Roger Corman turns 89 this year, and his influence on the history of movies can’t be overstated. The Detroit native directed more than 50 films, most of them “B” pictures. They included generic thrillers and horror films with titles like Attack of the Crab Monsters and She Gods of Shark Reef, many of them sharply executed despite the fact that they were being cranked out very quickly. However, his real legacy is in his career as the producer of more than 400 movies dating back to the 1950s, on which he gave directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Jonathan Demme their first jobs.
It’s that legacy that will be celebrated in an ArthouseFW series this spring, and it starts on Sunday night with Monte Hellman’s 1966 Western The Shooting, a surreal piece with a then-unknown Jack Nicholson in a supporting role. Later on, the series will feature the monumental, Oscar-nominated likes of The Last Picture Show, Raging Bull, and Lone Star, all of whose directors (Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, and John Sayles) got their start from Corman. Meanwhile, ArthouseFW’s other series this season highlights another Corman alumni, Joe Dante, whose films in the 1970s and ’80s pushed genre boundaries with his mentor’s abandon. If you’re looking for the roots of the independent spirit, the Modern is one place to find it this spring.
The Shooting screens at 2pm Sun at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $5-7. Call 817-924-6000.