The Last Picture Show

The Last Picture Show ★★★★½

Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show is a film of tears. It is one of youth in a town with limited opportunities. The lives we see are quite sad, without a direction in life. However the film is more complex than that. Everything here is only the start of adulthood, and there is plenty of life still to live. This small town in Texas is the entire world within The Last Picture Show, but characters do leave it. Mostly though The Last Picture Show is a raw look at teenage sexuality and love, capturing their awkward and messy nature. There's a lot of kissing, and more, with all these intimate moments providing much of the film's structure. Many keys event happen offscreen, with weddings, deaths, and travels mostly talked about rather than shown. Instead The Last Picture Show is full of scenes of intimacy, or conversation. It wraps tightly around the characters and their rundown, desolate world. It is not the symbolic milestones of life that matter here, it is life itself. This is a film of consequences, not action. To be young is to make bad decisions. To enter adulthood is to continue making bad decisions, but with responsibility. This is a film on the final days of youth, represented by the final screening of a film. Soon the picture show will close, and soon youth will end. All of which culminates in an intense final scene, of reconciliation, anger, and hard truths, plus love. It's a small world, but there's always love.