Just a short note today to refer people to this terrific new article on Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs in Quillette. I think I found it through a Facebook link; whose, I have no idea.
I was into Peckinpah in a major way in the early 1990s. I was a student at Amherst College, publishing Film Score Monthly on the side, and speaking often by phone to Nick Redman, then at Bay Cities Records and releasing the first few Jerry Fielding CDs (which were, it turns out, unlicensed, yet hiding in plain sight).
Nick was a huge Peckinpah and Fielding aficionado—more like an evangelist, and a very compelling one. I was studying film theory at Amherst and loved getting into these films. I haven’t seen them for years and years, though I did spend a lot of time with The Wild Bunch when we released that 3CD set.
There’s not much I can say about Peckinpah that far smarter people haven’t already said. I love watching his work, even the compromised later films when he was blasted on coke.
I was always shocked by how there could be endless old westerns on television, and they tended to be the same. But one whiff of a Peckinpah film and it’s like, whoa.
I don’t even mean the famous blood-spurting violence, but the character moments: the sheer intensity of Peckinpah’s vision backed by the humanity of his characters.
Some people are just talented as hell!