Rumble Fish (1983)

Cinema Classics Seminar: Rumble Fish

Coppola Dreams of Tender Hoodlums
Thursday, July 19, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Instructor: Jacob Mazer, Special Programming Manager, BMFI
Location: Multimedia Room
Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members
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During the early ‘80s, Francis Ford Coppola shifted away from gritty naturalism with a string of hyper-stylized films that pushed the medium’s aesthetic boundaries while harkening back to earlier cinematic traditions. In 1983, he released two adaptations of S.E. Hinton’s young adult novels: the commercially-minded The Outsiders, and Rumble Fish, a surreal “art film for teenagers,” evoking German Expressionism, silent film, and Albert Camus, punctuated with an experimental score by Stewart Copeland of The Police.

Its protagonist, inarticulate hoodlum Rusty James (Matt Dillon), lives with his alcoholic father (Dennis Hopper) and thinks of little but beer, fights, and girls, including his sometime sweetheart Patty (Diane Lane). His greatest ambition is to be like his brother, the gang leader known only as The Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), recently returned from a self-imposed exile. As Rusty realizes that his idol has undergone a profound change, he must adjust his own dreams. Ever sensitive to the dynamics of family, Coppola dedicated the film to his own brother.

In this seminar, we’ll situate the film in Coppola’s oeuvre, unpack its dense symbolism, and trace its stylistic lineage as we grapple with one of the director’s most ambitious and personal works.

Sessions · Click to add to calendar
  • Thursday, July 19
    6:30pm 2018-07-19 18:30:00 2018-07-19 21:30:00 America/New_York Cinema Classics Seminar: Rumble Fish Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA