The Last Picture Show (1971, Peter Bogdanovich)

Hank Williams on the radio in a tumbleweed Texas town. Watched the night of P-Bog’s passing – lately I’ve really enjoyed his films, so I probably shouldn’t have started out with The Cat’s Meow. This got all the award nominations in its time. For such an auteurist filmmaker, it’s so actor-focused, discovering at least four future stars and pitting them against established and veteran actors.

Cybill and Randy:

Young Timothy Bottoms has an affair with his coach’s wife. The boys buy a prostitute for Mute Billy and it goes poorly. Ben Johnson, the pool hall and picture show proprietor who is everybody’s role model, dies suddenly offscreen. Jeff Bridges punches his friend’s eye out then joins the army. Everything’s shabby and everyone’s stuck – would be interesting to see the sequel made 20 years later.

Officially P-Bog’s follow-up to Targets, though he also made a John Ford doc and helped Corman with some MST3k-bait. DP Robert Surtees, who worked not with John Ford but a bunch of big directors through the 1950’s, shot the hell out of it. Written by Larry McMurtry, who also died in the past year, and filmed in his hometown.