LAST CHANTS FOR A SLOW DANCE
(DEAD END)


A terminal "road-movie," Last Chants single-mindedly follows the path of its central character, Tom Bates, through an unspecified period of time as he talks to a hitch-hiker and then throws him out of his truck, visits his wife and has a fierce argument with her, talks to a man in a breakfast cafe, picks up a woman in a bar and has a one night stand with her; leaves the woman, and finally, cruising in his truck on a back road, pulls over to help a man with his broken-down car, and, for a few dollars, shoots and kills the man.



1977 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 90 minutes

Producer, writer, director, editor cinematographer : Jon Jost

With: Tom Blair, Steven Voorheis, Jessica St. John, Wayne Crouse, Mary Vollmer, John Jackson

Shown at Edinburgh Festival 1977, Toronto 1978, Florence 1979, Sydney, and others

In the collections of British Film Institute (BFI), Australian Film Institute, Portuguese Film Archive.

Broadcast by UK’s Channel Four, 1981


 

   

 

 

 


"It is tempting to say that Last Chants is remarkable enough in its own terms but, remarkable though it certainly is, that would seriously underestimate the film’s importance. For Last Chants does what virtually no other film made in the USA in the 70’s does -- it exemplifies the possibility of a radical alternative cinema, radical and alternative in economic, aesthetic and political terms -- which does not inevitably condemn itself in advance to an avant-garde elitist or otherwise narrow audience. One of the primary reasons it is able to do so is that it draws fundamentally upon cinema’s narrative tradition, incorporating some of its pleasure and fascination, while seeking to sever that narrative tradition from its accumulated ideological functions and disguises."

- Jim Hillier, Movie, 1981


"Last Chants for a Slow Dance is a film of extraordinary restraint and formal elegance - a paradox which provides an exceptionally telling indication of the nature of Jost’s attitude to film."

- Alan Sutherland, Sight and Sound

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