Home > Lifestyle > Entertainment > Movies
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 9:56:27 AM
THE existentialist road movie featured a main character who defined his life by doing what he wanted to without any thought for the next moment. It went largely unappreciated in its own country of origin until success in Europe and Britain turned it into a cult favourite.
> Director Richard Sarafian wanted to make its central character, Kowalski, appear otherworldly and in the process of ascending to another existence. The lyrics of the end title song underscore this interpretation: “Nobody knows, nobody sees, till the light of life stops burning, till another soul goes free.”
> The end title song, Nobody Knows, credited to “Kim & Dave” was actually the first-ever recording by Kim Carnes.
> The longer “British cut” of the film has a seven-minute sequence where Kowalski picks up a woman hitchhiker played by Charlotte Rampling. She offers him marijuana, and Kowalski stops the car when he starts feeling stoned. She tells him she has been “waiting for him, everywhere and since forever” and is gone when he wakes up the next morning. Newman and the director reportedly said the hitchhiker was supposed to be an allegorical figure, representing Death. The studio was afraid US audiences wouldn’t understand, and had the scene removed. European audiences and critics warmed to the longer version, while the US version was poorly reviewed and lasted only a couple of weeks in cinemas.
> The film became a success in Britain and Europe, prompting the studio to re-release it in the United States on a double bill with The French Connection.
> Primal Scream’s Vanishing Point album was meant to be an “alternative soundtrack” to the film.
> DJ Super Soul’s speech about Kowalski being “the last American hero” was incorporated into Guns N’ Roses’ song Breakdown from its album Use Your Illusion II.
> Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof makes several references to the film, and one car in it even has the same number plate, OA 5599, as the Dodge Challenger Kowalski drives.
> It was remade as a poorly-regarded TV movie in 1997 starring Viggo Mortensen as Kowalski, but with a different story and minus all the mystical elements.
Richard C. Sarafian leaves a road trip legacy
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, Entertainment, Movies, Silver Scream, sidebar, Vanishing Point
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)