Friday, March 17, 2006

The Killer Valotte

Tonight Cinematheque Ontario kicked off their retrospective on the films of Sam Peckinpah with one of his jewels - Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, with Warren Oates blowing away half of Mexico while sporting goggle shades and impossibly white teeth. They are showing pretty much everything Peckinpah did except for his first feature The Deadly Companions and the Kris Kristofferson/Ali MacGraw trucker atrocity Convoy, based on the C.W. McCall song (there apparently isn't a print of it in North America - anyway, Peckinpah disowned it, but I would have loved to have been put through a screening).

Oh, and they're not showing Sam's final work. I'm not referring to the coked-out, blue-eyed freakshow that is The Osterman Weekend, which is probably playing in Toronto for the first time since the Rio (the grindhouse on Yonge Street) closed. I mean the two music videos he made for Julian Lennon for his 1984 debut 'Valotte', both straight-ahead performance videos shot in a recording studio. Sam was also planning to make a documentary about him, but very shortly after making these videos came his fatal heart attack.

Sam actually appears in the video for the title track but I couldn't find it anywhere, so here's his final completed piece - the video for 'Too Late For Goodbyes'. Not sure where the frizzy-haired mime dancing around in the doorway fits into the Peckinpah canon...

(Good looking out, Nickrj.)

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