Archive for June 21st, 2009

picture show 1

by Allan Fish

(USA 1971/1990 127m) DVD1/2

Requiem to the Lion

p  Stephen J.Friedman  d  Peter Bogdanovich  w  Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich  novel  Larry McMurtry  ph  Robert L.Surtees  ed  Don Cambern  art  Polly Platt, Walter Scott Herndon

Jeff Bridges (Duane Jackson), Timothy Bottoms (Sonny Crawford), Cybill Shepherd (Jacy Farrow), Ben Johnson (Sam the Lion), Cloris Leachman (Ruth Popper), Ellen Burstyn (Lois Farrow), Eileen Brennan (Genevieve), Sam Bottoms (Billy), Sharon Taggart (Charlene Duggs), Jessie Lee Fulton (Miss Mosey), John Hillerman, Clu Galager,

Bogdanovich’s magnum opus is a film that can be hard to categorise.  One of the first adjectives applied to it is “nostalgic”, yet is it really?  Bogdanovich himself deliberately shot it in monochrome so as not to prettify the piece, for the last thing he wanted was a nostalgic work.  Yet in some ways it is nostalgic, but only in the way a dying man hankers after his lost youth.  For in truth the object of Bogdanovich’s camera’s gaze is a dying subject.  A town that is literally on its last legs, yet somehow doesn’t know it.  It’s sort of an anti-Pleasantville and a film to justify Paul Zimmermann’s much quoted eulogy of the film as “the most important work by a young American director since Citizen Kane.”

            In the sleepy Texas town of Anarene, Texas, in 1951, three young teens, soon graduating from high school, undergo romantic and personal tribulations in the summer before moving into adult life.  Two of them, best friends Duane and Sonny, commit their time equally to girls, school sport and the movies, with the latter becoming involved with married older woman Ruth Popper.  Duane’s girlfriend, meanwhile, Jacy, knows she’s the hottest girl in the school and struts around like a cat on heat. (more…)

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