EXCLUSIVE: Arbelos Films has constructed a trailer for The Last Movie, the now cult Dennis Hopper experimental indie that has divided film aficionados since its 1971 release. Arbelos has completed its 4K film restoration of the pic that now becomes a notable distribution kickoff for the company, which acquired Cinelicious after it dissolved more than a year ago.
The Last Movie opens August 3 at the Metrograph in New York, the city that marked the site of the original’s unsuccessful critical and commercial 1971 bow, which came on the heels of Hopper’s enormous success with Easy Rider in his directing debut. The restoration will later screen at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles and 19 other locations nationwide.
The plan is for Los Angeles-based Arbelos to mine the Cinelicious library it now reps to release both older and newer films. Also on its upcoming slate and Béla Tarr’s 1994 film Sátántangó.
“The Last Movie is a radical masterwork that was tragically suppressed in 1971, and is long overdue for reappraisal and rediscovery,” Arbelos Films co-founder David Marriott said. “Dennis Hopper had long hoped to restore and re-release the film — which he considered his lost masterpiece — and we’re very proud to be partnering with the Hopper Art Trust to help actualize that dream nearly fifty years later.
“We’re equally thrilled to kick off our new distribution label, Arbelos, with this new 4K restoration of The Last Movie. We’d be hard-pressed to think of a film that more beautifully encapsulates the visionary and daring spirit we aim to make the hallmark of our slate.”
The film, written by Rebel Without A Cause screenwriter Stewart Stern, stars Hopper as a stuntman on a movie crew making a Western in a remote Peruvian village. He meets a woman and after the movie wraps and he decides to stay with her, and is soon enlisted by the locals to make their own movie minus the understanding that the action isn’t real.
Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Stella Garcia, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Toni Basil, Russ Tamblyn, Michelle Phillips and Samuel Fuller starred as Hopper spared no expense, making it a commercial misfire. Though it won a special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, but the movie was considered by many to be self-indulgent, and Hopper didn’t make another film for almost a decade.
Check out the trailer above.