NIGHT TIDE
1961, AGFA, 84 min, USA, Dir: Curtis Harrington

Director Curtis Harrington’s debut indie feature is a masterpiece, a haunted, poetic hymn to the dark world of the fly-by-night carnival, lonely midways at dawn and the siren call of eons-old passion spawned by the devils of the deep blue sea. In a fond nod to Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s CAT PEOPLE, at-loose-ends sailor Johnny Drake (Dennis Hopper) falls in love with sideshow mermaid Mora (Linda Lawson), who may just somehow be related to the real thing. Shot in and around Santa Monica and Venice Beach in the beat culture’s heyday, the film continues to exert a strong spell, and is brimming with the heady atmosphere of bygone coffeehouses, poet hipsters, languid jazz and bongos on the shore. With Luana Anders, Gavin Muir. "Captures an intangible quality of what Santa Monica was like in the early ’60s. Quite apart from Los Angeles, it was a quiet residential community. The funfair pier has just the right air of seedy despair about it. Everyone seems to be living just off the mainstream." - Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant.


THE LAST MOVIE
1971, Arbelos Films, 108 min, USA, Dir: Dennis Hopper

Among the most storied productions of the New Hollywood era, this self-reflexive drama follows a movie crew making a Western in a remote Peruvian village. Director Dennis Hopper stars as the baleful stuntman Kansas, who stays behind after production wraps, hoping to find redemption in the arms of a former prostitute - until local inhabitants take over the abandoned set and begin to stage a ritualistic re-enactment of the film. Given carte blanche by Universal after the tremendous commercial success of EASY RIDER, Hopper set up shop as far from the Hollywood machine as possible, with an on-screen entourage that included Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Michelle Phillips and director Samuel Fuller. Though it effectively ended his career for many years, Hopper’s THE LAST MOVIE remains thrillingly innovative and remarkably contemporary, influenced greatly by the work of Bruce Conner and the French New Wave, as well as the Pop and Abstract artists revered by the writer-director-star. The film has been newly restored in 4K from the original camera negative and sound elements.


THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, PART TWO
1986, Park Circus/MGM, 89 min, USA, Dir: Tobe Hooper

Director Tobe Hooper trades gritty reality and unease for satire and stylized visuals in this very different but no less assured sequel to his original masterpiece. Dennis Hopper plays a Texas lawman on the trail of Leatherface and his clan, who have found a way to profit from their homicidal tendencies: the creation of prize-winning chili made from their victims.


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