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Watch: Dennis Hopper, Richard Linklater and the Russian Dynamite Trick

From January through May this year, Richard Linklater hosted a series of screenings at the Austin Film Society of his favorite films from the ’80s followed by post-screening Q&A’s. One of his selections was Dennis Hopper’s perverse 1980 tour-de-force Out of the Blue. After the screening, Linklater had a story to tell about seeing Hopper present the film in Houston in 1983 and then taking those in attendance to a racetrack, where he surrounded himself with sticks of dynamite and set them off. You can first watch Linklater describe the evening in question and Hopper’s thinking — that the simultaneous explosion would create a vacuum protecting him — or skip to 8:35 for footage of the incident in question. There’s a large boom and then a post-stunt Hopper, full of bravado, observing “Now that I’m not into sex, I may start reading.”

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