Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Icons of my mind 1# (PECKINPAH)

(I like this picture as he looks quite benign here; not the bravura maverick, just some tired, wizened old boy contemplating the beckoning void)

There have been very few pleasant, let alone reliable constants in my life thus far and one of my most beloved and rewarding obsessions remains a zealous appreciation of the gonzoid cinematic genius of Sam Peckinpah. My love and profound admiration of this iconoclast's work came about at quite a tender age; long before I seriously began to half-understand over-written, convoluted articles on film theory, or rabidly consuming all the myriad Faber & Faber film director biographies; it was, fortuitously, far less labour intensive, all it took was a furtive, late-night viewing of 'The Wild Bunch' and I suddenly had (or I felt I had) some celestial purpose in life. The initial problem was how to see more of his films, no mean feat considering these were the near-barren days before the proliferation, nay, invention of the Betamax recorder or its cumbersome, larger-gauge VHS sibling. In addition this was also a decade before I had ever heard, or let alone understood the ubiquitous auteur moniker; I was simply a tremulous, impressionable boy responding to all the blazing, macho, visceral intensity of Peckinpah's compulsive narrative, coupled with the heady, palpable reek of "Alpha" maleness on display; which a lonely young knave couldn't help but respond to and, naturally, Peckinpah's deranged, giddy tumult of kinetic, sanguinary violence was also duly noted! Well, this was one alienated prepubescent who suddenly and demonstratively felt a intangible connection to something powerful and hypnotic far outside of himself; needless to say this was the very first (And best) of my many cinematic obsessions that began long before my round, cherubic visage succumbed to the harsh rigors of a man's beard.

(Neat-o still of Peckinpah and walkie-talkie, a veritable Boy's own fantasy!)

(Appears to be a flyer for a screening of Straw Dogs. I like the 6th form art student feel of this)

(The Getaway Triumvirate. Gotta love McQueen's macho arm splay, he is quite the peacock here!) 

(A wonderful picture of a pensive-looking Sam, in colour no less!)

(Two wayfarer-clad icons having a welcome respite from the relentless gun-play of 'The Getaway', or it might actually be Junior Bonner, not too sure.)

(The classic Peckinpah auteur dust jacket still)

(Looking at this I can hear Holden's low, Marlboro Man baritone, and it is a most comforting recollection!)

(The mighty Coburn awaits an "action" from friend and mentor Peckinpah)

(Nice Sunday supplement shot of Sam; never once seen without his pre - requisite bandanna!)

(Sans beard here, a hirsute sartorial misstep perhaps!)

(Holden & Peckinpah deep in thought, or deep in smoke; possibly both)

(One of my favorite pictures from this brief collection; Lettieri emphatically owns this still, McQueen's charisma appears considerably distilled here!)

(Splendid shot of the great man at work)

(Looking almost suave here, which is miraculous as he is, again, foolishly, sans beard!)

(Contrived publicity still, but the camera in the foreground looks ace!)
(Nice image from a recent Peckinpah retrospective)
(There is simply too much visual goodness here for one modest B/W photo: Peckinpah replete in groovy, slimline slacks advising the world's greatest male how to blow motherfuckers away!)

(Frankly the genius of this image speaks for itself!)

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