Dennis Hopper was a visionary.
Whether it was as an actor, a director, a photographer, a fine artist or an art collector, he brought the very best to each medium.
The documentary, “Along for the Ride,” will have its New Mexico premiere at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at the KiMo Theatre, 423 W. Central. The screening is presented by the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience. It is directed by Nick Ebeling.
The documentary explores the amazing life of Hopper, who became a Hollywood icon. It is told through the eyes of his “right-hand man,” Satya de la Manitou.
“We’ve been making the movie for the last two and a half years,” de la Manitou says. “It was a work of passion and no one got paid. I worked for Dennis for about 47 years. I’ve become part of his family because I was around so much. This is an amazing story to tell.”
Hopper lived in Taos and rose to fame with roles in “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Blue Velvet,” “Hoosiers” and “Easy Rider.”
Hopper directed “Easy Rider,” which is considered to be one of the most successful independent films.
The film cost $380,000 and went on to gross $40 million worldwide.
” ‘Easy Rider’ was the first independent film to make money,” de la Manitou says. “There were dozens of independent films before that. None of them had the massive impact of ‘Easy Rider.’ He paved the way for other filmmakers.”
The film draws heavily from de la Manitou and it features previously unseen and rare photos and footage that span the triumph of “Easy Rider,” the magnificent career suicide of “The Last Movie,” Hopper’s directorial follow ups “Out of the Blue” and “Colors” alongside a mid-life comeback with critically acclaimed performances in “Blue Velvet” and others, after an overwhelming amount of questionable decisions.
The documentary will also have another screening at 7:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19 and noon Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe. De la Manitou will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film.
Did you know?
— New Mexico is a character in this film and was a major part of Dennis and his trajectory as an artist. Dennis’s 1971 follow up to “Easy Rider” called “The Last Movie” means a lot to both Satya and I (Ivan Wiener) and was edited in Taos and it’s where Satya and Dennis met. New Mexico was integral to telling this story.
— The film is going into wider release in March and will be coming to VOD and SVOD worldwide very soon.
— On Instagram and Facebook @alongfortheride17 or at alongfortheridemovie.com