Day 365: The Last Picture Show + Another Earth (March, 8)


Here we are! The last day of Omad. A very special day. 

I didn't really believe that I would get here actually. I hoped, of course, but my Amélie-like-mind created zillions of scenarios in which it would be impossible to complete this dare that I brought over myself. Despite a kind of a difficult year, I was able to incorporate Omad to my routine, until I got here, Day 365. 

I woke up in a state of fuzzy euphoria. Even knowing that The Last Picture Show would tune down my happy heart, I had decided some time ago to see it on this last day. The name, right? Obviously, the name. But above all I wanted to honor the two main ways of experiencing a movie for me: alone and with beloved friends. With an open showing scheduled for the night, the morning was the time to be alone with a movie that I wanted to see probably for about 26 years. 

Well, I'm just presuming that I first heard about it at the time the sequel was released, in 1991, still under Peter Bogdanovich direction. I bought the DVD some years ago, tried to watch it once, felt it was unbearable and that was it. Until this day.

Time is an odd thing, because I thought the movie was absolutely brilliant since the first scene. That small town in Texas is the embodiment of the lack of hope. For every and each of its inhabitants, doesn't matter if they're rich, poor, young, old, married. There are tiny glimpses of a way out, but they never are materialized. 

The setting is the years of 1951/1952, but, as Rodrigo pointed in his usually accurate ways only by the summary of this film, it carries the features of its production in 1971, that acid and hopeless way of looking the ways of contemporary society. It was a bull's eye 45 years ago and it is accurate still. 

Timothy Botoms, Jeff Bridges (!) and Cybill Shepherd are great, delivering through their characters all the lack of hope conveyed in here. The last one I met the first time in Moonlighting, the TV show that presented Bruce Willis to the world (not a small achievement). Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman had their short but heartbreaking performances awarded by an Oscar. And Ellen Burstyn is not less brilliant. A movie about a dying town and ways of life, it is, but mainly about people that try to stay alive in such a dying environment. 

The cinematography is outstanding in picturing all this hopelessness. I've read that the location, Archer City, Texas (hometown of Larry McMurtry, the author of the novel in which this movie was based), remains the same as pictured in the 1971 film. It is spooky, actually. It reminded what a friend told me once how those truly small towns in US seem like they had stopped in time. The big cities are all modern, the smaller towns are numb. 

On the imdb.com trivia, there's another info about something that I've been asking myself throughout Omad. It refers to the changing about the soundtrack and original scores on movies. From orchestrated scores to the use of songs, something was really changing around the '70s and '80s. According to imdb, "the film was one of the first to use already popular recordings by original artists to score a film". It was really nice finding the answer to that. Another curious fact: all the songs we hear here comes from radio, in a naturalistic playing, what is pretty cool actually.

Something that had scared the hell out of me is how hostile this world depicted in here is for everybody, but mainly for women. Marriage still looked like the only way out for the majority. It is horrifying,  specially on a day that is dedicated to create awareness about the inequity of opportunities regarding women. 

At last, the black and white images were a kind of remnant from Hiroshima Mon Amour, keeping me in a similar atmosphere, through a poetic cinematography contrasting to the cruel reality.

Oops, no, not the last. I just remembered that the first movie we see showing in the small movie theater here is the 1950 Father of The Bride, with Elizabeth Taylor, a movie that I used to see on TV when I was a kid. It was a nice remembering. It is curious how many movies, as Cinema Paradiso, for example, tell how a small town dies a little when a movie theater is closed for good.

The Last Picture Show. Direced by Peter Bogdanovich. Cast: Timothy
Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd. Writers: Peter Bogdanovich,
Larry McMurtry based on McMurtry's novel. USA, 1971, 118 min.,
Mono, Black and White (DVD).

At night, time to celebrate Omad with the friends that most supported me and the blog during this whole year.

It was a time dedicated to close cycles, and this way I had no doubt about which movie would be the last: Another Earth, the one that started it all exactly one year ago. Malu, the dear friend that told me about this film, could not be here to celebrate a history that she had inspired in a way. However, she is always present when I remember how this whole idea begun.

At Day one, with Omad still an incipient project, I watched the Mike Cahill movie with my heart on my hands. It is heartbreaking, penetrating, sad. That was the beginning, and the whole atmosphere in here was fit to what I was feeling at that time, one year ago.

On this day? The story was entirely different. Beloved friends and family, they wanted to be here with me to end this dare. Some of them had never met each other before and, still, they all clicked beautifully. And what followed was one of the more fun times I had in a long time.

