Thursday, October 01, 2009

Coming attractions / Sam, Dirk, Andrei and the Class of 1984

The Peckinpah poll closed earlier today with ‘Straw Dogs’ just beating ‘The Wild Bunch’ into first place with 14 votes (24%), while Pike Bishop and the Bunch take 13 votes (22%) and happily mow down an army of Mexican revolutionaries while they're at it.

The big surprise was ‘Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia’ in third place with 13%. For a long time, I was convinced I was in a minority for loving this movie: most people I talked to had never heard of it, others just plain didn’t like it. I remember a screening at Nottingham’s Broadway Cinema as part of their now-defunct "Shots in the Dark" festival, where half of the audience responded enthusiastically to Peckinpah’s dark-to-the-point-of-nihilistic humour while the other half sat there in stony silence.

In joint fourth place, ‘Ride the High Country’, ‘The Ballad of Cable Hogue’ and ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ garnered 5 votes (8%) apiece. Out where the iron crosses grow, there were 3 votes (5%) for Bloody Sam's only war movie. ‘The Getaway’ made off with 2 votes (3%), while the elegiac ‘Junior Bonner’ and the less-than-elegiac ‘The Killer Elite’ and ‘The Osterman Weekend’ scraped 1 vote (1%) each.

There was no love at all for ‘The Deadly Companions’, ‘Major Dundee’ or ‘Convoy’.

And for a while I was quite impressed that the computer had worked out the percentages for me ... until I realised that the whole thing only adds up to 94%. I'm going to assume the missing 6% is in honour of his acclaimed TV movie ‘Noon Wine’ and move swiftly on.

The Peckinpah tribute gets underway on 1st December with the whole month dedicated to the maverick maestro here on The Agitation of the Mind. Feel free to join in. Swipe one of these banners, share your thoughts on all things Peckinpah and let’s mark the 25th anniversary of his passing on 28th December in fine style.






In the meantime - and celebrating a personality about as different to Sam Peckinpah as you can get - October kicks off with the Third Annual Dirk-Fest. Mid month, the Tarkovsky retrospective considers two very different works by the chuckle-free Russian director, while Sergio Leone takes centre stage on 26th October when I’ll be writing about ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ as part of This Distracted Globe’s "Class of 1984" blog-a-thon.

4 comments:

J.D. said...

Looking forward to your Peckinpah month! I've already been re-familiarizing myself again with THE GETAWAY and BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA. I can't decide which one to write about!

Neil Fulwood said...

To be honest with you, I could easily write off the next two months on the blog and get straight into the Peckinpah-fest.

I've got most of the Bogarde reviews drafted out, so there's just the Tarkovsky's and 'Once Upon a Time in America', a token effort for November, then a glorious few weeks of immersing myself in all things Peckinpah.

Regarding your dilemma, 'The Getaway' is a bloody good film, but 'Alfredo Garcia' has so much going in, its so steeped in such a unique atmosphere - a curious conflation of blackly comic nihilism, defiance and world-weary elegy - that I'm betting you could craft an in-depth and fascinating article on it.

Not that I'm trying to influence you in any way ....

J.D. said...

Heh. Yeah, you do make a very convincing argument! Plus, I have been meaning to pick up that biography on Oates that came out this year and is supposed to be quite good...

Neil Fulwood said...

Not read that myself yet. Hmmm, I think a quick trip to the bookshop might be in order over the weekend ...