“An incredible film, shot through with a crazy dream logic.” —Village Voice
Dennis Hopper’s rebellious, much-mythologized masterpiece The Last Movie was widely misunderstood and nearly forgotten until its 2018 digital restoration from the original 35mm negative. Hopper directs himself playing Kansas, a failed stuntman, who stays behind in Peru after shooting a Western. Returning to the abandoned set he finds the locals reenacting the movie—except this time it’s real, including the violence. Filmed high in the Andes mountains and fueled by Hopper’s Easy Rider delirium, The Last Movie was over-budget, experimentally edited, and written off by the studios, but it further established Hopper as a cult-icon and maverick. Seen today, the film’s self-reflexive critique on the destructive nature of American movies is nakedly revealing. With Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Stella Garcia, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Toni Basil, Russ Tamblyn, and Michelle Phillips. 1971/2018, 4K DCP, 108 min.
In addition, Hopper’s The American Dreamer, digitally restored by the Walker and one of the rarest films in the museum’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image collection, is featured in the Bentson Mediatheque for free self-select viewing during gallery hours. The film is a revealing portrait of the director as he begins post-production for The Last Movie on his New Mexico ranch. He muses candidly about art, filmmaking, photography, sex, politics, and drugs as a leading figure in the shifting countercultural landscape of the early 1970s. 93 min.
Part of Lost Films & Restorations, a summer film series that celebrates gems of American independent cinema with five recent film restorations. Experience superior sound and image revived from the original formats—recently rediscovered, rescued from obscurity, or lovingly remastered by the directors themselves.