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Which clippings match 'Small Town' keyword pg.1 of 1
12 JANUARY 2013

The Last Picture Show: stark black and white cinematography

"Bogdanovich's coming of age story, set in 1950s rural Texas, is an achingly accurate portrayal of small–town life and the compromises and disappointments that mark the passage from adolescence to adulthood. In contrast to his contemporaries, who experimented with style and new filmmaking techniques inspired by the French New Wave, Bogdanovich looked back to classical Hollywood, utilizing stark black and white cinematography, deep focus and a traditional narrative structure. The film is striking in its lack of nostalgia for the past, focusing instead on the desperation of a dying community and way of life, embodied by the shuttering of the lonely movie house."

(Harvard Film Archive)

"The Last Picture Show", Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. With Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd. US 1971, 35mm, b/w, 118 min.

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TAGS

1950sadolescenceadulthoodblack and whitecinematography • classical Hollywood • compromises • Cybill Shepherddeep focusdesperation • disappointment • dying community • French New Wave • Harvard Film Archive • Jeff Bridges • John Schlesinger • lack of nostalgia for the past • loneliness • mark the passage • Mel Brooks • movie house • movie theatre • new filmmaking techniques • Peter Bogdanovichrural • rural Texas • shuttering • small town • small town life • stark • stark black and white cinematography • Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) • TexasTimothy Bottoms • traditional narrative structure • way of life

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 JANUARY 2013

The Last Picture Show: ode to a Texan small town

"It's hard to overestimate the influence of Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971) ... on all those other elegiac movies about lost youth and crumbling dreams in small American towns that followed it in such huge numbers. We know the storylines, which never vary much. Boy meets girl. They fall in love and think their relationship will last forever but war/adulthood/pregnancy intervenes. Old school friends spend a last summer of high jinks together. They vow eternal loyalty to one another but then the autumn rolls in and their lives drag them off in very different directions. The visual clichés are familiar, too: by the final reel, the once teeming street is empty, with wind blowing the dust, or the old café where the friends used to meet is boarded up. ...

When Bogdanovich revisited Thalia with a belated sequel, Texasville, in 1990, the results were mixed at best. What had made the original so distinctive was the youth of the characters played by Shepherd, Bottoms and Bridges – their curiosity, innocence and their sense of yearning. Witnessing their travails in middle age simply didn't have the same impact. The real follow–up to The Last Picture Show wasn't Texasville but the films that were made – and are still being made today – in its mould."

(The Independent, 18 March 2011)

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TAGS

1971adolescence • American Graffiti (1973) • Archer City • arthouse cinema • Big Wednesday (1978) • black and white • broken dreams • Cloris Leachman • coming of age • crumbling dreams • Cybill Shepherd • Diner (1982) • Easy Rider (1969) • Eileen Brennan • femme fatale • football coach • Hank Williams • high school • illicit relationship • innocenceintrospectionJeff Bridges • juvenile • Korean War • Larry McMurtry • lost youth • nakedPeter Bogdanovich • pool hall • provincial town • rites of passage • roughhouse • Rumble Fish (1983) • Sam Bottoms • self-conscious • sense of yearning • sexsmall townsmall town America • sombre • soulful • Stand By Me (1986) • swimming • teenage temptress • teenagersTexas • Texasville (1990) • Thalia • The Last Picture Show (1971) • The Outsiders (1983) • Timothy Bottoms • would-be rebel • youth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 OCTOBER 2012

Blue Velvet: the dark underside of America's collective fantasies

"Blue Velvet begins with the lily–white small town of America's collective fantasies and shows us its dark underside: drugs, violence, sex, and particularly sexual perversion. Our hero, Jeffrey, hiding in the dark, peers through the slats of Dorothy Vallens' closet at Dorothy getting undressed and Frank's strange sadomasochistic sex with her. Jeffrey stands for all of us American filmgoers peering (voyeuristically!) at Evil in traditional American films. Lynch clues us as to how we should read his film when he shows us a cluster of ants under the Beaumonts' pretty lawn. This is Tennyson's nature red in tooth and claw–the underside of cutesy Lumberton with its free enterprise propensity for cutting down trees."

(Norman N. Holland)

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TAGS

1986 • Alfred Tennyson • ants • Blue Velvet (1986) • collective fantasies • communitydark undersideDavid Lynch • Dennis Hopper • Dorothy Vallens • drugs • evil in films • feature filmfilm • filmgoers peering • free enterprise • hiding in the dark • Isabella Rossellini • Kyle MacLachlan • Laura Dern • lily-white • Lumberton • melodramanature • pretty lawn • repressionsadomasochistic sexsexsexual perversionsmall townsmall town Americasocietyundercurrents • underside • violencevisual spectaclevoyeurism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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