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American Maverick: The Films of Dennis Hopper


January 10th & 11th

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. Hopper’s 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-director’s finest work!

Saturday, January 10 - 7:30 PM

Dennis Hopper In Person!

ELEGY, 2008, Samuel Goldwyn Films, 108 min. In Isabel Coixet’s 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

Double Feature:

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.

Director’s 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 Hopper’s many excursions into film noir territory, and quite possibly the best.