Hopper/Welles Clip

I’ll never get tired of watching cinematic legends talk about the craft of filmmaking. So you can understand my excitement for the new documentary feature Hopper/Welles, a film featuring never-before-seen footage from a 1970 meeting between rising star Dennis Hopper, hot off his breakthrough directorial debut with the New Hollywood counterculture film Easy Rider, and the legendary Orson Welles, director of classics such as Citizen Kane and Touch of Evil.

Dennis Hopper and Orson Welles came together when Hopper agreed to take a small cameo role in The Other Side of the Wind, the film Welles worked on for many years but never saw the light of day until a recent premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, followed by a release on Netflix. So it’s only appropriate that Hopper/Welles is premiering in Venice this year, and we have the first clip from the movie below.

Hopper/Welles Clip

Welles flew Hopper from New Mexico to Los Angeles, where the filmmaker cooked pasta for the two of them and then spent the evening having an extensive discussion about filmmaking – and it was all caught on camera. It’s entirely candid, and in addition to talking about the craft of directing and editing, it also delves into politics, violence, religion, family, sex, and America.

All this footage was among the reels shot for The Other Side of the Wind, which producer Filip Jan Rymsza and editor Bob Murawski (The Hurt Locker) assembled for the film’s release. Then the two teamed up again to bring this incredible record of two Hollywood legends to audiences around the world, assembling the black and white footage into a documentary feature for our enlightenment.

Hopper/Welles will premiere at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and will also play the 2020 New York Film Festival. Otherwise, it does not have an official release date yet, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s the official synopsis:

In November 1970, two movie mavericks, one already a legend (Orson Welles) and the other on his way to mythic status (Dennis Hopper), met for an epochal conversation. It had been more than a decade since Welles had worked within the Hollywood system, and he had begun to strike out on his own as an independent, ruthlessly idiosyncratic artist; Hopper, on the other hand, had just had an unexpected major success with the studio-financed counterculture hit Easy Rider. At this decisive moment, the pair of auteurs shared their candid thoughts and feelings about cinema, politics, and life, and Welles captured this unscripted talk on two cameras, in lush black and white, lit only by a fireplace and hurricane lamps. This entertaining and revealing footage, never before seen in full, has been resurrected by producer Filip Jan Rymsza and editor Bob Murawski, who helped bring Welles’s unfinished The Other Side of the Wind to meticulously restored life two years ago.

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