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Sam Peckinpah >> Everything Peckinpah and more >> Requiem for Billy the Kid
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Message started by Evy Angel Jones on 04/07/15 at 7:26pm

Title: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Evy Angel Jones on 04/07/15 at 7:26pm
Have you seen this documentary of Anne Feinsilber, with Kris Kristofferson's voice and some parts of Peckinpah's film ? Is it interesting ?

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 04/08/15 at 2:18pm
It looks really interesting. It was originally mentioned here on the forum:

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Any idea if the French release is the same as the international releases?

(By the way, what does "real political facetalk" in the link have to do with anything and why is it the same site as sampeckinpah.com?)

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Gashade on 04/08/15 at 10:06pm
I only have a shady recollection of the film but, as far as I can remember, the parts with Rudy Wurlitzer are the ones that interested me most. Otherwise, the film is more about the real Billy than about Peckinpah's film. And frankly, to me, Seydor's account of Billy the Kid's life in his new book was far more clear and exciting than this film.
And yes: the international version is identical to the French one (in which the narration is told by a popular French singer).

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Evy Angel Jones on 04/09/15 at 2:28am
Thanks Novecento and Gashade (Hey, Gashade, I saw "the Shooting" this week :) )
A French critic said Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register than the film, with Arthur H. voice, made lot of comparisons between Billy the Kid and the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Why not...
I must buy the Seydor's book !

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 04/10/15 at 9:08am
I have been saving up a bunch of orders from amazon.fr for a while now. I just added the French DVD of this to the list (looks like it had both audio options and some extra features while the US and UK releases were bare-bones) and placed the order. I'll post some comments once I've watched it.

If anyone is interested, I picked up some other cool things:

- Robert Hossein's "Toi... le venin" on Blu-ray and "Les Salauds vont en enfer" on DVD.
- Luchino Visconti's "Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (Conversation Piece)" on Blu-ray (apparently the French BD is much better than the US one)
- Max Ophuls' "Madame de..." (apparently the French BD trumps the US Criterion release which I resisted buying)
- The book "Michael Cimino, les voix perdues de l'Amérique" by Jean-Baptiste Thoret.

Now I'm flat-broke  ;D

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Evy Angel Jones on 04/10/15 at 1:47pm
What a great choice, Novecento ! The book of Jean-Baptiste Thoret is really good, I like also his book about "LE CINÉMA AMÉRICAIN des ANNÉES 70" but it's very difficult to find it...
Are you French too, Novecento ?

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Gashade on 04/10/15 at 10:04pm

Evy Angel Jones wrote on 04/09/15 at 2:28am:
A French critic said that the film, with Arthur H. voice, made lot of comparisons between Billy the Kid and the French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Why not...


Yeah, and a lot of other ideas as empty and easy to sell to a French audience. Frankly, the film has not struck me as essential viewing...
To me, the comparison makes no sense. Rimbaud at least wrote a series of influential poems, including several really great ones, before he became an arms dealer. And as far as we know, he hasn't killed anyone.
By the way, do we know of anyone who has tried to give a gay retelling of Billy the Kid's story?

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Evy Angel Jones on 04/11/15 at 3:20am

Gashade wrote on 04/10/15 at 10:04pm:
And as far as we know, he hasn't killed anyone.
By the way, do we know of anyone who has tried to give a gay retelling of Billy the Kid's story?


Perhaps for them, Verlaine, who tried to kill Rimbaud (he shot him in the arm with a gun because Rimbaud wanted to leave him), is the same story than Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid... You're right Gashade, this comparison makes no sense. I tried to find the Kid's poems, no success  ;D



Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 04/11/15 at 1:56pm

Evy Angel Jones wrote on 04/10/15 at 1:47pm:
Are you French too, Novecento ?


No I'm not. I just understand the language pretty well.

This recent Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register is described as Cimino's "first interview in 13 years". This clearly isn't the case (Thoret's book being a case-in-point). Perhaps they should have written "first American interview".

