It’s been almost 6 years since we lost the visionary Hollywood elite Dennis Hopper. From “Easy Rider” to “Blue Velvet,” the offbeat enfant terrible has left a lasting legacy not only on moviemaking but on culture as well. With his runaway sleeper hit “Easy Rider,” Hopper had cemented himself at an early age as being one of the most creative and poignant filmmakers of his time, virtually kicking off the American New Wave and bringing the counterculture onto the big screen in an honest manner.
With such a powerful industry salivating at the idea of Hopper’s next film, the counterculture idol was overwhelmed and eager to not only begin his next film, but also explore the means in which filmmaking is made beautiful, significant and humanistic. In making his first post-“Easy Rider” film, “The Last Movie,” the rebellious Hopper envisioned a feature that would be a empathetic follow up to his Academy Award-nominated counterculture film. But this soon devolved into a disastrous self-reflection on the meaning of cinema, pushing the already eccentric filmmaker to new heights of peculiarity.
This continuous struggle to find perfect cinematic representation is sincerely captured on film by co-directors Lawrence Schiller and L.M. Kit Carson, who tried to document not only a complex artist in his element, but also showcase the fledgling vérité style documentaries made popular by the Maysles Brothers and Bill Nichols in their rediscovered documentary, “The American Dreamer.”
The documentary, first made in 1971, was originally thought to be lost but has been restored and remastered, and will be released in partnership between BOND/360 Studios and Etiquette Pictures, with all proceeds from the release of the film benefiting the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Catch our exclusive clip above before seeing the never-before-seen documentary on iTunes and other VOD platforms March 29.