First blog! ..well for me that is.....

Okay, so here are some photos that i took a while back. I used photoshop on most of them.
All my other photos are currently being kept on a computer or disk somewhere where I can't get to them at them moment. It makes me sad that my old computer is apparently broken. It sounds as though there are a thousand angry bees trying to escape from within the machine! Bees scare me, if you weren't previously aware of that fact. It was sad at SCA when all of them chose our courtyard to die in. and Sebastian killed that one with his shoe. Also, it is sad that my cell phone ran away last night... off a bridge and directly downward into a river running half way between NJ and PA. I'm working on fixing that though. It was silly of me in the first place, and what was I trying to do? take a picture! goodness gracious.
Anyway on a completely new topic, I am happy that I managed to put all of my songs onto my ipod tonight. If anything, I now at least know that all of my (what, 3?) horrible recordings are safe from the bees... As long as I stay away from bridges. We should work on recording music (or just playing it) while everyone is home for thanksgiving! It would be fun! Or maybe not so much... It's fair to say that the plan has the potential to fall in either direction. Anyway, it would be a lot easier to plan if people, (cough -Sebastian- cough) would quit blowing us off to hang out with his loser friends! Like he did ALL SUMMER!
My family returned from Canada today. It was nice to see them again. I still had to make my own dinner though. Also, today I visited a castle, drank apple cider, (and coffee) read Twilight, saw some of my friends (and some of my enemies) played my guitar, (and saw it in a movie) and learned to play bass. (kind of...)
Isabel Malone is sleeping over at my house tonight. Apparently her foot hurts or something. I really liked seeing Rachel Getting Married, though it was very emotional. Tunde has the most beautiful voice! Not to mention the COOLEST glasses ever! Oh and Anne Hathaway was decent in it too, I guess.
Nick is home from NY tonight. Everyone should prank call him.

My Favourite Film Number 7

Occasionally you’ll know right off the bat that what you’re looking at is a work of art; sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it’s during a backward glance appraisal. Let The Right One In, a Swedish vampire film I read a tiny review of in some magazine or other, was quite clearly an overwhelming artistic achievement from the word go. With all the mishigas being raised over Twilight and the disappointing sting of 30 Days of Night still fresh in my mind, I’d like to choose my words carefully so that readers will understand that this movie is special in ways few horror films ever manage to be; I’d also like to sit the makers of both films down and make them watch this one and then smack their noses with a newspaper. I will say though that rather than read my analysis and take my word for it, you should stop now, drive the two hours to the nearest arthouse that’s showing it and see for yourself that there are still brilliant movies being made, and for the most part, if this and Joachim Von Trier's Reprise are any indication, they're being made in Scandinavia. Would you believe me if I told you it was about a cute 12 year old girl who was also a vampire?

Let The Right One In
by Tomas Alfredson
Open on a hopelessly beautiful, hopelessly middle class tenement building in a village outside Stockholm, Sweden. As 12-year-old child of divorce Oskar stands in his underwear practices his tough guy speech to a window, an old man and his young daughter unpack their belongings from a taxi cab and move into the apartment next door. Oskar is the victim of bullying and it’s not hard to see what makes him easy prey: he is pale, gangly even for a 12 year old, has long blonde hair his mother has clearly not looked at in sometime, he walks as if one leg were longer than the other, and his social weirdness manifests itself whenever he’s called on to talk in class. Clean cut bully Conny and his two not-so-brave cohorts Martin and Andreas make Oskar’s life as miserable as possible whenever they can fit it in. It isn’t until Oskar meets his new neighbor that things start to turn around for our young hero.