I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breath. Yep, you've read right. Laughing during this heartbreaking movie. The mood was set when the copy I had was defective. I'm so stupid that the first time I saw this movie I thought it was intentional. With a photographer, two filmmakers and a gamer/movie expert in the room, it was unbearable to see. We paused the movie in order for me to look for other copy, and the result was this:

Scary demon from Jupiter :)

The hell broke loose, and from this moment on, and there was no limit for our sharp and funny remarks. three of us had already saw the movie, so it didn't help. I'd would have recorded it, because there's no way to describe what followed. Insane remarks on its best.

At one of the saddest scenes in the movie, Brit Marling writes some words on the hand of a guy that is not able to see or hear anymore. They can only communicate by touch. After a few beers, of course I lost account of what she was writing. "Someone was able to get that?", I asked. Thanks the Olympic gods Flavia can read. Gui looked at us and said: whoa, I only realized she was writing somethin after a few letters. For me, she was caressing his hand or lookin for the M on his palm. And there we were, hysterical laughs in one of the most comovent scenes here. "But it is really sad", Rodrigo said, drying his laughing tears.

Five happy lunatics in front of the small TV. After the movie (That Rudd considered heartbreaking even when he wasn't able to stop laughing), we remained there, no willing to leave despite an early schedule the next day. I had to sit, Rudd fell from his chair, we wouldn't stop telling tales that make us laugh even more. All the while, someone would remember some witty remark made during the movie. The tactics of hacksaw (aka A tática do Serrote), the Jupiter language, the girl who is unable to look forward, the scary guy from Lost... And there we were, unwilling to leave that happy bubble.

Cheers to a happy dare finally
Joe and Rudd, beloved friends and my two sole readers (:); Fla, my beautifull niece, who incorporated Omad to her life in a lovely support; Gui, my amazing nephew, an amazing artist and a character worthy of his own movie: thank you all for your love today and every day, but specially during Omad. Your support and companionship were fundamental here. And it all explode in laughing bubles during the most amazing movie showing at my house (that I say for sure). Too much love, surrounded by junk food, good drinks and, let's not forget, great movies.

I don't dare to ask for more.

One last note: I don't know it you realized that the countdown is not over. Almost, but there's still the take off. Soon, the last post will be here. It doesn't help my case to remark that it will be really big. But I hope you will stay tuned for one more post. See you soon.

Already, though, I should thank you all for being here with me. What an amazing time <3

Well, we do that everytime we watch a movie :)

Another Earth. Directed by Mike Cahill. Cast: Brit Marling, William Mapother,
Matthew-Lee Erlbach. Writers: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling. USA, 2011, 92 min.,
Dolby, Color. 

PS: The trivia here is very interesting.

PPS: Synchronicity tale - earlier on this day, I turned on the TV and it was showing I-Origins, other of Cahill movies with Brit Marling, and Day 28 movie on Omad.


    It's like Earth 1 you met Earth 2 you at the end of this rich journey. What do you have to say to yourself?! Haha
    Let's agree this was a good film to have started and finished your 365-day challenge with. But most surprisingly, it was a great film to re-watch with friends, when your crazy guests manage to turn it into a comedy session. I guess that's part of the magic in friendship. It sure was a special night to us all, one to remember. When the movie ended and I thought there would be a moment for us to exchange theories and discuss the subject matter, we couldn't help but dive into more laughter, recalling all the nonsense brought about throughout the story, somehow. The Hacksaw Tactic; Ethan, from Lost is freaking scary; the poor girl can't look ahead or jump through an open window; the truth that never comes out; the demon from Jupiter which refuses to eat the apple of cynicism... Haha what a night. What a concept.
    I'm also adding "The last picture show" to my watchlist because you intrigued me with your comments on it.

    Thanks again for inviting me, I'm glad to have taken part in your journey as well as in your special last movie night – of this dare! And may the next challenge be even more exciting! To a brand new beginning!!

    Lots of love.

    [ j ]

    1. And here I was laughing out loud once more while reading your recollection of our comments :)
      Joe, give up all illusion of sanity, you are one of my crazy guests as well!
      As always, you go right to the point with surgical precision: a rich journey it was, and possible in a big part because of your caring, attentive and joyful support. Thank you for life!!!
      It was a super special occasion, with the funniest and loveliest friends <3
      All my love to you, Joe! The next challenge are counting on you too (You won't get rid of me so easily - enter evil laugh :).