January 5, 2012

Happy Thurs. Dark here and -30. Not too much going on.

We watched the 1971 movie The Last Picture Show over the weekend. The film was nominated for 8 AAs and won for best supporting actor and actress, film, director. It was shot in B&W. The actors lived together for two months in a very small Texas town, Archer City, the home town of Larry McMurtry, who wrote the book and co-wrote the screenplay with director Peter Bogdanovich. The atmosphere is so thick you can cut it with a knife (cliché alert) and the acting is engrossing. Bogdanovich famously picked Cybill Shepherd out of a grocery store line to be the blonde high school flirt who gets the protagonist and his best friend in considerable trouble.

The plot is too complicated to summarize, but this film is well worth a watch (alliteration alert), but not with children, as sexual experience is a key theme, including a nude swimming party at which each participant has to undress on the diving board while others watch. The action takes place during a year from November 1951 to October 1952. The male protagonist, Sonny, is the QB of a lackluster HS football team and has a series of what he thinks are secret assignations with the coach’s wife. Apparently the town of Archer City was not glad to have its dirty laundry aired by McMurtry in the book and infinitely more so in the movie. Very absorbing. The soundtrack features a lot of contemporary western music, principally Hank Williams. Seeing this film, you can understand why he was so lonesome he could cry.

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