We know things aren’t right when, in what might be the most beautifully composed evisceration ever filmed, the elder of Oskar’s two neighbors drugs a passerby, strings him up on a lamppost and cuts his throat. This might be an ordinary killing save for one thing; he catches the blood in a plastic jug. The old man’s plan, whatever it may be, is ruined when a runaway dog brings its owners to the scene forcing him to flee. This doesn’t make his ‘daughter’ too happy, who after a stern talking to issues what sounds like a hypothetical warning “Do I have to do this myself?” Shortly after this botched incident, Oskar is outside after dark threatening a tree at knife point when he catches the young girl spying on him. It will take a lot of coaxing before he learns her name (Eli), but she wants to make one thing clear; she may be the same age as Oskar, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be friends. This changes after they meet a few times and Eli develops a soft spot for Oskar; perhaps because she has a very adult secret that youthful playtime helps her forget. One night one of the neighborhood drunks stumbles home and Eli lures him under a bridge and savagely murders him with her teeth. Two significant developments then unfold; firstly is that after Eli does her victim in fully, she cries, clearly unhappy about her fate; secondly an old eccentric with a house full of cats happens to witness the murder. Eli’s father hides the body, but clearly things are about to change for the family.

Oskar starts seeing more and more of Eli; she teaches him to stand up for himself and soon he has a crush on her that takes up most of his attention whenever they’re apart. Eli is initially reluctant until the night her dad slips up and gets himself caught while trying to milk a neighborhood boy of his life essence; the old man chooses an incredibly painful method of concealing his identity and covering his tracks so that Eli is left unmolested by authorities. When she visits him in the hospital that night, he says farewell to her and gives her what he was unable to provide while they lived together. Eli visits Oskar that night and agrees to ‘go steady’ as he puts it. Because Eli has to do her own hunting and as she isn’t be as careful as her dad was, she leaves behind a calling card one night when she doesn’t finish off one of her victims; the poor woman’s drunkard boyfriend is understandably a little shocked when she becomes sensitive to daylight, is nearly eaten alive by cats and won’t shut up about a little girl infecting her with something. Time to do some investigating, eh? This guy isn’t any Van Helsing, but he has a pretty good idea who’s behind the whole mess. As if that weren’t enough problems for our heroes, Oskar manages to make yet another enemy. When Oskar takes Eli’s advice about not letting kids bully him anymore and lashes out at Conny with a stick at recess, the little terror’s older brother gets involved; I guess exceedingly stupid and violent behavior runs in the family.

If this movie has one clear precedent, it wouldn’t be Bram Stoker’s Dracula, either excellent Nosferatu movie, any of Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee’s takes on the subject, nor that oft-referenced teenage vampire trainwreck The Lost Boys. It wouldn’t even be some of the more recent child-horror films: your 6th Senses, The Rings, or any of Guillermo Del Toro’s three elegiac fairy tales, The Devil’s Backbone, Cronos, or Pan’s Labyrinth. No, if I could point to one film most likely to have been an influence on this film, I’d guess it would be Lasse Hallström’s My Life As A Dog. Another famous Swedish export (in fact perhaps the most famous non-Bergman Swedish film yet made; notice I didn’t say infamous; that honor would go to Alf Sjoberg’s I Am Curious) My Life As A Dog has many thematic similarities including a weak-willed boy infatuated with a much stronger female, pubescent growing pains, a lovely romantic story between two youths of starkly different types, a town full of characters on the fringe of the lead's lives who play important roles in the story proper, parents incapable of understanding their children, and adults in general being powerless to put themselves in the mindset of that thing they’re now least like and most afraid of in the world – a child. The film's theme of childhood being as mysterious as supernatural behavior reminds one of Robert Wise's great Curse of the Cat People, only with roles reversed and modernized. The same shimmering innocence pervades both films and Alfredson has Wise's respect for the extraordinary power of the imagination.

