Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Farewell Dennis Hopper

The great Dennis Hopper has just passed away at the age of 74. We tend to sling phrases such as “true original” around with too much abandon, but, if those two words applied to anybody, then it would be to …

Sat, May 29, 2010, 21:05

   

The great Dennis Hopper has just passed away at the age of 74. We tend to sling phrases such as “true original” around with too much abandon, but, if those two words applied to anybody, then it would be to Mr Dennis Lee Hopper. He originally emerged as a troubled method kid in the style of his good pal James Dean. Booze, drugs and sheer stubbornness got in the way of his establishing a mainstream movie-star career, but, on reflection, the life he did have was that bit more interesting: long periods of insecurity held aloft by theĀ  tent-poles that were Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet.

Why not celebrate his life by watching his unlikely — but convincing — turn as Tom Ripley in Wim Wenders’s rough masterpiece The American Friend. You could then follow-up with Henry Jaglom’s gem Tracks. Dig hard and you will, in fact, discover a surprisingly large number of Hopper classics. Yes, it was, for all its rough patches, a good career.

We will never see his like again.