Previously at the ICA - (Unspecified)

The Last Movie + The Return of Frank James

29 Oct 2013

The Last Movie

The Last Movie is Dennis Hopper's second directorial outing, after Easy Rider. Hopper stars as Kansas, a movie wrangler on location in Peru. After witnessing the accidental death of a stuntman, he stays behind in the village, dreaming of a simple life with his Peruvian girlfriend Maria. But he finds himself drawn into the harsh, ritualistic world of the local peasants as they start to mimic violent scenes from the movie with their own wicker cameras.

The Last Movie is screening as part of writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair's 70x70 event. Here he gives his thoughts on the film:

'I like endgames. And final commissions. And films that make no sense, shot long after there is any space for them in the world. Hopper’s The Last Movie – which I’ve never seen, or felt the need to chase down – is in sympathy with Asylum. With elements of Herzog. With the Wurlitzer version of Peckinpah. With Budd Boetticher’s terminal charity-shop DVD, A Time for Dying. (A money-laundering exercise for Audie Murphy, who was in hock to the Mafia.)

A cast that includes Sam Fuller, Kris Kristofferson, Peter Fonda and Dean Stockwell is opening too many of heaven’s gates. ‘Persistently sabotages its own resolution.’ Great. That period of Hollywood (money) was about finding ways of subverting the possible. From the descriptions I’ve read – indistinguishable from the synopsis of a Wurlitzer novel – The Last Movie is the finish of American Smoke I wish I’d been capable of writing.

'The narrative extracted from all those bad journeys made Chile seem like the place to which I should aspire, but never achieve. No skies as pure as the dome above the Atacama Desert. Where the dialogue between origin and extinction is manufactured by monkish, rumpled men, and women with the courage to sift the gritty sand for years, hoping for fragments of bones from the disappeared. A foot in a ruined boot becomes a venerated relic. At this distance from the centres of wealth generation, capitals of greed, the outlines of the story are smoothed and given force.''

The Return of Frank James



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