kingrat wrote:he original impact of the film on many directors was that they wanted to do something like this, too.
It is common for lesser artists to want to copy those who are successful. However, this does not infer that they have the skill or depth to create a similar enduring work.
kingrat wrote:Contemporary viewers did draw parallels between the peaceful Mexican village and the (allegedly) peaceful Vietnamese villages before the American military intervention. The analogy isn't hammered home as in, say, LITTLE BIG MAN, but it's there, and the coding told us that if we were opposed to the war, we should like this film.
I don't see The Wild Bunch as an antiwar film. I think Danny Peary does, but then again he disliked the film--probably because of his flawed interpretation.
kingrat wrote:Is it possible to show sadism on screen, such as the dragging of Jaime around the ring, without either encouraging sadism in the spectator or desensitizing the spectator to violence? I would say 1) Almost certainly not and 2) If it is possible, Peckinpah doesn't manage to do so.
Sadism has been shown in film from its inception. Films like He Who Gets Slapped (1924) or The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) incorporated similar ideas in the silent era. I would never suggest that to enjoy such a film is to actually be a sadist any more than I would suggest a fan of westerns has a desire to shoot people.
kingrat wrote:None of this directly affects a discussion of the characters and acting in the film. I think it's also fair to say that when THE WILD BUNCH came out, almost no one talked about any of the actors. Instead, people talked about the violence and Sam Peckinpah.
Actually, it was people who did not understand the film that complained about the violence. There were several critics who thought it was an incredible masterpiece and said so. Peckinpah actually cut much of the gore that the studio wanted, saying: "If all I do is drive people out of the theater, I've failed."
If you are a person enraptured by violence, The Wild Bunch will only speak to you on a superficial level. If all you see in this film is violence, I would tactfully suggest that perhaps you are not comprehending the many themes and great performances that reside here. As Angel himself would say: "That's because you have no eyes."