There’s a “Cinefamily” screening tomorrow night at L.A.’s Silent Movie theatre of L.M. Kit Carson and Lawrence Schiller‘s The American Dreamer, a 1971 doc about the late Dennis Hopper. The 90-minute feature, which hasn’t been seen in eons, will begin at 9:30 pm. (Following a 7:30 pm showing of Easy Rider.) It’s the kickoff attraction for Cinefamily’s Hopper tribute series.
Carson will regale with Hopper stories after the show ends, or roughly around 11 pm. I wrote Carson and asked for a sample. He wrote back with the following: “Hopper’s 50th birthday hit while we were shooting Texas Chainsaw Masaacre 2 in Texas in May ’86, and on the birthday party night Hopper insisted on cutting the cake with a chainsaw — laughing and shouting ‘gotcha 5-0!’ I don’t think Dennis ever thought he’d actually die.”
“The wild, unexpected success of Easy Rider ushered in what is now seen as one of the most significant turning points in film history, making pathologically rebellious Dennis Hopper an unlikely King Of Hollywood for a day,” the notes read. “Incredibly, that day was filmed — and not just filmed, but captured by two innovative and inventive filmmakers. Co-directed by L.M. Kit Carson and Lawrence Schiller, The American Dreamer is many things: an insightful document of a complex artist in the midst of his creative process, a self-reflective exploration and explosion of verite filmmaking tropes, and a playful and entertaining snapshot of the private life of one of Hollywood’s most eccentric stars at the peak of his newly found fame.
“Hopper boldly allowed access to his crazy life in all its aspects: firing his rifles off in the desert, editing The Last Movie, stripping naked and walking through downtown Taos, New Mexico, pontificating about art and life, and holding forth guru-like to a room full of naked women. Fortuitously timed, fantastically made, and virtually unseen, The American Dreamer is the great ’70s film doc you always wished existed.”