biography of the legendary creator of The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs and The Getaway, taking an aptly no-holds-barred look at his life, his vision and his influence on modern cinema. Famed and reviled in equal measure for his no-frills approach to violent realism, Peckinpah refused to compromise his ideas for his producers, with the result that his films were decried for their apparent amoralism as much as lauded for their groundbreaking style and savage intensity. A complete look at the life and work of a modern seer.
“What Citizen Kane was to movie lovers in 1941, The Wild Bunch was to cineastes in 1969,” critic Michael Sragow wrote in the New Yorker. “Its adrenaline rush of revelations seemed to explode the parameters of the screen.” If They Move . . . Kill ‘Em! is the first major biography of David Samuel Peckinpah. Written by the film critic and historian David Weddle, this fascinating account does critical justice to an important body of cinema as it spins the tale of Peckinpah’s dramatic, overcharged life and the turbulent times through which he moved. Sam Peckinpah was born into a clan of lumberjacks, cattle ranchers, and frontier lawyers. After a hitch with the Marines, he made his way to Hollywood, where he worked on a string of low-budget features. In 1955 he began writing scripts for Gunsmoke; in less than a year he was one of the hottest writers in television, with two classic series, The Rifleman and The Westerner, to his credit. From there he went on to direct a phenomenal series of features, including Ride the High Country, Straw Dogs, The Getaway, Pat Garrett and the Billy the Kid, and The Wild Bunch. Peckinpah was both a hopeless romantic and a grim nihilist, a filmmaker who defined his era as much as he was shaped by it. Rising to prominence in the social and political upheaval of the late sixties and early seventies, Peckinpah and his generation of directors—Stanley Kubrick, Arthur Penn, Robert Altman—broke with convention and turned the traditional genres of Western, science fiction, war, and detective movies inside out. No other era in Hollywood has matched it for sheer energy, audacity, and originality, no one cut a wider path through that time than Sam Peckinpah.
Morality & Narrative in the Films of Sam Peckinpah
Author: Michael Bliss
Pubpsher: SIU Press
Category: Performing Arts
In the first book to critically examine each of the fourteen feature films Sam Peckinpah directed during his career, Michael Bliss stresses the persistent moral and structural elements that permeate Peckinpah’s work. By examining the films in great detail, Bliss makes clear the moral framework of temptation and redemption with which Peckinpah was concerned while revealing the director’s attention to narrative. Bliss shows that each of Peckinpah’s protagonists is involved with attempting, in the words of Ride the High Country’s Steve Judd, "to enter my house justified." The validity of this systematic method is clearly demonstrated in the chapter devoted to The Wild Bunch. By enumerating the doublings and triplings of action and dialogue found in the film, Bliss underscores its symbolic and structural complexity. Beginning the chapters treating Junior Bonner and The Getaway with analyses of their important title sequences, Bliss shows how these frequently disregarded pieces present in miniature the major moral and narrative concerns of the films. In his chapter on The Osterman Weekend, Bliss makes apparent Peckinpahs awareness of and concern with the self-reflexive nature of filmmaking itself. Bliss shows that like John Ford, Peckinpah moved from optimism to pessimism. The films of the director’s early period, from The Deadly Companions to Cable Hogue, support the romantic ideals of adventure and camaraderie and affirm a potential for goodness in America. In his second group of films, which begins with Straw Dogs and ends with Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, both heroes and hope have vanished. It is only in The Osterman Weekend that Peckinpah appears finally to have renewed his capacity for hope, allowing his career to close in a positive way.
Discusses films such as The deadly companions, Ride the high country, Major Dundee, Noon wine, The wild bunch, The ballad of Cable Hogue, Straw dogs, Junior Bonner, The getaway, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia, The killer elite, Cross of iron, Convoy, and others.
Bring history to life with this unique collection featuring vivid profiles of famous people, places and historical events. Articles are selected with the curriculum in mind, and include newly written and selected articles from the distinguished Macmillan Reference USA collection. Rewritten for students starting at the middle school level, each volume features a lively 2-color design, photographs, quotes and fascinating sidebars.
Release on 2011-02-21 | by John L. Simons,Robert Merrill
A Critical Study
Author: John L. Simons,Robert Merrill
Category: Performing Arts
The work of Sam Peckinpah represents a high point in American cinema. This text is the first theoretical and critical attempt to place Peckinpah within the 2,000-year-old tradition of western tragedy. The tradition, enfolding the Greeks, Shakespeare and modern tragedians, is represented in Peckinpah’s art in numerous ways, and the fact that he worked in the mode throughout his career distinguishes him from most American film directors. Films covered include Ride the High Country, Noon Wine, The Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.
A detailed look at the work of one of America's great film directors. Sam Peckinpah helped to redefine the Western, clearing the board of genre cliches in order to present an intelligent examination of the motivation behind, and effects of, violence. The accusations against Peckinpah for making violent films, both Westerns and non-Westerns, for the sake of it as well as misogyny have become cliches themselves. Like their creator, the men who walk or ride through Peckinpah's films are deep, complex and often flawed. Technical accomplishment and the ability to draw out great preformances from his actors are only part of what sets Peckinpah's Films apart. It is their depth and intensity that make them unique. This book takes an in-depth look at the man, his early work for television, and all his films. It covers the critical reception of his films, Peckinpah's approach to film direction, his on-set behaviour, and studio interference during editing. An Appraisal of the iconography of his films plus an analysis of recurring themes and pre-occupations show that his best work was the most personal.