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Author Topic: Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)  (Read 17953 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #120 on: February 06, 2017, 11:48:41 AM »

Didn't watch it yet. Instead I listened to the Stephen Prince commentary, which has its moments. Prince compares the script with what actually happens on screen and notices a few discontinuities. Apparently, Oates and Vega ended up improvising things that weren't there to begin with. One example is the scene under the tree where they talk together for quite a while. As scripted, the scene was rather conventional. What Oates and Vega discovered in the material allowed them bring something with greater depth and honesty. But it also created problems with continuity. At the end of the scene Vega cries; her character has wheedled a love declaration out of Benny, but it's come with the realization of just how feckless the guy is. She's actually very disappointed. The scene that follows starts out with the flat tire and Vega promising to make Benny happy. She's jumped from bitter disappointment to being all lovey-dovey. They've gone back to following the script at that point and thus we get jarring discontinuity.

Jarring to Prince, that is. I'll admit I never noticed the discontinuity before, but I'll probably always think of it now. Commentaries can be dangerous.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #121 on: February 06, 2017, 12:44:58 PM »

You never noticed ?  Smiley

One of the few problems I always had with this wonderful film. Well Sam wasn't as enthusiastic as usual when he made GARCIA. And it shows. I mean he ordered Gordy Dawson to film to final shots of the movie while Sam went on a date!
I talked with Isela about the tree scene and she is so great: Any actress would have loved it, so much (good) screen time etc. A real actor's scene. Instead she said she always felt Sam had let it play for too long in the final cut. He fell in love with the scene, even cried while filming it. And because it was much darker and more sad while actually filming it, he had a problem with the next scene regarding mood (maybe that one was filmed before. Or maybe he just didn't care. I certainly never cared much - Sam on a not-so-good-day is always twice as good as 95% of the other filmmakers Smiley )

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« Reply #122 on: February 06, 2017, 01:32:15 PM »

Well, there is a time ellipsis between the scenes . . . people can change their moods from moment to moment, and frequently do, I believe. It's possible you could feel very hurt one minute, then a few miles down the road have a burst of euphoria. After all, this woman has had a long-standing relationship with Benny. How would that have even been possible without an ability to delude herself?

But yeah, maybe the scene under the tree plays too long.

Prince is pretty funny when he gets to the biker scene: he metaphorically throws up his hands and claims he can't make heads or tails of it. He says K.K. and his buddy seem to wander in from some other film. It is certainly a weird scene. I guess I like it because it's so unlike anything else in the movie. I'm not sure it has to make sense.

I guess one thing I could object to is that it introduces Benny's propensity to deal with problems through violence too early. So he kills a couple of bikers, almost casually. Well, the other killings he does later aren't such a big deal then. But if the movie had waited until Vega's character had been killed, the gradual violence Benny is led to take might have seemed a gradual, more measured, even a somewhat-justified response. After all, he's been buried and left for dead. That kind of thing could get to anyone's poise. And Benny starts going a bit mad. Well, madmen kill. I think saving all the Benny-made violence until after the graveyard scene would have worked better, but not doing it that way doesn't ruin the film.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #123 on: February 06, 2017, 02:27:36 PM »

Well like I said, this one was different for Sam. He was pretty down after PAT GARRETT, in my opinion that film destroyed him and his career. Anyway, he had not that many of his gang in Mexico with him, due to the limited budget and other reasons, so he was very happy that Kris was with him for a while, and he extended his part... As a film scholar (maybe not so much as a critic) I often judge films based on the way they were made, regarding budget/problems/circumstances/intentions etc., and Peckinpah really didn't take the film as serious as his earlier work.
Discussing how a script or a scene could have been improved or changed 40 years ago is not so much my kind of thing. I take it as it stands (if it was achieved without interference by studios etc.). The killing scene is alright I think. It shows that Benny was able to protect them both. And the harder it is for him - and us - to see him fail later on. Also a little action was fine, the film played for a while by then. I could go on... better switch back to work - more audio-commentaries on Peckinpah.

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« Reply #124 on: February 06, 2017, 07:50:28 PM »

better switch back to work - more audio-commentaries on Peckinpah.

Ooh, please tell me it's for one of the following: Cable, Bonner, Garrett, Osterman....

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« Reply #125 on: February 07, 2017, 02:15:18 AM »

Bonner is the one I really need. The only Peckinpah I don't own on DVD.

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« Reply #126 on: February 07, 2017, 02:21:54 AM »

Ooh, please tell me it's for one of the following: Cable, Bonner, Garrett, Osterman....

Nobody cares for for RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, Top 3 Peckinpah.

No, unfortunately not. Disney & Warner are difficult to deal with.
But since CRITERION now releases BLOW UP, my hopes are still alive...

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« Reply #127 on: February 08, 2017, 11:06:05 AM »

Nobody cares for for RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, Top 3 Peckinpah.

Good point. Yes, I'd like a blu-ray of that too please  Smiley

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« Reply #128 on: February 08, 2017, 11:42:29 AM »

What about The Deadly Companions? I actually prefer it to Ride the High Country.

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« Reply #129 on: February 08, 2017, 08:04:45 PM »

Mike, I'm still waiting for you to rise to the following challenge as regards "The Osterman Weekend" Afro .....

Quote
Looking at the old captures from the Peckinpah cut on DVD, I noticed that it hasn't been cropped as heavily on the width as you'd expect for a full-screen version, but has actually been opened up quite a lot vertically instead. Given that many of the changes between the Peckinpah and theatrical cuts involve different cutting orders as much as new content, and that there isn't a huge amount of new content anyway, leads me to an idea...

Could someone perhaps re-cut the theatrical version to match the Peckinpah cut as closely as possible and then use scenes from the Peckinpah cut where additional content is needed? Of course the quality of those scenes/shots will be very significantly compromised, but they did something of this nature for the extended cut of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America and while the added scenes do stand out (some more than others), it is still a great thing to have.

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« Reply #130 on: February 09, 2017, 05:05:16 AM »

Yes, that would be very interesting. I'm certainly not the one who would do it. I don't have the time and probably not the motivation - despite the great cast and certain moments I suppose OSTERMAN is my least favorite Sam film. I have a nice 35mm print of it though, looks better on the screen than at home.
I made only one or two "extended" cuts for myself, SORCERER for instance, and it is a lot of work, a pain in the neck Smiley.

Did someone here just say DEADLY COMPANIONS is a better film than RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY? I always find it so fascinating how people
respond to films. I never get tired of it. EL DORADO being better than RIO BRAVO, or MOONRAKER being better than GOLDFINGER. Come to think of
it, I prefer KISS ME STUPID to IRMA LA DOUCE. Of course Smiley.

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« Reply #131 on: February 09, 2017, 05:20:49 AM »

EL DORADO being better than RIO BRAVO,


I think they are equal. Rio Lobo is of course a lesser one, still fun to watch.

Moonraker is a filmic disaster, but interestingly The Spy Who Loved Me is better than Goldfinger.

The Deadly Companions is a good film, but no match for Peckinpah's other westerns.

And yes, I also prefer Kiss Me Stupid to la Irma. But both suffer from being overlong.

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« Reply #132 on: February 09, 2017, 01:03:33 PM »

Yes, that would be very interesting. I'm certainly not the one who would do it. I don't have the time and probably not the motivation - despite the great cast and certain moments I suppose OSTERMAN is my least favorite Sam film. I have a nice 35mm print of it though, looks better on the screen than at home.

I have all the motivation and nada else  Grin

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