The great cinephile twodeadmagpies once wrote, “i haven’t seen a film from texas that hasn’t made me totally depressed about the future of humanity. maybe jerry could hold his own (cup).”
Inspired, I’ve decided to take magpies’ advice (cock-in-hand), not to start a cup, but at least a thread to explore the past, present, and future of Texan cinema.
I welcome all to contribute.
Where should I start? The only Texan directors that I know of (or that I know are Texan) are Terrence Malick and Wes Anderson. And neither of those make me feel depressed about the future of humanity. Well… maybe Anderson… :P
Billy Woodberry is a Texan born filmmaker I want to explore. His work seems impossible to get one’s hands on, though. And most of it was centered outside of Texas… but…
Off hand, The Last Picture Show, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dr. T & the Women come to mind – all would fit Magpies’ description.
Never even heard of Woodberry. What do you recommend, Wu?
I’m sure David Ehrenstein can contribute, but one of the great origin myths of Texan cinema was the making of Giant, in which Rock Hudson and James Dean took turns bedding all the gay Texas cowboys west of the Pecos River.
Before I even get to the great Eagle Pennell (the godfather of Texas independent cinema), I must brief you on the Texan origins of classical Hollywood cinema:
I thnk Richard Linklater calls Texas home and some of his films are pretty indigenous to the area like Dazed and Confused
beyond making no comment about one-handed typing, i’ll whoop with wu about the whole shootin’ match, even if i’m still depressed about it. but jerry….gonna come up with suggestions that don’t involve losers, assholes, bastards, misogynists or humourless malicks? any women directors?
i don’t feel very briefed. those are just pictures.
Isn’t Robert Rodriguez a Texan?
His films don’t make me depressed about humanity but they certainly make me depressed about the current state of cinema.
I’ve always felt Ann Richards would’ve been a great film director.
gonna come up with suggestions that don’t involve losers, assholes, bastards, misogynists or humourless malicks?
No. If you don’t want those, go watch Papua New Guinea cinema.
Linda Darnel (middle picture) was the go-to-girl in the greatest film noir ever made (Fallen Angels) and the most beautiful western ever made (My Darling Clementine). She’s a Texican, and smuggled that culture in to our greatest films.
i’ve been hearing about texan cinema a lot lately. where would be a good place to start?
Cat- Eagle Pennell is a good place to start, and a few of his films are available on Mubi (at least in the U.S.).
thanks, Jerry. they’re not available here but i’m sure i can find them somewhere
i’m watching home from the hill right now, an epic in the tradition of giant
i’d say blood simple and no country for old men – while the film makers aren’t from texas – capture the atmosphere pretty well (plus making one depressed about the future of humanity)
Forget Dubya and the death penalty, here’s a Texas i prefer to think of. From the atrocious to the sublime!
Eagle Pennell is my deity of choice. I have the poster for Last Night at the Alamo on my wall.
Also good: Malick, Linklater, Anderson, Tobe Hooper, Bryan Poyser, Nick Block.
I would post one of my shorts, but I don’t feel they’re up to snuff.
Ooh, Cyd Charisse, in one of my favourite films. She’s magnificent in The Band Wagon- Dancing in the Dark and Girl Hunt sequences especially. I was already fancying her in my teens. So she’s from Amarillo- i feel a song coming on, and a little creature with a shell like body popping out of a burrow
joan crawford’s from san antonio
Kenji makes all threads beautiful.
yes leave it to kenji to find something that doesn’t spell doom for humanity
Three Burials of Melquiadas Estrada
Love that movie
Texas music that will shock you as being Texan:
Hope the song didn’t ruin things- i liked it as a kid aged 10, Amarillo sounded very exciting, and it was a surprise #1 in the UK years later. is it well known in Texas?
I definitely get a Texas vibe from Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, especially the guys who are expected to be football stars and MM’s character.
Oh, and that whorehouse. That makes me think of Texas, too, even though Dolly makes me think more Tennessee.