3 items from 2015
1971 was an incredibly violent year for movies. That year saw, among others, Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack, with its half-Indian hero karate-chopping rednecks; William Friedkin’s The French Connection, its dogged cops stymied by well-heeled drug runners; Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, banned for the copycat crimes it reportedly inspired; and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, featuring the most controversial rape in cinema history. Every bloody shooting, sexual assault and death by penis statue reflected a world gone mad.
It seemed a reaction to America’s skyrocketing crime. Between 1963 and 1975, violent crimes tripled; riots, robberies and assassinations racked major cities. The antiwar and Civil Rights movements generated violent offshoots like the Weathermen and Black Panthers. Citizens blamed politicians like New York Mayor John Lindsay (the original “limousine liberal”), who proclaimed “Peace cannot be imposed on our cities by force of arms,” and Earl Warren’s Supreme Court, »
- Christopher Saunders
Editor's Note: We're proud to announce that we are now the North American home for Locarno Film Festival Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian's blog. Chatrian has been writing thoughtful blog entries in Italian on Locarno's website since he took over as Director in late 2012, and now you can find the English translations here on Notebook as they're published. To kick things off, we're posting his piece on Sam Peckinpah, who was recently announced to be the subject of the festival's epic retrospective this year. The Locarno Film Festival will be taking place August 5th to 15th. ***The life of Sam Peckinpah sits like a splendid diamond set between two glorious eras for American cinema, one already on the decline and the other still to come. Retracing his career means looking as much at the great classical tradition that preceded him as at the new directors currently leaving their mark on the imagination. »
- Carlo Chatrian
Rome — The Locarno Film Festival will pay tribute to Sam Peckinpah with a complete retrospective of the maverick Hollywood director’s works, which include landmark Western “The Wild Bunch,” once called the “Citizen Kane” of the Vietnam generation, and other groundbreaking films such as “Straw Dogs,” “Ride the High Country” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.”
The Swiss festival dedicated to indie cinema will present Peckinpah’s complete filmography – with several films screened in newly restored prints – and a selection of his efforts for television ranging from works he wrote, produced or co-directed to those in which he performed as an actor. The screenings will be accompanied by discussions and a roundtable led by invited critics and filmmakers.
The retro is curated by Italian film programmer and historian Roberto Turigliatto.
Co-organizers are the Cinémathèque suisse in Lausanne, and the Cinémathèque française in Paris, which will host the entire program in September. »
- Nick Vivarelli
3 items from 2015
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