The Last Picture Show (1971)
This was a beautiful film, with a fantastic cast. Buuuuut… and I don’t know if it was due to my migraine or what, I had trouble with the film. Chooch did as well, so I’m thinking it’s not just me. I feel pretty secure in my belief that the sparse and deserted town was exactly what was intended. The town perfectly matched the mood of its inhabitants, as they were clearly feeling the effects of living in the dying town.
The story was depressing and morose, and even in a scene that could have really pushed the dramatic effects and given the viewers a Big Romantic Moment, it fell flat. I believe this to be as the director intended, to bring home the point that these were truly hopeless people. It took me a long time to even be motivated to write anything about the movie, as the tone of the film definitely left its mark on me.
I think it must have been pretty shocking at the time of its release, as there are a few scenes that are pretty sexually graphic for what I remember being other movies showing.
It was filmed in black and white and featured several distant landscape shots that added to the sense of isolation. It was very successful and powerful in its ability to impart a tone on the viewer, as evidence by Chooch and myself. You know how a great action film gets your heart racing and you end up on the edge of your seat? This movie was just as powerful in getting you to feel what the actors were experiencing… which was hopeless and depressed. Understandably, it’s not an experience I want to repeat.
When I saw Brent’s comment to the DtRT (96) post, I stopped reading it when I saw mention of this film. I wanted to experience it without anyone else’s opinions coloring mine. I’m happy that I can now go read it as I’m dying to see his opinion.
Next on the list is Pulp Fiction, which we re-watched Saturday night. I’ll be posting that review shortly.