Ed Burns Presents The Last Picture Show
The evening was sponsored by THE WEEK magazine, GREY GOOSE vodka and TOUS jewelry.
“… I’m a kid in film school, 1990-91, and I aspire to be a certain kind of filmmaker. I’m obsessed with Woody Allen… and I want to make small, character-driven films. At about that time, Tarantino releases Reservoir Dogs. Immediately following that, everyone said that if you’re going to be an independent filmmaker, those are the types of films you needed to make… these stylized, very cool, sometimes violent indie films; but while I enjoyed those films, it just wasn’t my sensibility. So a professor of mine at Hunter College screens The Last Picture Show. And it immediately moves to my #1 position on the list… And it’s a black-and-white movie. You’ve got a movie about a small town. You’ve got a movie with a bunch of actors… that no one had ever seen before. And a soundtrack that included pretty obscure country music so there was nothing cool about The Last Picture Show when this film comes out… But those audiences in 1971 flocked to see the film because it was real. It was real characters talking about real situations and those little moments between people… if you’re going to be a filmmaker, don’t worry about the trends. Just try and have a voice… The Last Picture Show is a film that will always be my #1 film. Its always a film that when I’m panicked about “Oh, sh*t, my last picture was a flop, maybe I should go and do something different”, I put that DVD in, I watch it and I remind myself that maybe this isn’t in vogue right now but it is timeless…”
“…those audiences in 1971 flocked to see the film because it was real. It was real characters talking about real situations and those little moments between people… if you’re going to be a filmmaker, don’t worry about the trends. Just try and have a voice…”
The Last Picture Show
Film critic-turned-director, Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 The Last Picture Show is an evocative portrayal of Hollywood’s classical age.
In a bleak and sleepy 1950’s Texas town, high school seniors Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) play football, go to the movies, hang out at the pool hall, and lust after rich tease Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd in her film debut). As the year passes, Sonny discovers the obstacles and compromises of adulthood through a series of lessons and losses. But when the local moviehouse closes for good, it not only forces the youths to reexamine what lies ahead, it also signals the end of an era.
The Last Picture Show is a nostalgic look backward that was not so much an escape from the present as a coming to terms with what the present had lost. Acknowledged as one of the best films by a young director since Citizen Kane (1941), The Last Picture Show premiered at the New York Film Festival and went on to become a hit. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay, with wins in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories.
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