OUT OF THE BLUE shows off a beautifully restored hidden hidden gem — Moviejawn

Directed by Dennis Hopper
Written by Leonard Yakir, Brenda Nielson, and Dennis Hopper (uncredited)
Starring: Linda Manz, Dennis Hopper, Sharon Farrell, Don Gordon, and Raymond Burr
Duration: 94 minutes
Now available in 4K and standard Blu-Ray from
Severin Films

by Kirk Stevens, Contributor, Disc Devote

Letterboxd synopsis:

Cebe is a rebellious teenage punk rocker obsessed with Elvis Presley who lives with her drug-addicted mother, Kathy. When her father Don de Ella is released from prison after a tragic accident, she navigates her way through predators, drug addicts and unstable family dynamics until she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Years ago, while perusing a list of underrated movies from the 1980s, I realized that Dennis Hopper Unexpectedly – Hopper’s third directing credit after cultural success. easy Rider, Y the last movie (which landed him in the director’s jail). I located a poor quality used DVD from Amazon for the cost of a dollar. Despite the bad transfer, he knew he was seeing something special. It’s a raw, punk, Cassavetes-esque masterpiece. I couldn’t believe this wasn’t in conversation for one of the greatest pieces of art to come out of The New Hollywood or that it was considered part of “The Canon”.

Result, Unexpectedly it was not considered a Hollywood film at all: it was a low-budget independent shoot in Canada under a tax shelter where investors could deduct 100% of the production cost from their taxable income. After original director and screenwriter Leonard Yakir was dropped, Hopper, who was hired only as an actor, took over directing duties and rewrote the script. Initially conceived as more of an after-school special, Hopper created an electric and empathetic portrait of a family dealing with addiction and sexual abuse following a father’s return home from prison.

Since Hopper was not a Canadian citizen, the film lost tax-shelter eligibility; and his double duty as actor turned director led to a tumultuous production. Despite an invitation to screen at the Cannes Film Festival and strong critical acclaim, the film remained in distribution limbo. After two years on the shelf, independent distributor John Alan Simon took over the film, traveling with Hopper from city to city to give it a do-it-yourself theatrical run. Simon’s forte was handling lost movies that the studios didn’t know what to do with; he previously found success facing Robin Hardy. the wicker man (a personal favorite of mine) in the US. After four decades of obscurity, Simon and his producing partner Elizabeth Karr launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to save and restore Unexpectedly. Over the past two years, the stunning new 4K restoration has screened around the world and finally received the carefully curated home video release it deserves from Severin Films.

What features make it special:

  • high definition feature film

  • Audio commentary with the director dennis hopperExecutive producer paul lewis and distributor John Alan Simon

  • Audio Commentary with Film Scholar kate renebohm

  • Audio Commentary with the Film Writer Kat Ellinger

  • 1984 Interview with Dennis Hopper by tony watts

  • Gone But Not Forgotten – Remembering Linda Manz: Critics, Colleagues And Fans Pay Tribute To cute manzIncluded Leif Garrett, lydian lunch, bobby gillespie (primary scream), pie outline (Hole), larry outline (Death Valley Girls), walter weasel (Flying Luttenbachers), jacob reynolds (Actor, Gummo), fashion designer Wendy Mullin (Built by Wendy), filmmaker and activist Juliet Belmas and film critic Dorothy Woodd

  • Subverting normalcy: Linda Manz comes from nowhere — Video essay by amanda reyes Y Chris O’Neill

  • Terminal City Blues — Vancouver on screen in OUTSIDE THE BLUE: a new video essay Kier LaJanisse Y Stephen Broomer

  • MAIN STREET SOLDIER — A short film by leonard yakir

  • Partial comment with the director leonard yakir In SOLDIER OF MAIN STREET

  • restoration trailer

  • theatrical trailer

  • Jack Nicholson radio ad

  • Remembering OUT OF THE BLUE — Eleven new interviews with cast and crew

  • Dennis and I- Six new interviews with Hopper’s friends and colleagues, including Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater, Philip BlackberryY Julian Schnabel

  • Straight to hellAlex Cox remember OUT OF THE BLUE

  • deal with demonsBrian Cox On acting and Dennis Hopper

  • AFI Q&A with 4K Restoration Producers John Alan Simon Y elizabeth karr

Why you need to add it to your video library:

Viewers be warned: this is a grim watch. It focuses on three characters in a tremendous amount of pain. Parents battling addiction and exposing their daughter to predatory figures make up the fabric of everyday life for this family unit. You feel a sense of love for this family and you can see that they clearly love each other, but every scene feels dangerous. We are always following the point of view of a character, whether they are in danger or about to inflict damage on another person. The film features three incredible performances from Linda Manz, Sharon Farrell and Dennis Hopper. The behind-the-scenes interviews on the disc describe the lengthy preparation Hopper took with his co-stars in his trailer every day before filming, to create a believable headspace for them to work in, all while the crew grew frustrated waiting for them. This continues on screen, as many scenes blur the line between an impromptu acting exercise and scripted dialogue, though it never feels repetitive or forgiving. Neil Young’s “Hey, Hey, My, My (Out of the Blue)” weaves in and out of the soundtrack, haunting Cebe while Young refrains: “It’s better to burn than to disappear.” That line has become a cliché for a long time, but for Unexpectedlyit is a thesis.

This version contains 2 discs loaded with special features. Producers John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr have really latched onto this project and collected or commissioned almost all of the Unexpectedly imaginable related material: 3 commentaries, interviews with members of the cast and crew, interviews with friends of Dennis Hopper, a tribute to Linda Manz, a short film, video essays, and a radio ad by Jack Nicholson voicing his support for the film in its original release. It is the most complete compilation of information about the film that one can imagine.

If you’re a maniac like me searching for Letterboxd articles, podcasts, and reviews to find all the overlooked, hidden, and long-lost masterpieces you can get your hands on: this is the hidden gem you have been looking for. It is one of our great films, rescued from nowhere and waiting to be rediscovered.

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