THE LAST MOVIE
FRIDAY 03.10.03 AT 8PM
FRIDAY 28.11.03 AT 8PM
Losers flamboyants ou non, laissés-pour-compte, road movies… “cinéma loss”.
This programmation is a continuation on the film screenings organised by Benoit Roussel in 2000 and 2001 in the Cittadellarte / Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, I).
The Last Movie
Dennis Hopper, 1971, v.o.
A film shoot in Peru goes badly wrong when an actor is killed in a stunt, and the unit wrangler, Kansas, decides to give up film-making and stay on in the village, shacking up with local prostitute Maria. But his dreams of an unspoiled existence are interrupted when the local priest asks him to help stop the villagers killing each other by re-enacting scenes from the film for real because they don’t understand movie fakery… (us.imdb.com)
“That film was never supported and never understood,” [producer Paul] Lewis recalls. “But it was literally the height of craziness. We were shooting in Peru at an altitude of 17,000 feet in the cocaine capital of the world. I remember we were drunk at this press conference in Lima and a reporter asked Dennis if he had stopped doing drugs. He said, ‘Why would I stop doing drugs just because I’m in Peru?'”
Movie was Hopper’s dark, prophetic statement on the impact of media violence on society. When an actor is killed during a stunt in a movie shooting in Peru, villagers reenact the film’s scenes, killing each other.
Reports of Hopper’s nonstop wild parties on the set did not please the studio. “We had the premiere of Easy Rider hap-
ening in Lima and so we flew the whole production — Kris Kristofferson, Dean Stockwell, Peter Fonda — down in a Peruvian airline, and Dennis and I got a
phone call saying they were going to arrest the whole plane because they were giving grass to the stewardesses”, Lewis says. When Hopper returned to Los Angeles, he had 37 hours of footage, which he took home to Taos, New Mexico, to edit, much to the studio’s dismay. After 16 months, the gray suits from the studio arrived and demanded to see the film. Horrified by what they saw, the studio demanded a recut. Hopper refused. Movie won best film at the Venice Film Festival that year but was only briefly released in the United States and critically reviled.
Terry Zwigoff, 1994, v.o.
“Terry Zwigoff’s documentary Crumb, about cartoonist Robert Crumb is remarkable not so much for what it shows about the life and work of its nominal subject, but for the glimpse it provides into the failure of a postwar American family.”
(David Walsh, www.wsws.org)
“It may have been Terry Zwigoff’s intent to cover the career and the work of underground cartoonist Robert Crumb in his documentary, but somewhere along the line, the film turned into so much more than that. “Crumb” is a devastating look at a severely dysfunctional American family through the microscope of a camera lens. It is a psychological and sexual travelogue through a familial wasteland – the wreckage left behind by an overbearing father, a drug-addicted mother and a deep denial of adolescent problems that date back to the attitudes of the clinically sterile 50’s.”
“(…) the story I wanted to tell was the story about these three brothers and how one of them made it and two of them didn’t. (…) I was more interested in the story of these three brothers and their artwork. But in hindsight, in psychoanalyzing it, it seems like what I was really after was an investigation into the mysteries of art: Where does this talent come from? Why does there seem to be this risk that goes with this? It’s like this Crumb family gets this dose of talent or energy, whatever you want to call it, it’s in their genes or the DNA, and with that comes this risk. You have to channel that energy in some way or it’s going to be very dangerous.”
(Terry Zwigoff, in The Comics Journal, #179, www.tcj.com)