"I should have been dead ten times over. I`ve thought about that a lot. I believe in miracles. It`s an absolute miracle that I`m still around."
The Takeaway: Live fast - on your terms - as you will.
Hopper leaves on the tail end of the Lost finale week - a week where we learned about a Gathering World in Lostland - a rest stop on the way to wherever we may go next. And right now, Hopper is waking to that Gathering World, perhaps sitting down with Vincent Price, Elvis Presley, and James Dean.
Dennis Hopper cowrote and directed one of the greatest American films of all time - a favorite of mine - Easy Rider. And that's his way of life, man. He just cruised along - his writing, acting, directing, photography, sculpture, painting - his salvation - his gift to us - his inspiring badassery just captivated us and made us all better artists.
If memory serves (and gods knows that ain't reliable these days) my first experience with Hopper was the astonishing Blue Velvet, where he just fucking slayed us with his portrayal of Frank Booth. I couldn't take my eyes off this dude. His passion, his intensity, his raw being exploded on screen and I said to myself, "Self? Go gettcha some more flicks with this cat." And I did. And that's when I found Easy Rider. Holy good god, this movie rocked me. Spirit. That's the one word answer to riddle. Spirit. This film takes you on a journey both existential and physical. And you come out knowing. Just knowing. Comfort food in the form of film.
His film career was beyond impressive - 5 decades of pure awesome for us to explore for all time. He worked with some of the greatest filmmakers and actors to ever live. Corman, Coppola, Fonda, Nicholson, Dean, Lynch, Romero, Polanski, Hackman, Duvall, Brando, Eastwood, Newman. If you shook any one of their hands - you had a good day. Hopper worked with them, lived with them, experienced their greatness firsthand - and they his.
I didn't know him in person. But I knew him. And when I go to the Gathering World, I know who's buying.
Paris in Fall.