|American Maverick: The Films
of Dennis Hopper
As an actor and director, Dennis Hopper played a seminal role
in the transition from the classical Hollywood studio system (for which he appeared in
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, GIANT and other landmarks) to the golden age of the 1970s (sparked
almost entirely by his directorial debut, EASY RIDER). From that point forward, Hopper has
never ceased to surprise and provoke, with a career that includes unsettling visions like THE
LAST MOVIE and BLUE VELVET alongside mainstream tales of uplift like HOOSIERS (for
which he was nominated for an Academy Award) and big-budget action spectacles like SPEED.
Hoppers best later films as a director (BACKTRACK, COLORS, THE HOT SPOT) beat
Tarantino to the punch as modern reinventions of film noir, and as an actor he is entering
a new renaissance with acclaimed work in ELEGY, SWING VOTE and other films.
We are thrilled to welcome Dennis Hopper for a
screening of his latest performance in ELEGY, plus a selection of this singular
actor-directors finest work!
Saturday, January 10 - 7:30 PM
Dennis Hopper In Person!
ELEGY, 2008, Samuel Goldwyn Films, 108 min. In Isabel Coixets
visually assured and deeply observant adaptation of Philip Roth's The Dying Animal,
a celebrated college professor (Ben Kingsley) meets a young woman (Penelope
Cruz) whose beauty both ravishes and destabilizes him. As their intimate connection
transforms them -- more than either could imagine -- a charged sexual contest evolves into
an indelible love story. In a superb supporting turn, Dennis Hopper provides
Kingsley's professor with both a best friend and a doppelganger, a man whose life has been
defined by a search for carnal pleasure. Discussion following
with Dennis Hopper.
Sunday, January 11 - 7:30 PM
Rare! THE LAST MOVIE, 1971, Easy Rider Productions, 108 min. Dennis
Hopper followed up his EASY RIDER triumph directing this hallucinatory meditation on
Hollywood, economic exploitation and pop music. Hopper plays a stuntman working on a film
(directed by Sam Fuller, playing himself) on which one of the lead actors has been
killed in a stunt accident. When the shoot is over, Hopper remains in Peru and becomes
involved in an imaginary movie being shot by local villagers. This premise inspires an
audacious series of digressions in which Hopper heads off in search of gold in the
mountains and romances a Peruvian woman, with astonishing experimental editing. The
iconoclast cast includes Tomas Milian, Kris Kristofferson, Peter Fonda, Julia Adams
and John Phillip Law.
Directors Cut: BACKTRACK (aka CATCH FIRE), 1990, Easy Rider
Productions, 98 min. Dir. Dennis Hopper. Artist Ann Benton (Jodie Foster)
witnesses a mob hit and goes on the run after spotting one of the gangsters (Dean
Stockwell) at the police station. Mob assassin Dennis Hopper is sent after her, but he
becomes more and more fascinated by his prey as he learns more about her life and art. One
of Hoppers many excursions into film noir territory, and quite possibly the best.