Let me digress for a moment and say that if I had an inner child, she would look and act something like Lina Leandersson does here; this 12 year old first-time actress is my hero. Her Eli, on top of scoring points for being an unrelentingly cute murderer, is one of the greatest characters in film history. Oskar and Eli spend most of their time together asking questions typical of 12 year olds, and its clear that they both suffer from arrested development, albeit for two different reasons. Oskar has his absent parents to thank for his naivete (Oskar has ten times more fun with his dad, but dad still hasn’t come clean about his homosexuality and is clearly ashamed of it, which puts a strain on their relationship), Eli has the fact that her life stopped being that of 12 year old years ago. Between Eli’s lack of friends her own age or any other relationships beyond her male caregiver, she is just as clueless about socialization as Oskar. This is most whimsically demonstrated when Oskar buys Eli a bag of candy in a misguided attempt to be kind. Eli, not wanting to seem rude, eats one and promptly vomits behind the vender’s stand; Oskar panics and hugs Eli, something, I gather from her ridged posture, that no one has done in quite some time. Both Oskar's frightened expectations and Eli's confused detachment ring as true as anything I've ever seen on film. Moments like this are what separates Let The Right One In from all of its contemporaries. Alfredson proves himself capable of providing every facet of John Ajvide Lindqvist‘s source novel and screenplay with equal amounts of care and grace. Incidentally, Lindqvist should receive accolade for both staying remarkably true to vampire lore, while still delivering a unique scenario in which to play with it (for every Martin there's a Dracula 2000 waiting to make it irrelevant). I knew that this movie was not simply good but transcendent just after Eli says goodbye to her father. She comes back to Oskar’s room, her mouth still coated in her guardian’s dried blood, disrobes and climbs into bed with him (Maria Strid's costumes really make Eli's malaise and confusion all the more palpable). She has never known loss before and thus her turning to Oskar for comfort in her time of greatest need is beyond touching. They never face each other and Oskar is clearly out of his depth, but the two are completely in the moment and this scene’s tenderness is nearly unparalleled; rarely have child actors seemed so unapologetically, wonderfully childish. When Eli slowly takes Oskar’s hand, I nearly wept at the power of this movie and of cinema as an art.

Oh, and those of you who’re reading this going “it’s a love story, pfft! I’ll just see Saw V, thank you very much. We don’t need another Twilight!” shame on you. Please don’t misunderstand me, the movie works just as well as a horror film; Alfredson is just as at home melting a heart as he ripping one out. And oh, the horror! Let The Right One In is like the There Will Be Blood of horror films. It is quiet, unpredictable, wildly visual, gut-wrenchingly tense, and absolutely mesmerizing. So little actually happens, and what does is so masterfully understated that you can’t help but wait with bated breath from scene to scene. Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography makes for one of the moodiest portrayals of cold weather in recent memory. As enthralled as I was by the awesomely beautiful story of pre-adolescent love and the search for understanding, I was absolutely spellbound by the scenes where the horror elements come into play. Watching Conny observe Oskar and plan his downfall internally is ten times as frightening because this is a film completely unafraid to put its heroes in danger. His classmates put Oskar in very real peril and it almost rivals the gruesome murders committed by his sunlight-fearing dream girl. Another point Let has in common with There Will Be Blood is it’s truly awesome and orgasmically violent climax. This and 28 Days Later now share the prize for greatest conclusion in any film. No other filmmaker has yet been brave enough to make its romantic peak coincide with the murder of children under 12 without losing any of his or the movie's integrity.

It’s funny to note how effortlessly a country enters a discourse and makes the homogenized major players seem like the big, monomaniacal teenagers they truly are. Go to netflix and look at their foreign horror; they have two categories: Italian and Japanese. You’ll find a French film and the odd Spanish production, but the point is that America’s scope is so narrow that it’s a wonder Let The Right One In got…well, let in (to use [rec] as an example, that film’s remake is currently making the rounds of multiplexes across the country, but it’s superior source film has yet to find an American distributor). Seeing as how Let The Right One In has exactly one historical precedent (Ingmar Bergman’s haunting and hallucinogenic Hour Of The Wolf), it could have been anything less than perfect and I would have been satisfied. In fact I probably would have sung its praises anyway seeing as how America’s idea of a good independent horror film is Teeth and it’s idea of a revisionist vampire movie ranges from the bad (Underworld, Interview With A Vampire, Lost Boys) to the absolutely unwatchable (Van Helsing, Bordello of Blood, From Dusk Till Dawn). However, not since Near Dark has there been so brilliant a vampire film; not ever has there been a better film about childhood. Let The Right One In is nothing short of perfect and will remain one of my favorite films for a long time.


