Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Last Movie (1971, Dennis Hopper)


Finally released from Arbelos is the long, lost, early 70's masterpiece, The Last Movie.  Directed, co-written and starring Dennis Hopper, this film was derided upon its original release and led to it being buried for many years.  I forget how I first stumbled upon this film, but I know I have waited many years for its re-release.

Hopper stars as Kansas, a stunt man filming a Western in Peru.  After filming has wrapped, he decides to stay in Peru and moves in with a local prostitute.  Along with his friend Neville (Don Gordon), Dallas unsuccessfully tries to persuade a rich man into backing him on a gold mining expedition.  But after being asked by a local priest (Tomas Milian) to stop the locals from hurting themselves trying to recreate the film Kansas was working on, he finds his purpose.

The Last Movie is truly a magical film, that didn't find the right audience at the time of its release.  Though it has similarities to Hopper's more famous Easy Rider, it is far less mainstream, even by counterculture standards.  There is a clear plot (or at least a few of them), but the editing and narrative is jumbled around and may seem incoherent on first glance.  But what makes The Last Movie so brilliant is its fearlessness.  There are shots in the film that are breath-taking and scenes in the film that just feel so real.  My favorite scene features Hopper and Julie Adams (best known as the heroine from The Creature from the Black Lagoon), flirting with each other at a strip club, while their respective significant others watch uncomfortably.  The scene was one of those great cinematic moments that I will never forget.  Also featured in the film, is one of my favorite actors of Italian cinema, Tomas Milian, as well as the debut of Kris Kristofferson, who can be seen performing his classic song "Me and Bobby McGee".  Arbelos's new 4k scan is amazingly clean and rich and their blu-ray is full of many amazing special features, best of all is a documentary by Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy).  Of all lost films that finally see the light of day, none are more welcome than The Last Movie.

Special Features:

New 4K restoration from the original camera negative
Scene Missing (2018), a sixty-minute documentary directed by Alex Cox on the making of The Last Movie
Some Kind of Genius (1987), a thirty-minute documentary portrait of Dennis Hopper directed by Paul Joyce
Postcard from Peru (2018), a new series of video interviews with members of the Peruvian crew filmed by Daniel García and Aurelio Medina
The Dick Cavett Show 1971 interview with Hopper
2007 video introduction by Dennis Hopper
2018 U.S. Theatrical Trailer
1971 Theatrical Trailer
1971 Product Reel
Restoration Demo

New essays by Julie Adams, Jessica Hundley and Mike Plante plus a 1971 Evergreen Review report from the set of the film by L.M. Kit Carson.

Purchase The Last Movie directly from Arbelos HERE


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