In March 2020, the world lost a literary giant when acclaimed novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry died. Through his books, screenplays, and the films adapted from his work, the Lone Star Film Society feels that the native Texan was instrumental in shaping how the world thinks of the state and is honoring him with a festival. A Tribute to Larry McMurtry will run on weekends thru Sun, Aug 15, with screenings of Hud, Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and Texasville.
McMurtry grew up on a ranch in North Texas with only an oral storytelling tradition, never seeing a book until he was 6 years old. His stories jumped through many media — print, film, television — and in each, he excelled, garnering 13 Oscars, seven Emmys, and a Pulitzer in 1985 for the novel Lonesome Dove. It has been said that what the South was to William Faulkner, Texas was to Larry McMurtry. His passion for the land and people made it impossible for him to inhabit the self-proclaimed role of Western revisionist fully.
McMurtry devotee and Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy will act as guest host. Film scholar and SXSW co-founder Louis Black will join remotely. Screenings will be held in the auditorium of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell St, 817-738-9215). Tickets are $7-10 at TheModern.org.
Part I at noon Sat
Part II at 2pm Sat
Parts III & IV at 4:30pm Sun
See this four-part miniseries adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in its entirety during a fun summer weekend marathon session. The television miniseries starred Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones and was directed by Simon Wincer. Initially broadcast in 1989, the series drew a vast audience, earning numerous awards and reviving the television Western.
2pm Sat, Aug 7
Based on McMurtry’s novel Horseman, Pass By, Hud is a 1963 American Western drama film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Brandon de Wilde, and Patricia Neal. Hud was filmed on location in the plaintive nether regions of the Texas Panhandle and was one of the first revisionist Westerns, choosing to showcase an antihero rather than the typical triumphalist. The film centers on the ongoing conflict between principled patriarch Homer Bannon and his unscrupulous and arrogant son, Hud, during an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease that put the family’s cattle ranch at risk.
The Last Picture Show
2pm Sat, Aug 15
This coming-of-age drama about 1950s Texas town life is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As one of the most important films in American cinematic history, the Library of Congress selected it in 1998 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry because of its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance. Directed by Peter Bogdonavich and starring an ensemble cast of Jeff Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Cybil Shepard, Ellen Burstyn, and Ben Johnson, The Last Picture Show is based on McMurtry’s semi-autobiographical 1966 novel. The film was theatrically released on Oct 22, 1971, by Columbia Pictures to both critical and commercial success.
4:30pm Sat, Aug 15
This film is directed by Peter Bogdonavich and co-written by Bogdonovich and Larry McMurty, and it starred the entire cast from The Last Picture Show 20 years later. It continues McMurtry’s ongoing exploration of what it means to be Texan. The setting is the summer of 1984 in Anarene, where the town is preparing for its centennial celebration. A mature McMurtry explores time, place, love, loss, and friendships. The two decades have wrought many changes and revelations, too.