A key film part of the American cinema renaissance of the seventies, it follows the three drifter teens and the aging lost souls who bump into them. A portrait of the dying West set during the early fifties, in a lonely part of Texas.
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Through the detailed, formal but never stodgy, and incredibly lived-in excellence of Bogdanovich’s direction (and production designer Polly Platt) we are immediately transported right into this world that, at the time, was 20 year ago, but we don’t feel simple nostalgia about it (though we wished these places still existed. I do anyway). As beautifully shot and as intriguing as this town is, it also appears hard and unforgiving.
To watch the The Last Picture Show is to step inside it. Once you’re over the threshold, its heavy truths continue to disconcert long after the credits. Best cancel your post-screening plans and build in some recovery time, especially if you’ve aged any since you last saw it. Few movies are more poisonously enveloping; the only antidote I know is to cue up Hank Williams and lie on the floor.