CineSavant Column

Tuesday March 15, 2022



Sam Peckinpah was a master at being interviewed, whether trying to impress with his macho attitude and tough-guy cool, or for other venues, coming across as a civilized artist disassociating himself from the violence in his movies. In print or in person, the consistent angle is that he plays the wise man, who expects to be listened to.

He sounded like a reasonable guy if the subject wasn’t his unhappy dealings with studios and producers. This Brief Peckinpah Interview excerpt from a longer documentary was conducted by Oliver Assayas in 1982, when I believe Peckinpah was in decent shape, ‘getting clean.’ It’s for a foreign audience so he just lays on a couple of sage quotables: his work simply reflects the violence in society, and his job is to get his public to participate in the action.

Peckinpah was a lot different back in 1974 (or was it 1975) when the future ‘Z’-channel programmer Jerry Harvey lured him to The Beverly Canon theater for two showings of his personal uncut print of The Wild Bunch, the legendary cut with the Intermission. He stepped on stage in his mirrored glasses and talked in a gravelly voice, expressing sincere thanks for the two sell-out crowds. He left with an entourage of three or four, one of whom was Warren Oates. They both had the look of visionaries — or guys flying on something. I’m glad my contact with Peckinpah was so positive — he would soon made himself an industry pariah with his disorderly behavior at banquets, etc.



David J. Schow forwarded this link a while back: David Bowie BBC interview 1999 predicts the impact of the Internet. He’s pretty eloquent on the meaning of the Internet, especially considering when he’s speaking. He really believes the Internet is going to make big and scary changes, which certainly came to pass — you know, electing Presidents and all that. He also predicts that entertainment for this century will center on the ‘space between the performer and the audience.’ The BBC interviewer doesn’t look too convinced, as if Rock Stars aren’t meant to be profound.

I myself prefer the vintage Krell interpretation of the Internet — a vast human communication linkage that has great possibilities of instant species communication, but also terrifying self-destruction, as envisioned by Cyril Hume, Irving Block and Allen Adler.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson