The huge box office success of Easy Rider propelled Dennis Hopper into a position of immense (if fleeting) power in Hollywood. Universal Studios purportedly gave him $850,000 cash and full creative control to make The Last Movie, a strange film-within-a-film that centres on a dashing stunt wrangler (Hopper) who attempts to drop out and live with the locals after the Hollywood circus leaves town.
Hopper shot the film on time and under budget. However when it came to editing, his schedule blew out to more than a year. Legend has it that Director, Alejandro Jodorowsky visited Hopper’s editing compound to offer his guidance, as the suitably psychedelic film might suggest!
Filmmakers, L.M Carson and Lawrence Schiller stepped into this creative and social milieu with the desire to make an ‘experimental documentary’ about Hopper. The resulting film offers an unhinged window into the creative process.
The release of the film directly supports the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and their continued restoration of classic films.
The American Dreamer
21 May - 5 Jun
Newly restored and back in cinemas, this rarely seen quasi-documentary finds actor-turned-director Dennis Hopper holed up in New Mexico editing his ill-fated second film, The Last Movie (1971). Lensed through a haze of drugs, Hopper is captivatingly raw and uncensored. Philosophical turns about art, life, sex and filmmaking make this very much a document of its time and fascinating viewing for contemporary audiences.