Zdzislaw Beksinski is a polish artist. He has, for many years created art that is haunting and timeless.

Beksinski's themes and images of whirring, boney apendages and of solitary figures in landscapes enormous, ancient and foreboding, have long been the stuff of nightmares as they appear in the works of other artists such as H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Weine, Stephen King, Aleksandr Ptushko, Dante Alighieri, Stanley Kubrick, HR Giger, and the makers of countless video games. His work is a testament to the transcendent quality of certain shapes and figures and illustrates that some things will never lose their ability to arrest. His website I found when looking at Guillermo Del Toro's favorite things on the director's fan page. Visiting was one of the more rewarding experiences I've yet had on the internet.

Filled with endless chasms of dawn's colors and nameless forms moving through a limitless-yet-claustrophobic environment, Beksinski's paintings are just the tip of the iceberg. The website itself moves and breathes like plant life and the haunting music, done by none other than brilliant Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner (The Double Life of Veronique, Blue) carries you on this journey of skeletons and canines like a guiding wind. Beksinski's photographs, digital art, and black & white drawings are all beautiful and terrible and will all be just as alarming in 100 years.

Run, don't walk. See the colours. See the life.


There are a number of illusory, iridescent elephants dancing about in my brain.

There was an older woman screaming at me, because she wanted me to vacate a room that she had reserved the day before. Were she not screaming about my incompetence as a human, I may have done just that.

Eventually, I returned to my room. A tall boy was there, he was of a dark complexion and exhibited highly feminine mannerisms. Venting, I explained to him that the woman was completely out of her right to ridicule me as she did.

The boy did not entirely understand. He acted apart from himself, like an ideal not often reached by man.

"It is your fault for dwelling on her actions. It is your burden to bear, choose you to bear it."

Lit-Rock from another Blog

More on John Cale to follow

Lit Rock is the phenomenon by which Bands or musicians will base a good deal of their music around themes, situations, and characters found in their favorite books. Today's reigning champion is undisputedly the Decemberists, who have based entire albums on books they've read. The Crane Wife, their fourth album released in 2006 was based on a Japanese fable frontman Colin Meloy found in a children's storybook. He and his other bandmates have at times worked in bookstores and so they understand the importance of the book in music and other arts. Meloy's lyrics read like a reworked Dickens or Orwell novel or possibly some lugubrious Irish play written while famine was at every door. He sings about love lost in tragic storms, giant whales, soldiers, priories, revenge at sea, jolly boats, wanton sailors, women of ill-repute haunting cobble stone streets, and cannibals. Indeed his work is all the more exciting for his picaresque (the name of the bands third album) tales of cowardice, love, and loss and his bandmates are able to spin utterly convincing sonic renderings of these scenes for him.

During concerts to support Picaresque, the band covered Wuthering Heights, a song by Kate Bush whom Meloy routinely described as the mother of 'lit rock' as they know it. Bush certainly was the master of reinterpreting classic novels to timeless pop songs, but she has one predecessor who doesn't regularly get his due. Aside from the countless singers who referenced that classic that never goes out of print, The Bible, there is one singer who routinely name checked his favorite authors in his sublime pop songs. John Cale, one-time bass and viola player for The Velvet Underground, embarked on his solo career in 1970 and two albums in let the world know the joy of reading. Paris 1919, his sophomore record, is filled with layered literary references and splendidly written tributes to the great works that inspired him to put pen to paper. In the grooves of Paris, you'll find an homage to Dylan Thomas' great and ageless poem A Child's Christmas in Wales, a song named for that great spinner of intriguing yarns Graham Greene, and a rocker named for Shakespeare's Danish prince.

