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Second Time Around 

Wednesday, Apr 2 1997
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The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage
The sight of a man consumed in the act of creation becomes tumultuously moving in The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage, a lyrical, crystalline 34-minute documentary that features joltingly fresh images of Sam Peckinpah working at his peak. The documentary's writer/director, Paul Seydor, has taken recently discovered silent black-and-white 16mm footage of Peckinpah on location in northern Mexico in 1968 and married its key moments to production stills and bits and pieces of the finished Wild Bunch, using everything to dramatize (not just illustrate) the insights of witnesses and participants quoted on the soundtrack. Some speak for themselves, including Sam's first daughter, Sharon Peckinpah; screenwriter Walon Green; and the late Edmond O'Brien. Actors and readers give voice to the others -- notably, Ed Harris as Peckinpah, in a superbly dry, probing interpretation. What emerges is both a wonderful introduction to Peckinpah's masterpiece and a piercing elegy to a born director and to a vanished strain of unbridled creativity in American movies. The documentary, nominated for an Oscar, will play before each showing of The Wild Bunch at the Castro on Saturday.

-- Michael Sragow

The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage and The Wild Bunch screen as one program Saturday, April 5, at noon, 4, and 8 p.m. at the Castro, Castro & Market. Documentary-maker Paul Seydor will speak before the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $6.50; call 621-6120.

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Michael Sragow

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