By Ian Cooper

In 1974, The Wall highway Journal known as this motion picture "grotesque, sadistic, irrational, obscene, incompetent," whereas New York Magazine declared it "a catastrophe." Upon its preliminary unlock, Sam Peckinpah´s infamous paintings took a severe and advertisement nosedive, yet in later years, the paintings was once heralded as a demented masterpiece--a violent, hallucinatory autobiography and a super instance of "pure Peckinpah." This learn revisits the making of this arguable movie, in addition to its unique reception and next reassessment. It reads the venture as an auteur paintings, a style movie, a confession, and a extraordinary self-parody.

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Indb 48 48 24/05/2011 18:33 BR I N G ME THE HE AD OF AL FRE DO GARC IA things and replaces them with a tone which is often uncertain, a streak of black humour that may or may not be intentional and a mood that lurches from the revolting to the poetic and back again. Gabrielle Murray’s description of the film’s ‘strange complexity and haunting lyricism’ (2002) is a good one. Maybe the best example of the film’s sick poetry is when Bennie is driving away from the gun battle with the Garcia family.

As is par for the course, even some of the positive reviews sound like bad ones: ‘Best enjoyed with a bottle of Jack Daniels … the grimmest vision of humanity ever created’ (Stephen B. Hughes, Merrimac, USA, 12/08/2003); ‘an alcoholic suicide note found in a sleazy motel bed … It will not make you feel good’ (Eric Krupin, Salt Lake City, Utah, 01/03/01); ’you may feel a little queasy placing this video on your shelf alongside your Lawrence of Arabias or your Seventh Seals. It is not only not a classic (and will never be one), it is informed by one of the most disgusting visions of life since Sade … A black, bitter movie to be savored late at night with the poison and people of your own choosing’ (A Viewer, 3/07/2000).

Indeed, it’s the scrappy inconsistency of Peckinpah’s film that, for aficionados, raises it above his other, not inconsiderable, cinematic achievements. This ‘low-fi’, dogged quality and the relentless nihilism of the thing make it seem untrammeled and uncompromising, in a way that has become familiar in the decades since (Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1975), punk, the New Queer Cinema, the films of Abel Ferrara). indb 32 32 24/05/2011 18:33 BR I N G ME THE HE AD OF AL FRE DO GARC IA one can argue that without Alfredo Garcia, there would be no Wild at Heart (David Lynch, 1990), no Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), no Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1996).

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