David Zelag Goodman

David Zelag Goodman

David Zelag Goodman Quick Links

Film RSS

Straw Dogs Review


Extraordinary
The movies you love best aren't always the ones whose ideas you agree with. D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation is easy to admire for its technical innovation but easy to despise for its virulent racism; the Nazi hagiography Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will has similar pleasures - and problems. Sam Peckinpah's 1971 masterpiece Straw Dogs isn't as overtly problematic as those films. It's not viciously racist, nor does it glorify totalitarianism. But it's messy stuff all the same. The surface violence that made it famous in 1971 looks more or less timid now, but the deep cynicism at the core of the movie - this is a world where intelligence is suspect, murder equals redemption, and rape is almost tolerable - is still chilling.

Dustin Hoffman plays the hero, David Sumner, and at first he seems to be continuing in the string of nebbishy neurotic roles he took previously in The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy. A mild-mannered American college professor, he's arrived in western England with his wife Amy (a brave and brilliant Susan George) so he can have peace and quiet to work on his "astral mathematics." The small town, full of sad stone houses and often cloaked in fog, is where Amy grew up, and she's almost immediately stalked by a passel of alcoholic locals. The film's first five minutes has some virtuosic foreshadowing in it, giving us shots of David and Amy carrying a large and intimidating "mantrap" (basically a man-sized bear trap); tight shots of thuggish locals like Charlie (Del Henney) getting too close to the pair; a shot of Amy's sweatered chest, noticeably bra-less, which will become an important plot point later. Subtly and quickly, Peckinpah announces his three themes: sex, intimidation, and violence. It's gonna be interesting, but it's not gonna be easy to get through.

Continue reading: Straw Dogs Review

David Zelag Goodman

David Zelag Goodman Quick Links

Film RSS

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

GARGALO talks to us about being an early years teacher, collaborating with Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear and starting from scratch again. [EXCLUSIVE]

GARGALO talks to us about being an early years teacher, collaborating with Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear and starting from scratch again. [EXCLUSIVE]

When he's not focused on his on-line tuition, or stuck in the back of his brothers van mixing his latest compositions, GARGALO (Bruno G. Roth) is to...

Upcoming Releases: Our Favourite Five New Albums Due Out In November 202130

Upcoming Releases: Our Favourite Five New Albums Due Out In November 202130

As the days get progressively colder and shorter November ushers in celebrations of light, gunpowder and treason as well as bringing with it some...

Robin And The Goblins talk to us about wonder, terror, tyranny, collaborating on Dungeon-Synth and sitting on Letterman's lap [EXCLUSIVE]

Robin And The Goblins talk to us about wonder, terror, tyranny, collaborating on Dungeon-Synth and sitting on Letterman's lap [EXCLUSIVE]

Having recently released their latest single, 'Future Angel', Robin And The Goblins creative force Robin Romo is now looking forward to playing their...

October 2021 Favourites: As Autumn arrived it was most definitely time to 'Prioritise Pleasure' and follow 'The Path Of The Clouds'

October 2021 Favourites: As Autumn arrived it was most definitely time to 'Prioritise Pleasure' and follow 'The Path Of The Clouds'

If all things were equal then Ed Sheeran may have made the cut for our final five favourite new album releases of October, but they're not, and he...

Advertisement
Is ABBA... cool? The group’s most unexpected fans confess their devotion

Is ABBA... cool? The group’s most unexpected fans confess their devotion

We didn't expect these rockers to be so into the Swedish pop group.

Halloween Hootenanny: Witchy songs for your spooky playlist

Halloween Hootenanny: Witchy songs for your spooky playlist

These deliciously witchy tunes are perfect for Halloween.

Are these the 10 greatest Halloween anthems of all time?

Are these the 10 greatest Halloween anthems of all time?

From Psycho Killer to the Monster Mash, these Halloween songs are classics.

Advertisement

David Zelag Goodman Movies

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews