Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper: The Last Movie

Here's a clip from the end of Hopper's much-maligned follow-up to EASY RIDER (1969). Hopper once said that he conceived this film as a response to experiences he had while acting in THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965), a John Wayne western. During the filming of SONS in Mexico, the locals were so heavily influenced by Hollywood's glamorous portrayal of violence that they became increasingly violent themselves. The same thing happens in THE LAST MOVIE (1971): Hopper's character (a movie stunt coordinator) becomes so distraught over his role in the corruption of an innocent people that he can't return to Los Angeles.

Later, the locals offer Hopper a role in their movie. "They want me to die in the movie," he realizes, "just like [James] Dean did." When the cameras finally roll on him, the experience proves to be cathartic... Acting the part of a dying man restores the actor to life.

Rest in peace, Dennis.

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