A young filmmaker becomes obsessed with a true crime story and with the femme fatale at the center of the tale. When he begins to make a film about the case on location in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, he discovers that nothing in the story is true, that the girl he cast is not who she appears to be and that he himself may be in great jeopardy. –SXSW
Monte Hellman (born July 12, 1932, in New York City, New York) is an American film director, producer, and film editor.
Hellman is among a group of directing talent mentored by Roger Corman, who produced several of the director’s early films. Hellman’s most critically acclaimed film to date has been Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), a road movie that was a box office failure at the time of its initial release but has subsequently turned into a perennial cult favorite.1 Hellman’s two acid westerns starring Jack Nicholson, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, both shot in 1965 and released directly to television in 1968, have also developed cult followings, particularly the latter. A third western, China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), was far less successful critically, although it too has its admirers, as do Cockfighter (1974) (aka Born to Kill) and Iguana (1988). In 1989 he directed the straight-to-video slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch… read more
Talk about beautiful losers. Two white collar criminals come out of hiding to act in a film based on their crime, for a director who just wants to revive the noir and fall in love. There are moments here that make me shiver every time, vulnerable, exposed moments that make time stand still. "Art" is the portrait of a dead love on our prison cell - but every square inch of that portrait is earned. If we're lucky.
Make no mistake about it, this is another masterpiece by Monte Hellman. An immersive atmosphere of shifting characters and realities in a crescendo of suspense. This is a homage to cinema as a voyage both inside and outside ourselves, where one is never too sure of what is seeing, that always mysterious suspended moment of amazement.
It's hard for me to believe, that Hellman actually made this piece. I love his 60's and 70's works, but this reads like a cross of "Lost Higway" and "The Stuntman", without an edge unfortunately. Script is boring and actors are unconvincing, plot is too elaborate to keep the mood, which is sliding down rapidly in the second half... another example it's hard to make a good comeback after what's been done in the past.
It all started lightheartedly with Day for Night. Yanagimachi turned it into a haunting masterpiece with Who’s Camus Anyway. Hellman in turn has made a complex film that expands on both films and addresses itself to posterity through a digital camera. Hellman’s best film since Cockfighter.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2011 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.
The cult director of Two-Lane Blacktop returns with his first feature in twenty years.
Monte Hellman's best films begin by pretending to tell a story. Take your pick: Ride in the Whirlwind, Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter
Updated through 6/10. To Hellman and Back: An Evening with Monte Hellman is set for this evening at the Walter Reade Theater, and here's how