For The Film Experience, I took part in this week’s edition of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in which you pick your favorite shot from a chosen film. This edition covers the 1971 black-and-white Texas drama The Last Picture Show.
This particular shot is one of my favorites because of what is actually going on. It’s all about perspective.
After their first attempt at a sexual encounter ends in disappointment, Duane (Jeff Bridges) and Jacy (Cybill Shepherd) give it another try. Though the actual event is successful, this is a one-sided piece of exhuberance. Emerging from a hotel room, Duane is floating on air, but Jacy looks at him, annoyed at his happiness.
Duane only cared about losing his virginity, while Jacy was hoping for some actual satisfaction. The out-of-place hair Duane sports is a fun little nod that he probably didn’t do any of the work.
The film is constantly interested in what the characters seem to want and what they actually care about. What matters in life at that age (or experience) seems unimportant to those past that point in their lives. It’s all about perspective and nothing shows it better than this shot.
The Last Picture Show is currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.
Feel free to play along yourself here or using the hashtag #BestShot.