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Cult Vault #27: Azazel Jacobs on Out of the Blue

New York's Azazel Jacobs on why he keeps going back to Dennis Hopper's 1980's film

Taken from the July 2012 issue of Dazed & Confused:

Young director Azazel Jacobs grew up in a warehouse in Tribeca, and his background is infused with art and film (his father is experimental 60s filmmaker Ken Jacobs). He cast his parents in the Sundance-approved Momma’s Man (2008), while his new indie comedy Terri tells the story of a teen misfit and his unconventional teacher, played by John C Reilly. Jacobs’ profound, public love of punk and iconoclastic filmography is reflected in his Cult Vault choice: Dennis Hopper’s unsung (and originally banned) drama Out of the Blue (1980). Starring Linda Manz from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, it’s the disturbing tale of a small-town teenager negotiating a fraught relationship with her heroin-addicted mother and ex-con father (played by Hopper himself).

“Dennis Hopper’s Out of the Blue is a film I keep going back to. The tagline was: ‘She’s 15. The only adult she admires is Johnny Rotten.’ At first I was just attracted because Linda Manz’s character Cebe is obsessed with the Sex Pistols: this look Cebe gets when she plays the drums is the moment the film comes together. The thing that attracts you to punk rock, it’s there in that moment and she’s outside of the film suddenly. You feel the camera is there, the microphone is there but something else is going on that is fully alive and vibrant. That moment made me realise you can capture something that will continue to live on film. When you see the kind of extreme joy she’s feeling – in one frame, it’s all there.”