The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, October 7-13

american dreamer

The American Dreamer (1971)
Directed by Lawrence Schiller and L.M. Kit Carson
Filmed during the editing of his infamously outré Hollywood disaster The Last Movie, this captivating docu-fiction portrait of director Dennis Hopper at the peak of his drug-fueled, quasi-mystic phase of ass-backward fame and fortune is both companion piece to a ceaselessly fascinating film and a standalone revelation all its own. Capturing Hopper at work and play in the New Mexico desert, the film consists primarily of stream-of-conscience insights and inanities from one of cinema’s great charlatans, here elevating his persona into the pantheon of acid-fried geniuses. Episodes of the director waxing philosophical on the artistic process (at one point off-handedly comparing his sure-to-be-misunderstood latest to The Magnificent Ambersons) sit side-by-side with orgiastic displays of group foreplay and creatively cleansing experiments in public nudity. Hopper’s natural charisma and slyly self-reflexive nature turn what could be a mess of pretension into a revealing mediation on creativity and the precariousness of inspiration. Jordan Cronk (October 11, 5pm at BAM; Q&A with Schiller follows screening of new digital restoration)


  1. “Warren plainly had a lifetime of psychological torment and feelings of oedpial inadequacy he couldn’t properly translate to the mythological horror movie he saw in his head.”
    What an amazingly presumptuous, assanine load of amateur psychiatric bullshit. Who the f!ck are you to level judgement like this against a man you don’t know based on his attempt to write a tittlating thriller. There was no “plainly” about your assessment you jackass. The fact that you called him a fertilizer salesman (from MST3k) instead of what he was, an insurance salesman tells me you are ready to sensationalize your material at the expense of fact. I hope you are in your early 20s … At least then your stupefyingly arrogant navel gazing would be somewhat excusable.
    I hope you noticed all the judgemental ad hominem in this comment and give a moment to think about how judged you feel right now… And perhaps in the future you will remember this and keep your critiques focused on the art and what the art says instead of cheapening your opinion by inventing some fantasy about an artist you’ll never know.


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