Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue ★★★★★

It remains one of the most emotionally devastating movies no matter how many times I revisit it, and it continues to be without a proper video release, even after 32 years of existence.

Most people would point directly to Easy Rider as Dennis Hopper's true masterwork among his directorial efforts, but I think Out of the Blue is easily his most searing triumph. I'm really not sure how I've managed to make it through something like 5 or 6 rewatches of this harrowing picture, but I think it's mostly due to the fact that I am constantly experiencing the undeniable pleasure of introducing it to people who have never even heard of it before. It amps up my desire to go through it again and again again, and it's worth it. I beg to see the day when someone (hopefully Criterion) steps up and puts together a proper release, preferably with a more pristine transfer and supplemental material that offers some insight (if it exists) into the creation of the movie.

In my opinion, Hopper has created the defining film exploration on the dark effects that irresponsible or non-existent parenting can have on a young child. Linda Manz was a couple of years off her terrific breakout performance in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, and her portrayal in this film of a troubled, Elvis & punk rock obsessed teen, is one of seething power. It's difficult to watch at times, and almost more than any film I've ever seen...but there is absolutely no other piece of work that has affected me the way Out of the Blue has and always will. It only adds to the imprint on me when the music of Neil Young is prominent, too.

I miss you, Mr. Hopper. Thanks for this masterpiece.

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