Peckinpah Today: New Essays on the Films of Sam Peckinpah

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-28
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ Pr
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Written exclusively for this collection by today's most significant writers and researchers on Sam Peckinpah, the nine essays in Peckinpah Todayexplore the body of work of one of the most important American filmmakers, revealing new insights into his artistic process and the development of his lasting themes. By unearthing new sources-from modified screenplay documents and pulp fiction novels to interviews with screenplay writers and editors-this book, edited by Peckinpah scholar Michael Bliss, provides groundbreaking criticism of Peckinpah's work. To better understand Peckinpah's artistic process, four of the essayists examine the transformation of written material into film, while acknowledging the significant contributions of screenwriters and producers. Included is a rare interview with A. S. Fleischman, author of the screenplay for The Deadly Companions, the film that launched Peckinpah's career in feature films. The collection also contains essays by scholar Stephen Prince and Paul Seydor, editor of the controversial special edition of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, who explains his editing rationale in detail. In his essay on Straw Dogs, film critic Michael Sragow reveals how Peckinpah and co-scriptwriter David Zelag Goodman transformed a pulp novel into a powerful film. Other contributors explore spiritual and biblical themes in The Wild Bunch, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, The Killer Elite, and Cross of Iron. Tony Williams's essay on The Osterman Weekendproposes that this underappreciated film is a sophisticated tract on the media. The final essay of the collection surveys Peckinpah's career, showing the dark turn that the filmmaker's artistic path took between his first film, The Deadly Companions, and his last film, The Osterman Weekend. This broad assessment helps to reinforce the book's dawn-to-dusk approach, which provides a fascinating picture of the great filmmaker's work.

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