Piazza Maggiore > 21:45


Peter Bogdanovich
Introduced by

Wes Anderson

(In case of rain, the screening will take place at Arlecchino Cinema, Jolly Cinema and Lumière Cinema)


Monday 04/07/2022


Original version with subtitles


Free entry subject to availabilty


Film Notes

A painful film. Terribly sad, without a single dramatic or life-affirming passage to provide meaning, purpose or even an explanation of the cause of such sadness. Life goes by like this, in an uneventful calm in which, sure, you meet someone, have sex, split up or get married, get old or die young – but always as if in a vacuum, trapped among the affluent houses and villas of a small American town centred on a windy street that leads elsewhere, but which the town’s inhabitants struggle to cross in order to really go someplace else… A great film, which stands out for its rigorous aesthetic and bitter ethos that were subsequently rarely equalled, including in films by the filmmaker himself… A film of today whose inspiration lies in the past. A film of the past that speaks to today. (In both cases ‘today’ is the 1970s). Not by chance, the film is set, as it were, in the ‘middle of the road’: 1951, 20 years before its release and during the waning of the golden era of the classic Western. Indeed, the last film showing in the cinema that is about to close its door forever is Howard Hawks’ Red River(1948)…
A cinema of nostalgia? Not in the (often sterile) sense that could be applied to other films of the period (including those of the same filmmaker). As Franco La Polla wrote in Il nuovo cinema americano 1967-1976, through his hyperrealism, Bogdanovich “recreates reality;he represents it in a way that does not deny the act of fabrication, but rather emphasises it as such. In The Last Picture Show,Bogdanovich’s cinema ceases to be fiction, the attempt to piece together bits of an artificial reality; rather, it becomes the reinterpretation of the basis of that false reality through its reutilisation with a complete awareness of its fabricated nature. The Last Picture Show is probably the only contemporary American film, at least among ‘regular’ film production, in which the hyperreal component is fully theorised.” Therefore,that which at first glance can appear nostalgic or reassuring soon reveals itself to be a heartrending journey into the imaginary, mythological falsification of classical cinema and into the senseless, depressing reality that (now as then) underpinned that representation. This is why TheLast Picture Show is so sad, because the myth (although beloved) reveals the fragility and mutability of its foundations, be they cinematic or the stuff of dreams and memories.

Emanuela Martini, Shall We Gather at the River? Tra il West e il nulla: L’ultimo spettacolo, “Cineforum. Nuova serie”, n. 5, March 2022

Cast and Credits

Sog.: dal romanzo omonimo (1966) di Larry McMurtry. Scen.: Larry McMurtry, Peter Bogdanovich. F.: Robert Surtees. M.: Donn Cambern, Peter Bogdanovich. Scgf.: Walter Scott Herndon.Int.: Timothy Bottoms (Sonny Crawford), Jeff Bridges (Duane Jackson), Cybill Shepherd (Jacy Farrow), Ben Johnson (Sam), Cloris Leachman (Ruth Popper), Ellen McRae (Lois Farrow), Eileen Brennan (Genevieve), Clu Gulager (Abilene), Sam Bottoms (Billy), Sharon Taggart (Charlene Duggs). Prod.: Stephen J. Friedman per BBS Productions. DCP. D.: 126’. Bn.