Lit Rock today is a slightly different species than it once was. It, for example, now knows no genre. Bands like White Rabbits wear their bookshelves on their sleeves and their music is fittingly sensitive and listenable, yet on the other end of the spectrum lies something equally as pleasing. Metal band Mastodon based their second record Leviathan on Moby Dick at the suggestion of drummer Brann Dailor. It's now not uncommon to find screamo bands with names like Gatsby's American Dream. There are other bands that take a subtler approach, but the literary influence is there - its nearly impossible to picture Tokyo Police Club without the writings of William Burroughs and Philip K. Dick to place it next to; ditto Cold War Kids with Robert Louis Stevenson and Allen Ginsberg. Canadian dream-pop band Stars took their love of the written word to a whole new level when they asked Daniel Handler (alias Lemony Snickett, the writer of Children's fiction) to write a short story to correspond with the lyrical themes of their album In Our Bedroom After The War so that they could include it in the liner notes. In Our Bedroom is itself a cohesive story with arc and recurring themes. And on the converse side of this is the Gothic Archies, a band who composed a soundtrack to be heard along with each of the books Handler wrote under his Snickett moniker.

Books are a gift that will never stop giving and continue to reach audiences well beyond the literary world. The greatest compliment I've ever received with regard to my music came when a singer I'd never met told me that my music struck him like a classic novel. In the words of my friend and fellow song-writer John Howell "always read to your children, because it makes all the difference".

The Newman-Os Tarot Spread

The positions are fourfold, existing in two divisions of two:

Demeanour. This is the analytical basis for the reading's subject. It represents the conclusion to which most people would rationalise.
Simulacra. The apparent, false reality of the reading subject. It is revealed by Jung's endopsych.

Objectivity. The true, factual circumstance regarding the reading subject. It is revealed by Jung's ectopsych.
Anima Mundi. This is the mystical basis for the reading's subject. It represents an overarching truth grounded outside of intellectualism.
Pattern. A uniting element which all aspects of the reading subject have in common.

Bráhman. Where the pattern only united the reading subject's multifarious facets, Bráhman is the ultimate fundament upon which all these are based.

The cards are positioned thus:

  1. First, simulacra is placed in the low position. It is the most vulgar state of understanding, a mask worn upon a farce.
  2. Second, objectivity is placed immediately about the simulacra, in the high position. This represents a "rising up" from a dissociation with reality.
  3. Thirdly, pattern is placed immediately to the left of the seam created by the separation of the low and high positions, in the secondary position. It represents an encompassing of the demeanour cards, they exist only within patterns which define their composition.
  4. Finally, Bráhman is placed opposition pattern, in the primary (or final) position. It represents a linear progression, both chronological and intellectual, from left to right; and a condensation of both demeanour and pattern. The completed arrangement is that of a cross, symbolising Christ.
Bráhman may be further explained by repeating this process, with simulacra representing an alternative misconception of its meaning.

My Favourite Film Number 6

This is part of my effort to write about my 100 favorite films in two pages or less. The new Format looks stellar, no? Shelly did a remarkable job.

