Anthology Film Archives


April 29 – May 5

Novelist Rudy Wurlitzer has long been revered by lovers of experimental literature – he has only five novels to his name, but these books are among the strangest and most deeply original in contemporary American literature. With NOG, FLATS, QUAKE, SLOW FADE, and THE DROP EDGE OF YONDER, Wurlitzer almost single-handedly pioneered a homegrown equivalent of European experimental existentialism, translating the profound innovations of Samuel Beckett and others into a uniquely American idiom. These remarkable novels (as well as a non-fiction work, HARD TRAVEL TO SACRED PLACES) have established Wurlitzer as a national treasure.

While none of his novels have been adapted into movies (for better or for worse), Wurlitzer has tried his hand at filmmaking on several occasions, and in collaboration with some of the most gifted directors in American cinema. His screenplay for Monte Hellman’s TWO-LANE BLACKTOP is probably his best-known cinematic contribution, but there’s far more where that came from, including Sam Peckinpah’s PAT GARRETT & BILLY THE KID, Alex Cox’s WALKER, several collaborations with iconoclastic photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank, and Jim McBride’s brilliant, woefully under-appreciated post-apocalyptic tour-de-force GLEN AND RANDA, perhaps the clearest filmic manifestation of Wurlitzer’s unique sensibility.

Anthology is honored to present this tribute to Rudy Wurlitzer’s film work, and to welcome Wurlitzer himself for two evenings, alongside two very special guests:
–On Friday, April 29, he will appear along with Will Oldham for a reading and conversation to mark the release of Oldham’s recent audio book version of SLOW FADE (Drag City). With musical accompaniment by Ben Chasny (SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE) and photographs by Lynn Davis.
–And on Saturday, April 30, he will be here for a dialogue with friend and colleague Robert Downey Sr. after the 8:00 screening of GLEN AND RANDA.

Special thanks to Rudy Wurlitzer, Will Oldham, Robert Downey Sr., Jim McBride, Lisa Janssen & Laura Pearson (Drag City), Paul Ginsburg (Universal), Marilee Womack & Sean Domachowski (Warner Bros.), Marian Luntz & Tracy Stephenson (Museum of Fine Arts Houston), Barbi Spieler (Whitney Museum of American Art), and David Spencer & Matt Jones (University of North Carolina School of the Arts).

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