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Belcourt - Nashville's Nonprofit Cinema

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Part of Spirit of '69.

Sat, Jun 29, 1:00pm: Introduction from Kenneth MacLeish, assistant professor of medicine, health, and society at Vanderbilt University and author of Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community. BUY TICKETS

While making a personal appearance at a drive-in theatre, an elderly horror film star faces a damaged Vietnam War veteran in the midst of a killing spree. Meant to be a cautionary allegory, TARGETS was Bogdanovich’s send off to Karloff's bygone era of benign horror films—while depicting horrific real world acts of random violence attributed to men disturbed by war and toxic masculinity.

Paramount considered shelving the film after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, but eventually released it with pro-gun control messaging. Reflecting on TARGETS 44 years later, Bogdanovich lamented depictions of extreme violence in modern media as “pornographic,” expressing his dismay that filmmakers contribute to the erosion of the respect for human life by failing to artfully convey the horrors of the world off screen.

“...An impressively coherent movie about the end of an era: The fade to black for old-fashioned monster movies and the coming of a new and truly terrifying kind of monster, one that isn’t easily recognized by its gruesome visage or simplistic motivations. While most of his peers were making movies that reveled in youth culture and sensationalized violence, [Peter] Bogdanovich created a cinematic elegy for Hollywood’s golden age.” —Matt Singer, Slate

“A fascinatingly complex commentary on American mythology, exploring the relationship between the inner world of the imagination and the outer world of violence and paranoia, both of which were relevant to contemporary American traumas.” —Time Out

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and IMDb, as well as through general internet searches.

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