The Wild Bunch
by Sam Peckinpah

“I believe in the innocence of Children,” said Sam Peckinpah, one of the most exciting men who ever lived. He was a womanizer, tyrant, alcoholic, bastard, and a film director. His films featured grit, violence and sex to a degree few commercial filmmakers have ever dared. His movies feature true vulgarity and bacchanalia, whether in the form of one of the most narrow-minded depictions of rape ever filmed, or of two men bathing in a vat of wine with three whores, or of Warren Oates pouring tequila on his penis to kill the crabs his prostitute girlfriend has just given him. He was a difficult man, but one with vision and guts. While others moved in progressive directions, leaving ordinary themes behind for more complex ones, some opted to ignore the change in the times and keep making the same manner of film they always had. Peckinpah decided to breathe life into a genre that nearly everyone had forgotten about. The biggest difference between his and most other westerns is simply in the way he fills the background. Shot on location with real Mexican people, magnificent costume and production design, his films brim with vitality even when nothing happens. His films have a naturalistic quality in their backgrounds that even the greatest of westerns lack. Lucien Ballard’s cinematography helped, of course, in bringing a new Mise-en-scene to a dying breed of film. Things move freely and wildly in Peckinpah films and Ballard’s camera caught it all magnificently (though it is impressive to watch the Director’s cut that has been shown in theatres in recent years, it hasn’t been digitally remastered and so the genius of Ballard’s cinematography goes somewhat unnoticed). His attitude toward children played a crucial role in this, his crowning moment as an artist, and it differs greatly from that of his many heroes and predecessors – Rene Clement, Vittorio De Sica, Carol Reed, Frank Capra, Robert Wise – in that he sees their innocence as something that allows them the greatest potential. They do not see their behavior as wrong and so they do what they feel is right, what gives them greatest pleasure. They act violently toward nature, respect what they please and act out of this sense of respect. Now who they respect is another matter entirely, as they get to choose who they feel responsibility towards; themselves or those with the power to reward them. The only film that really captures every facet of Sam Peckinpah’s beliefs, the one that changed his life, gave his career it’s direction and altered the lives of many, many people is The Wild Bunch.

Sam Peckinpah was an outsider to the world of film; his views on plot structure and his steadfast refusal to compromise had nearly succeeded in taking his one creative output away from him. When Hollywood recognized once again the magnitude of Peckinpah’s creative genius, the first shot they gave him was all he needed and it fit him like a glove. Westerns until the mid 1960s had always basically followed certain archetypes (Anthony Mann’s films obviously prove the exception, ditto Johnny Guitar). The element of westerns which had yet to be rewritten was that the lead characters always apostrophize about their ideals and what it is they’d be willing to die for; Peckinpah’s triumphant return to the big screen unflinchingly shows what it looks like when men decide to walk the walk. They do so in one of the screen’s most electrifying gun battles ever filmed. The scene, famous for it’s behind-the-scenes stores of limited extras and uniforms, makes perfect use of Sam’s feverish editing and his love of the squib (fake blood spurting from bullet-sized pockets hidden in clothing). The opening and closing orgy of gun violence will always be as exciting to me as the first time I saw it. On the big screen, it’s the stuff of dreams; so perfect is the montage of both gunfights that you’re unknowingly on the edge of your seat when they’re through.

The story concerns a gang of aging criminals around the time of the Mexican Revolution in 1913, led by Pike Bishop (William Holden in what has to be the finest performance of his career). The bunch, Dutch (Ernest Borgnine, his finest hour), Brother’s Lyle (Warren Oates, who steals many of his scenes with his demented anger) & Tector Gorch (Ben Johnson, who despite being covered in filth can’t help but look elegant), feisty new recruit Angel (Jaime Sanchez, who must be one of the first Mexicans to portray a heroic figure in an American produced film), and horse watcher Freddie Sykes (Edmond O’Brien, who should have won an Oscar for his Walter Huston act) drifts around Mexico contemplating their next move; they’re wanted by the law and by a posse of inept bounty hunters hired by the railroad headed by Pike’s former partner Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan in one of his best roles). It was Pike’s arrogance that landed Deke in Prison and now the railroad has bribed him with freedom into tracking his old friend down. Thornton and Pike understand that things can’t change between the two of them, and that they’ll never stop their game of cat and mouse. This dynamic is not uncommon in many westerns, but excluding Sam Fuller’s I Shot Jesse James, the feeling of romantic tension between these two men is unique to the genre. Indeed it is the shock in William Holden’s face when he thinks Thornton has been killed in the demolition of a bridge and the hangdog look on Robert Ryan’s face after the final showdown has claimed his erstwhile accomplice’s life that cements the other half of the story’s dynamism. If these men didn’t care, neither would we. Lawmen chase bad guys because they have to; Thornton and Bishop have reason enough to get quit of the whole business, but it would almost certainly mean abandoning the other, which neither can face.

