Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Interrupting the Dirk-fest ...

As a writer on Sam Peckinpah myself, I can highly recommend Tim's 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid' article on Antagony & Ecstasy: thorough, lucid, and well-informed. An excellent re-appraisal of what is still a very much overlooked film from one of American cinema's most notorious mavericks. Peckinpah never delivered a final cut of the film due to a degree of studio interference that verged on the intensity of a vendetta. (He only ever made one film that wasn't meddled with to some extent by his producers: the challenging and still often misunderstood 'Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia'.) Perhaps this is what makes 'Pat Garrett' such a standout: for all the compromises he had to make, every frame is shot through with the end-of-days/death-of-the-old-west/men-outliving-their-time aesthetic that defines Peckinpah's cinema.

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