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 UGLY AMERICAN
1963, Universal, 120 min, USA, Dir: George Englund

John F. Kennedy was sufficiently impressed with the foreign policy insights of The Ugly American that he sent copies of the book to all his Senate colleagues; director George Englund and screenwriter Stewart Stern give the bestseller a potent adaptation. Marlon Brando stars as a U.S. ambassador to the fictional Southeast Asian country of Sarkhan, where the limitations of America’s anti-Communist crusade offer eerie parallels to that of Vietnam.


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