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Every so often, you come across a piece of writing on the Net that really does justify all the half-bored virtual derives .... I stumbled aross this, The Tao of Junior Bonner, completely serendipitously. If you follow the left-hand column of links to pieces on other Peckinpah work, and a piece on the Peckinpah repertory gang, the quality doesn't flag, either. Lovely stuff - even if you don't necessarily agree with bits of it it's personal and heartfelt and involving, and makes you reconsider stuff that (in my case, certainly) you may think you know inside-out. (In my case, you may end up reconsidering things you really didn't want to .... such as the fleeting thought that I may now be a whole lot nearer Ace Bonner than Junior Bonner these days. Sigh.) I always thought Junior Bonner was a deeply underrated film, and I always found it improbably moving (especially the spectral on-off relationship between Junior's Ma and Pa, played by Robert Preston and the marvellous Ida Lupino), even before its specific themes of ageing and disappointed dreams and melancholy compromise began to sprout like crab grass on my own prairie....

posted by Ian 6/25/2006 11:33:00 AM

Comments:
I used to see Pekinpah as a kind of Tex Avery with added mysoginy. The endless corpses of innocent bystanders gave me a headache. It's only with age (maturity or disillusion?) that I can truly appreciate his genius. There's an overwhelming sense of masculine melancholy that I never used to notice between the massacres. Most of his films deal with ageing - a kind of 'mini-massacre' we all have to face.

It's funny how his movies have dated a lot less than his 'movie brat' contemporaries (even in supposedly 'dead' genres). Despite his uber-yank characters, he seems to share the historical ambiguity and social disillusion of European directors of the time.

Maybe it's the world we're in now (Alfredo Garcia as JFK? Straw Dogs predicting the primitive appeal of the New Right? The Wild Bunch in Falluja?), but his movies hold a lot more resonance than the indulgences of his 'hipper' 60s/70s dirctors.

At least he never had the obligitary psychedelic party scene in his movies - which even CLINT did more than once! - AGUIRE ANON
 
o there's a great quote - i cant put my hands on it now but - the late great Chris Penn quoted in a new book about the 'Sundance' era Tarantino Uber Brats... he is asked about Resevoir Dogs, which he starred in and his great pithy response? "I'd rather watch Peckinpah..."
 
Those Sundance nerds seem best when they do sci-fi or its variants. Smirking misanthropy seems the order of the day...

Tarantino? Blah! He mainly 'stole' 60s Nouvelle Vague tricks (non-sequitors, dialogue about pop culture, obvious Hollywood references, non-linear narratives, odd choices of music). But wheras Trauffaut, Godard, Chabrol etc. were aggressively 'intellectual' about it; he just microwaved a frozen movement for the Beavis and Butthead generation - toally devoid of any sexuality, political content or social nous.

Oh, and he added nasty dollops of childish mysoginy, racism and homophobia to please slobbering acne-heads. Tarantino seems TERRIFIED of black people, women (and sex in general). Probably why his last two turkeys were like bleeping Playstation games... AGUIRRE
 
... and another thing: 'Jackie Brown' makes me feel like I'm watching white actors 'blacked-up' like Amos'n'Andy... he's also responsible for the 'rehabilitation' of that charisma-free scientologist Travolta ...
he also gave us a long line of forgotten 90s crime capers with lots of swearing, silly names and crap 70s pop...
 
I caught the last half of PULP FICTION on BBC3 on Saturday.
1) my god his films are mostly as static and stagey and OVER TALKY as a late-60s early-70s U.K. Pinter play-into-movie adaptation; he basically loves to hear his own (scripted) voice; talking of which...
2) my god who or what ever gave Tarantino himself the idea that he could act?!?!
3) i still insist that the sole 'twist' of Dogs/Fiction, is the transfer into wide open sunny L.A. grid of New Yorkish noir conventions. But Tarantino couldn't produce a genuinely adult Californoir like Cutters Way or Dog Soldiers in a million years...

It's strange how the same Gen Xers who blog and march and protest against The BUSH-wa Way of Violence dont see the same endemic strain in their boy Quentin and his fanboy ilk: got a (structural) problem? draw a gun, inflict a wound, solve the crisis with overwhelming force ...
 
He's so visually clunky he actually made me appreciate the artistry of dodgy US action movies('Die Hard' and 'Con Air' rock!) and Chinese Martial Arts. Tarantino's characters really are like playstation types - the look and talk of the characters are like computer wrestlers.
Mark of a terrible writer - everyone sounds speaks with the same voice and all you 'hear' is a guy at a typewriter smirking to himself.
Cutter's Way - the most underrated film of the past three decades (strangely for a post-movie brat thriller, it's actually about GROWN UPS with NO REFERENCES TO THE DIRECTOR'S BOYHOOD CINEMA FAVOURITES - but that might be a Czech thing).
 
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