“It’s never all in the script. If it were, why make the movie?”-Nicholas Ray
Dennis Hopper played a vital role in the creation of Ray’s We Can’t Go Home Again. According to Ray’s Wikipedia page, “In 1970 at a Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore East, Ray ran into Dennis Hopper, who asked Ray to join him at his ranch in Taos, New Mexico, where he was editing his new film, ‘The Last Movie’. Hopper helped Ray secure a position at Harpur College of Arts and Sciences at Binghamton University in upstate New York. From 1971 to 1973, Ray taught filmmaking where he and his students produced ‘We Can’t Go Home Again’, an autobiographical film employing multiple superimpositions.”
Hopper–often considered an outlaw of cinema and Hollywood in much the same way Ray was–paid tribute to the esteemed filmmaker by putting together a brief essay in 1997 for Turner Classic Movies. Comprised of film clips and around a half dozen old photographs that were, as noted by the wonderful blog Cinephilia and Beyond, “taken by Mark Goldstein from Binghamton, NY where Nick taught cinema in the early 70’s,” Hopper’s essay rhapsodizes the director’s keen sensibility to step outside of the boundaries set up for him and add in layered subtext to subvert the rules of Old Hollywood.