Whether it is the ultimate example of a film questioning the very medium of cinema or just a drug crazed disaster, Dennis Hopper's EASY RIDER follow up, THE LAST MOVIE, is unlike any other film ever released by a major studio.
Filmed in Peru with Hopper given full creative control as long as he kept it under a million, Hopper and his crew (including his new bride Michelle Phillips and friend Kris Kristofferson) descended on the small isolated village of Chinchero to create one of the most controversial films ever made.
Coming in under-budget Hopper returned to America with nearly forty hours worth of footage that he managed to cut down to under two. Supposedly a version exists that legendary Alexandro Jodorowsky cut but it has never been screened.
Hopper's cut won the grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival but upon release in the United States the film was savaged by the critics and was quickly pulled from circulation.
It appeared briefly on video in the late 80s and was mostly remembered as one of the biggest cinematic disasters of all time until a print appeared last year at a film festival that was hailed upon its surprising screening. J. Hoberman's enthusiastic look at the film is linked below.
A special edition of THE LAST MOVIE has been rumored with alternate edits and commentary by Hopper but it has yet to surface.
The film is one of the most frustrating, difficult and ultimately worth while documents of anti-cinema I have ever seen. A dvd release would be most welcome.
Check out Hoberman's piece here: