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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Chinchero")

 

Directed by Dennis Hopper
USA 1971

 

Consciously self-reflexive and co-written by Hopper and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE screenwriter Stewart Stern, THE LAST MOVIE follows a Hollywood movie crew in the midst of making a western in a remote Peruvian village. When production wraps, Hopper, as the baleful stuntman Kansas, remains, attempting to find redemption in the isolation of Peru and the arms of a former prostitute. Meanwhile, the local Indians have taken over the abandoned set and begun to stage a ritualistic re-enactment of the production - with Kansas as their sacrificial lamb.

Among the most storied productions of the New Hollywood Era, Hopper was given carte blanche by Universal for his next directorial feature after the tremendous commercial success of EASY RIDER, and writer-director-star took the money and ran - literally - staging THE LAST MOVIE in Peru at farthest remove from the Hollywood machine, with an on-screen entourage in tow that included Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Stella Garcia, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Toni Basil, Russ Tamblyn, Michelle Phillips and director Samuel Fuller.

Although it won a special award at the Venice Film Festival, THE LAST MOVIE would effectively end Hopper's career for many years - the Hollywood establishment gleefully writing him off as a self-indulgent madman. Yet the movie remains thrillingly innovative and remarkably contemporary - influenced greatly by the work of Bruce Conner and the French New Wave, as well as the Pop and Abstract artists Hopper revered.

***

With a barrage of cinematic distancing devices at hand (flashbacks and flash-forwards, super-imposed titles, missing frames, projectionist cue-marks placed in the wrong locations in a film reel), Dennis Hopper concocts a hallucinatory acid-trip concerning an American movie company making a western in Peru. In a remote mountain village in Peru, a Hollywood film company wraps up shooting a western and returns to California. Staying behind is a young stunt man, Kansas (Dennis Hopper). In the village, he takes up with the resident whore, Maria (Stella Garcia). At this point, the film flash-forwards to Kansas being crucified by the villagers. Back in the old time frame, the Peruvians decide that they want to make their own movie. Not having the necessary film equipment, but plenty of local raw material, the villagers construct the needed cameras, microphones, and sound recorders out of bamboo, and although the equipment is faked, the villagers substitute real, bloody violence for the make-believe violence of Hollywood. During this eruption of violence in the Peruvian village, the local priest (Tomas Milian) blames Kansas for the carnage. The priest decides that movies are the root of all worldly evil and convinces the villagers to seize Kansas.

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 28th, 1971 (Venice Film Festival) (premiere)

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Review: Arbelos Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

Distribution Arbelos Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:34.341      
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 49,197,914,318 bytes

Feature: 23,086,497,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1818 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1818 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arbelos Films

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-rays

Disc Size: 49,197,914,318 bytes

Feature: 23,086,497,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Dennis Hopper Introduction (01:14)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (02:03)
• Product Reel (01:01)
• U.S. Theatrical Trailer (02:11)
• Scene Missing (47:18)
• Some Kind Of Genius (29:15)
• Postcard from Peru (31:10)
• The Dick Cavett Show (06:37)
Restoration Demo (02:59)


Blu-ray Release Date: November
13th, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Dennis Hopper's forgotten masterwork, "The Last Movie" comes to us on Blu-ray via Arbelos Films. An included booklet tells us that the "...new digital transfer was scanned in 4K from the 35mm original camera negative by L'Immagine Ritrovata. Other elements were used in a small number of shots where the original negative was not available or lost. Countless instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, tears, flicker, and warps were digitally restored by Arbelos using Digital Vision's Phoenix. As much as possible the film's natural grain has been left untouched. A 35mm print from 2007, supervised by director Dennis Hopper and cinematographer László Kovács, was screened and used as reference for the restoration color grade." The film is housed on a single-layered Blu-ray with supportive bitrate. This transfer is really impressive for the abundance of detail in the image, and the nice amound of grain. Colors also look fairly represented. There are hardly any noticible instances of damage and yet there isn't any sign of digitization. A great transfer thanks to Arbelos and L'Immagine Ritrovata.

Arbelos has not only done a great job restoring the image, as per the booklet, "...the original monaural soundtrack was restored and remastered by Audio Mechanics from the original 35mm elements." The 24-bit 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track sounds fantastic, with the various sounds of crowds not overshadowing the score or main dialogue. The music of the film is thanks to Severn Darden, Chabuca Granda, Kris Kristofferson, and John Buck Wilkin. There are optional English subtitles for this Region-A
Blu-ray.

There are a ton of extras worth diving into on this
Blu-ray from Arbelos. First off we get an introduction to the film by the late actor/director, Dennis Hopper. "Scene Missing" is a brand new 48-minute documentary on "The Last Movie", Hopper's long lost film. There are so many people from various aspects of the film's production that are interviewed here, from actors to "henchmen". The documentary was produced by the awesome Alex Cox (a radical director in his own right). "Postcards from Peru" is a another brand new documentary. This 31-minute piece talks with people that were somehow involved in the making of "The Last Movie", even background performers. "Some Kind of Genius" is a 29-minute documentary from 1987. This film explores the life and work of Dennis Hopper, with Hopper himself revealing some interesting behind-the-scenes information. "The Dick Cavett Show" is an excerpt from said TV program, featuring an interview with Hopper. The actor is in full biker-hippie mode and his mere appearance beside Cavett's buttoned-up suited look is quite the image. "Product Reel" is a minute-long sequence featuring a slide-show of promotional articles and features. The film's original trailer is included on this Blu-ray, as is the 4k restoration trailer. "Restoration Demo" is 3-minute extra showing just how much work went into the 4k restoration of "The Last Movie". Also included in this package is a 40-page booklet with new essays by Julie Adams, Jessica Hundley and Mike Plante plus a 1971 Evergreen Review report from the set of the film by L.M. Kit Carson.

Hopper's chaotic masterpiece is finally given the release it deserves thanks to newcomers Arbelos. The transfer is excellent and the extras illuminating. Buy this
Blu-ray

Colin Zavitz

 


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Distribution Arbelos Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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