Monday, March 02, 2015

Pat and Billy on The Agitation of the Mind

March is ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid’ month on The Agitation of the Mind. I’ll be reviewing Paul Seydor’s finely researched and monumentally detailed new book ‘The Authentic Death & Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah’s Last Western Film’ and curating a Q&A with the author.

I’ll also be reappraising the film itself, both the 1988 Turner Preview cut and the 2005 Special Edition. These reviews will be written in context of Seydor’s book; I’ll be making no reference to the material I produced for my Sam Peckinpah retrospective on this blog in 2009.

Seydor traces, in the early chapters, the various accounts of Billy the Kid, from Garrett’s own (albeit heavily ghostwritten) memoir to Charles Neider’s novel ‘The Authentic Death of Hendry Jones’, by way of Marlon Brando’s ‘One Eyed Jacks’, a production initially slated to be written by Peckinpah and directed by Stanley Kubrick. Accordingly, I’ll be looking at this curate’s egg of a western, not to mention a few other films that treat, or are influenced by, the mythology surrounding Billy the Kid.

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