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Peckinpah: The Western Films, first published when the director's reputation was at low ebb, helped lead a generation of readers and filmgoers to a full and enduring appreciation of Peckinpah's landmark films. This expanded, revised edition includes a new section on the personal significance of The Wild Bunch to Peckinpah as well as a complete account of the successful, buPeckinpah: The Western Films, first published when the director's reputation was at low ebb, helped lead a generation of readers and filmgoers to a full and enduring appreciation of Peckinpah's landmark films. This expanded, revised edition includes a new section on the personal significance of The Wild Bunch to Peckinpah as well as a complete account of the successful, but troubled, efforts to get a fully authorized director's cut released. Seydor also adds a great wealth of biographical detail that has surfaced since the director's death and includes a new chapter on Noon Wine, credited with bringing Peckinpah's television work to a fitting resolution and preparing his way for The Wild Bunch....

Title : Peckinpah: THE WESTERN FILMS--A RECONSIDERATION
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ISBN : 9780252068355
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 440 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Peckinpah: THE WESTERN FILMS--A RECONSIDERATION Reviews

  • Tristram
    2019-04-26 04:38

    „Who Would Have Thought the Old Man to Have Had So Much Blood in Him?“Paul Seydor’s magnificent tribute to Sam Peckinpah, Peckinpah. The Western Films – A Reconsideration, actually shows that there is really a lot of blood in Peckinpah’s western oeuvre in that his films, even after forty years, still teem with life and meaning, and that, at the same time, the epithet “Bloody Sam” largely misses the point about this controversial director because for all the violence depicted in his movies, visualizing atrocities has never been an end in itself to Peckinpah but always served a purpose beyond sensationalism and voyeurism, which – if I may be allowed that aside – cannot be said for most of his epigones, like Tarantino.Peckinpah. The Western Films – A Reconsideration carefully traces the director’s development from his years of apprenticeship as a scriptwriter and director for TV series such as The Rifleman, The Westerner and Gunsmoke via his first feature films within the western genre towards his masterpieces The Wild Bunch, The Ballad of Cable Hogue and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Each of the westerns is dealt with in one major chapter, and Seydor also pays due attention to Peckinpah’s contribution to the series “ABC Stage 67”, for which he wrote and directed Noon Vine, an adaptation of a short novel by Katherine Ann Porter. If there is one thing that is perhaps to be regretted, it’s the fact that Seydor did not dedicate any chapters to Junior Bonner and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. These two latter films may not be westerns in the strongest sense of the word but they surely deal with topics and motifs that are predominant in Peckinpah’s westerns. For that matter, if you apply so loose a definition of the western as I am arguing for, then you would also have to count The Getaway among his westerns, and as somewhere a line has to be drawn, Seydor seems to draw it with regard to the conventional setting of western movies, thus excluding those films which are set in more modern times.In his treatment of the westerns, Seydor incorporates and uses biographic information on Peckinpah, which is the right thing to do in regard to a director who more than once said about the Old West, “I can’t live it, so I remake it” and who obviously seemed to identify with some of the loners he depicted, but he does not succumb to the temptation of narrowing his vision down to Peckinpah’s personal life and its influences on his westerns, an approach that would be sure to end up in trite kitchen sink psychology. Instead, as a literary scholar he also takes into consideration what he calls the “masculine principle of American art and expression” – cf. Chapter 8 in his book, which is a little gem in itself –, thereby doing justice to the fact that Peckinpah was a widely read man deeply imbued with the literary traditions of his own country. And don’t worry: The “masculine principle” is not another one of those judgmental pseudo-theorems that are meant to “prove” that anything associated with masculinity is intrinsically bad and violent and therefore inferior to anything “feminine”. It refers to the idea expounded by Emerson of distrusting cut-and-dried moral sentiments and relying on one’s own experience and feelings instead.It is by this double approach of considering typically American principles in art and expression on the one hand and of taking into account personal experiences made by Peckinpah on the other that Seydor succeeds in providing fascinating insight into Peckinpah’s westerns and in characterizing the director as somebody who may have felt intrigued with the myth of the Old West but who still had too critical and keen a mind not to question it at the same time. It is this tension between affirmation and skepticism of what the western is all about that makes Peckinpah’s contributions to the genre such breathtaking films.Therefore, if you want to (re)discover the western universe of Sam Peckinpah and experience his movies instead of just consuming them, Seydor’s book will be a valuable companion in this enterprise.

  • Joe McClure
    2019-05-03 01:18

    Aside from the thorough, at times ecstatic, analyses of Peckinpah's Westerns, the thing about this book I most appreciate is how it places Peckinpah in the American literary tradition.This forced me to think about something I knew but hadn't much considered: A good film has every right to be placed alongside a good novel. Seydor remarks that "The Wild Bunch" is a great as Hemingway's best work. And he's right.The book takes an American studies approach, which I love. It's about much more than Peckinpah's Westerns. It's also about patterns in American literature.

  • Bob
    2019-05-14 05:30

    Another step in my personal examination of Peckinpah's movies. Terrific for any fan, revisit the movie, reference the book. Gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the movies, and the assembled group that produced them.

  • Stephen Hughes
    2019-04-29 08:33

    Excellent study of Peckinpah's westerns by the guy who edited Turner and Hooch. The chapters on The Wild Bunch and Ride The High Country are standouts.