my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Vanishing Point
Director:   Richard C. Sarafian
Year:   1971
Genre:   Car Chase
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   04.28.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
04.28.06Alamo DowntownThis Screening is part of event: Best of QT Fest
In the break I got Aaron to introduce me to Eli Roth. Aaron intro'd me very well and Eli immediately got what was up. I got about five words out of my mouth before he said "yeah sure just get in contact with me" and started talking to Harry. I stood there for a second thinking "hmm... should i wait and try to chat more?" before realizing "shit, he said yes. I guess that's all I need." and walking away to track down Tim. Tim did me a huge favor and talked to Julie, the woman who manages to keep Quentin's schedule, and tell her about my doc project. The only problem is he asked for an interview with him this week, which I was both not expecting and not ready for... So at the end of the night I straightened that out with him as well and he said he'd get me in communication with her so that's cool too. Progress!

A lot of people who saw Vanishing Point a few weeks ago with me decided to ditch this screening and play pool instead. Eric stayed but I'm not sure if it was because he liked the movie or because he didn't want to miss another screening that Harry can hold over him forever. Either way, he earns extra cool points with me because I seem to be the only guy I know who likes this movie.

Actually, I liked this more the second time around. Maybe it was knowing how it ended or having Billy Jack to really prime my hippy vibe, but for whatever reason this movie really clicked with me this time around. I still think Cleavon Little's radio DJ gets a bit too much toward the end (there's a scene where he and Kowalski sort of talk to each other through the radio... and at the end there are a couple needless cuts to Super Soul sitting in his booth fearing for Kowalski... eh), but for the most part I really dig this movie. The first half is just a balls-out chase movie with shot after shot of the Dodge Charger going fast. Matt actually pointed out that a beginning sequence where Kowalski's driving on a road that follows a rushing stream was actually shot on the highway between Boulder, CO and Estes Park. Estes Park is home to The Stanley Hotel, where Stephen King got the inspiration for The Shining (and later shot the TV movie version there)... so if a miracle happens and I'm able to follow the Rolling Roadshow Tour this August, chances are we will tool down the same road that Kowalski did! Awesome!

The second half of this movie becomes severe existential hippy soul journey through the desert, complete with meeting random characters, losing track of time and space, and some sort of vague spiritual awakening. I don't know what to say except I dug it... Part of me wishes the whole movie was like the first half with Kowalski literally saying less than 5 lines of dialogue in an hour and hijacking that car to Cuba but I can't fault the movie for going where it went.

In his intro, QT said that the deeper you dig into the stories behind Vanishing Point, the more stuff you'll dig up. Instead, he opted to let the film speak for itself. Aside from reading a bit about it on IMDb, I know close to nothing about this movie so that comment really piqued my curiosity. I hear there's a director commentary on the DVD; definitely have to check that out now. Quentin also mentioned the soundtrack (which is indeed awesome), and how it was one of the first movies to use songs instead of score - something he's tried to do with all of his films (pretty successfully too I might add). A QT intro that definitely left me wanting, but a movie that really grew on me the second time. awesome!
04.11.06Alamo Downtown QT introduced this second half of tonight's double feature as "not the shitty Viggo Mortensen TV movie Vanishing Point but the real Barry Newman Kowalski Vanishing Point" and also mentioned that for anyone that's read his Grind House script, there is a definite plot point lifted from this movie.

This is a really cool movie about this guy who wants to drive this supercharged Dodge from Denver to San Francisco, evading the cops and becoming a folk hippy hero along the way thanks to blind radio DJ Super Soul (played by Cleavon Little). There are pretty long stretches of time with no dialogue at all, just shot after shot of this Dodge Challenger burning ass across desert highways. As I was watching I realized that I had seen the TV movie remake of this, and that it did indeed suck. This movie though, is its own sort of cool. Barry Newman has maybe 15 lines of dialogue in the whole thing but has the type of role where cult hero status is pretty much guaranteed. It's kind of like an action chase movie with a hippy sensitivity. Really a cool film and I am excited to see it again when it plays Best of QT in a few weeks.

So that's it for tonight. Not a lot of celebrity-spotting... didn't meet any famous people or anything, but had a great time hanging out with my friends and watching cool movies with a loud raucaus crowd. Oh yeah, a certain person with certain infamy was here tonight, working certain wiles to live up to certain reputations. I've never actually seen starF-ing in action until tonight, but it's pretty blatant and unsightly. I'd like to say that if i ever got famous on a QT level that I'd be above all of that... and while I think that I would be in that one particular case, I have no doubts about being a complete slut when the women are actually hot.
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