Friday, December 19, 2008

#95: The Last Picture Show (1971)

This is a film before its time, shot in the old black and white. It's a coming of age tale in a small North Texas town, so small that everyone is in each other's pants and everyone else knows about it. The entire movie revolves around fairly poor yet successful attempts at seduction; the central young seductress being Cybill Shepherd, who I didn't know was gorgeous because I'd only seen her years later. I understand now why Scorsese nabbed her as his ideal for Taxi Driver. People die, rebel, get jilted, and make ignorant old man commentary. It's almost like a Coen Brothers film noir, that's what it reminded me of most.

Perhaps the most encompassing quote came from the 40-year-old Ruth when she was being picked up at the clinic by high school senior Sonny. He asked, "Anything bad?" to which she replied, "No, just dreary."

This film could easily have been made sometime in the past 10 years, and that's saying something. I guess we can add sex to the controversial list of race, religion, drugs, and the Holocaust. Oh well. Think Fast Times at Ridgemont High with a wide range of ages. Thumbs up.


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