The two men share the same haunted flashbacks, but it’s the memory of the past that keeps them going. In fact it’s the memory of the past that keeps everyone in the film’s universe going. The story takes Pike and his men from a botched railroad heist into Mexico where they agree to steal guns for a General combating Pancho Villa. During a brief stop in Angel’s village before meeting the General, Pike and Sykes talk to an old man who helps the revolutionaries fight local oppressors who wish to steal their land. Watching Tector & Lyle dancing and acting foolishly, Pike says how funny it is that grown men can act like children when they want to. The old man tells him that even the worst men pine for their childhood. The end of the road is not too far for Pike and he knows it, so even if it isn’t childhood he wants, he’d take his earlier years, when he could get on his horse without stumbling that he wishes to relive. He could act as ruthlessly as the children who torment scorpions with fire ants that they pass on their way to rob the railroad. Sykes, Deke, Pike, and Dutch all see that their tenure as gunmen is coming to a rapid close, the only question is “how’s it going to end?” In a traditional western, the ending would look something like the departure from Angel’s village (a scene Peckinpah improvised): everyone gathered in the main drag to see these men off.
In Peckinpah’s world of absolution, they must give their lives for the one thing they have left to believe them. Interestingly, it wasn’t until seeing this movie on the big screen that I thought about what gunfighters must think of death. When each member of the gang is laid down, they seem to come to rest more than being torn asunder. Is death so unyielding a possibility that when it finally arrives is it simply the anticipated arrival of an inevitable step (is it welcome?). These men don’t seem too bothered about their own deaths; it’s the falling of their brothers in arms that gets them.

When Angel decides to steal a box of the General’s guns so his people can defend themselves, he is caught and punished by the general. With Thornton and the army waiting for them, they have little reason to leave town, but with Angel being towed behind the General’s car through the town square, staying feels just as bad. The scriptwriter Waylon Green commented that Pike’s last words to his men before they stroll, bold as brass through town, their guns in their arms, to go meet the General, were not enough. Pike simply barks as he has throughout the entire film “Let’s go,” and the message is clear; everything he says is completely unambiguous whether his words are makes no difference. Peckinpah, as his daughter Sharon has noted, clearly modeled Pike Bishop on himself, mannerisms and all. So what we have is a man searching for a time when he could be as bold and free as he could be, as a child is. The Wild Bunch was simply a movie with great dialogue and two of the best gunfights in history until very recently. There’s a recording of Peckinpah where he talks about something he used to do as a child. He was infatuated with Tennyson’s poem “Charge of the Light Brigade” and so memorized it and then started acting it out. Soon he had as many as 50 kids involved in helping him recreate the scene from Tennyson’s work. On this recording beautifully sums up his filmmaking career in so concise and pure a way that I was floored by his simplicity: “I guess I’m still doing that.” Never before had The Wild Bunch or it’s creator seemed so human. I was reminded of Arthur Lee of the band Love who received a premonition that he would die at age 26 and so strove to make his next (and presumably last) record show the contents of his soul; the result, Forever Changes, is one of the greatest records of all time, but it’s not without it’s dark and strange moments. Sam Peckinpah was, unbeknownst to audiences, baring his soul to the world. Pike’s dilemma was his dilemma: where do you go when the world has refused you? When all you want is to be able to be free again? He was a monster and mad scientist on the set because he needed the movie to be perfect, he needed the world to see what lay within him and could not be hemmed in by a script. When The Wild Bunch wrapped, Sam left his technicians, found an empty corner in the shooting space and wept like a child. This was it, his one chance and it’s perfect. It says everything Sam Peckinpah could not. He drank himself to death in 1984 leaving a lot of friends, a lot of enemies, a host of memories good and bad, and at least one legendary film behind.