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 04/11/15 at 1:59pm

Gashade wrote on 04/10/15 at 10:04pm:
Frankly, the film has not struck me as essential viewing...


Awww don't say that - I just paid good money for it! I am interested in documentaries that stray from the standard model and this one sounds like it might be one of those. The best example I've seen of real creativity in execution of a documentary is Senna (2010) but they did have a lot of actual real-life footage to use which helped significantly and obviously can't always be the case.

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 04/15/15 at 11:34am

Gashade wrote on 04/10/15 at 10:04pm:
Frankly, the film has not struck me as essential viewing...


So my shipment from Amazon.fr arrived really quickly across the Atlantic. Happily I have this week off work, so took the chance to watch the documentary...

I am in two minds about it. It was almost like "My Name is Nobody" in the sense that it had so much potential and was based on a great concept, yet the reality did not fully live up to its potential.

The parts with Kristofferson (I elected English audio) narrating as if a reincarnation of Billy the Kid were great if one overlooks some occasionally stilted dialogue when interacting with the director who also narrated. There was often a really haunting quality with some great shots of the landscape supported by footage from "The Left Handed Gun", "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", and some actual photographs from the time. However, we would often jump out of this to modern-day "talking-head" interviews that completely jolted you back to reality which destroyed the effect and reverted the documentary back to run-of-the-mill fare. The documentary did not know in which direction to go. Had Feinsilber focused on the dream-like, poetic approach throughout it could have been incredibly effective, however as a result it was only partially so. It was great to hear from Rudy Wurlitzer, but I didn't need to see his head either against a static background and would rather he had just been used for strategically inserted supporting voice-over.


Evy Angel Jones wrote on 04/11/15 at 3:20am:
Perhaps for them, Verlaine, who tried to kill Rimbaud (he shot him in the arm with a gun because Rimbaud wanted to leave him), is the same story than Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid... You're right Gashade, this comparison makes no sense.


Here is where (much to my surprise) I'm going to slightly disagree with you both. As Feinsilber presented it, the comparison was indeed not very effective. Interestingly she didn't actually stress it that much anyway (perhaps concerned about overdoing it), yet ironically this just made it seem rather vapid instead. Nonetheless, I did a little "internet research" and found Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register passage on p.89 of a book called "The First Moderns" by Everdell showing that Feinsilber was not the first nor the only person to make the comparison:

"Rimbaud was poetry's Billy the Kid. Already a vanished legend in 1883, he had crashed into the Paris literary world in 1871, when he was sixteen years old and the Germans were besieging Paris. When the police sent him home as a vagrant, he left, but turned around and walked back. In Paris he had met Cros and Mallarmé, published a single poem in Blémont's 'Rennaissance littéraire et artistique', and ran off with Verlaine to London. In a Brussels café in 1873, Verlaine had pulled out a revolver and shot him... He was barely twenty then, but he was never to write another poem." 

As mentioned, parts of Feinsilber's documentary were hauntingly poetic and had she stressed this aspect more while doing a comparative study of Rimbaud, it could have made for fascinating viewing through a proper comparison of the "gun and the pen" or the "bandit and the bard" as she mentioned (or something to that effect). I'm definitely curious to see what else Feinsilber has done because this effort showed real potential. I'd love for her to revisit the documentary and modify it along the lines of the above.

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Gashade on 04/15/15 at 9:11pm
You could check out her film "Made in Hollywood" which is about, well... Hollywood obviously, what it is to be a writer for film, how does marketing work, how important agents are... It may not be telling anything really new, and may not have the hints of greater potential you saw in her Requiem, but it is more frocused and to the point.

Title: Re: Requiem for Billy the Kid
Post by Novecento on 01/19/17 at 8:58pm
Speaking of Rimbaud (as "poetry's Billy the Kid"), this is interesting - claims he was inspired by Rimbaud's philosophy of life:

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