Peter Bogdanovich

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DarkImbecile
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Peter Bogdanovich

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:29 pm

Peter Bogdanovich (1939 - )

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”One of the things that wrong with pictures today, I think, is that so many of the people making them started out wanting to."

Filmography

Features
Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women [as Derek Thomas] (1968)
Targets (1968)
Directed by John Ford [documentary] (1971)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
What's Up, Doc (1972)
Paper Moon (1973)
Daisy Miller (1974)
At Long Last Love (1975)
Nickelodeon (1976)
Saint Jack (1979)
They All Laughed (1981)
Mask (1985)
Illegally Yours (1988)
Texasville (1990)
Noises Off (1992)
The Thing Called Love (1993)
The Cat's Meow (2001)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream [documentary] (2007)
She's Funny That Way (2014)

Television
Picture Windows - S01E05 - "Song of Songs" (1994)
Fallen Angels - S02E03 - "A Dime a Dance"
Prowler (1995)
To Sir, With Love II (1996)
The Price of Heaven (1997)
Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Women (1997)
Naked City: A Killer Christmas (1998)
The Wonderful World of Disney -S02E14 -"A Saintly Switch" (1999)
The Mystery of Natalie Wood (2004)
Hustle (2004)
The Sopranos - S05E06 - "Sentimental Education"

Books
The Cinema of Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich (1961)
The Cinema of Howard Hawks by Peter Bogdanovich (1962)
The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock by Peter Bogdanovich (1963)
John Ford by Peter Bogdanovich (1967)
Fritz Lang in America by Peter Bogdanovich (1967)
Allan Dwan: The Last Pioneer by Peter Bogdanovich (1970)
Pieces of Time: Peter Bogdanovich on the Movies by Peter Bogdanovich (1973)
The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980 by Peter Bogdanovich (1984)
This is Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich (1992)
A Moment with Miss Gish by Peter Bogdanovich (1995)
Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors by Peter Bogdanovich (1997)
Peter Bogdanovich's Movie of the Week by Peter Bogdanovich (1999)
Picture Shows: The Life and Films of Peter Bogdanovich by Andrew Yule (2004)
Who the Hell's In It: Conversations with Hollywood's Legendary Actors by Peter Bogdanovich (2004)
Peter Bogdanovich: Interviews by Peter Tonguette, ed. (2017)

Web Resources
Archive of Bogdanovich's writing for IndieWire
Cinephilia and Beyond collection of resources on Paper Moon
1971 interview with Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
1973 interview with Andy Warhol, Interview Magazine
2002 interview with Nathan Rabin, The AV Club
"Things I've Learned: Peter Bogdanovich", MovieMaker Magazine (2015)

Forum Discussion
Peter Bogdanovich MVC? (Most Vapid Commentary)
Directed by John Ford
Last Picture Show / Nickelodeon double feature
BD 113 Paper Moon
They All Laughed (Peter Bogdanovich, 1981)
She's Funny That Way (Peter Bogdanovich, 2015)

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pemmican
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#2 Post by pemmican » Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:43 am

tavernier wrote:[Re: "Captain Ascot"]I just love that monicker someone in the group came up with.... =D>

Here's Bogdanovich's review from this weekend's NY Times Book Review of a book about Ava Gardner. (Check out his bio line at the bottom.)
'Ava Gardner,' by Lee Server
Ava's Allure
Review by PETER BOGDANOVICH

Four years before she died, I had the good fortune to meet Ava Gardner, albeit only briefly. This happened in London in January 1986, at a memorial for Robert Graves, the extraordinary English poet and author (of "The White Goddess" and "I, Claudius," among many other books). Ava had befriended Graves in the mid-1950's, at the height of her stardom; and like almost all the men she met during her tumultuous life, he was instantly beguiled and bewitched by her. Not simply by her luminous beauty — which no camera could quite capture — but also by her intelligence, easy charm, kindness and steadfast individuality. Graves, unrivaled in his knowledge of the Goddess throughout history, wrote an amusing, affectionate tribute to this Love Goddess of the Screen in a 1958 short story for The New Yorker called, quite sincerely, "A Toast to Ava Gardner."

Like Graves's piece, Lee Server's enthralling new biography, "Ava Gardner," could similarly be characterized as an extended toast to her. For no matter how objective Server tries to appear in detailing the highs and lows of her 67 years — the three marriages, the numerous affairs, the binges, the nightlong cruising of low-life byways and bordellos, the mainly poor movies she was in — he cannot really hide his essential fondness for her. It is the kind of affection virtually every one of the more than 100 people he interviewed felt and spoke of with enthusiasm, the kind a reader too will find hard to resist.

In the space of these pages, we befriend, then fall in love with, then finally mourn a remarkably beautiful woman who was surprisingly shy, yet spoke her mind fearlessly (and often colorfully), who thought little of herself as an actress, who lived in a man's world yet managed not to be fooled into losing sight of who she was. She remained, ultimately, free to be herself, no matter what the price.

The book's subtitle, "Love Is Nothing," is at once deceptive and ironic because what Ava actually said was "love is nothing but a pain." Yet she lived most of her life as if love were everything. Her remark came after the three marriages and a number of affairs had all ended unhappily (though in the case of her third husband, Frank Sinatra, the relationship continued in differing ways until her death). When men said they loved you, she had found, it meant they wanted to possess you, to make you live by their rules. To love, it turned out, also meant to ridicule, to exploit, to hurt, to violate (this was particularly true of her affair with George C. Scott, who twice beat her viciously, according to Server).

The trajectory of Ava Gardner's career would be impossible today. She was a product of the old studio star system that flourished from the teens of the 20th century to the early 60's. She had spent a poor though happy childhood in rural North Carolina; her reserved but beloved father, an unsuccessful tobacco farmer, died when she was a teenager. Her schooling was not very effective. She was a tomboy, even as she became heart-stoppingly gorgeous by the time she was 13, and preferred to go barefoot throughout her life.

One of her older sisters was living in New York with her boyfriend, a photographer, and when Ava was 16 she went to visit them. He insisted on taking her picture, and he put a copy in his Fifth Avenue store window. An MGM messenger who was looking for a date happened to see the picture and called the shop to find out where that girl in the window was. Ava had already gone back to North Carolina, so the messenger forgot about her, but Ava's sister jumped at the inquiry, and her boyfriend took a bunch of Ava's photos to the MGM talent department in New York. Sure enough, young Miss Gardner was invited to come to the big city for an interview.

She was shy, awkward, unpolished, untrained, with a Southern accent thick as tar, but her looks won her a screen test. It was terrible. She couldn't move well or talk. Still, when the veteran test director Al Altman viewed the footage, he was struck by just a few seconds, when Ava looked straight into the lens. There was "a flash of hypnotic fire," Server writes, which was precisely what the old studios were always searching for.

Once MGM officials in Hollywood saw the test, they asked Ava to come to the West Coast for $50 a week. She would be put through their talent factory. After that, they would see what happened. So with her sister as chaperone, Ava arrived in Los Angeles in August 1941. She was 18 — and thanks to her loving mother's vigilance and religious convictions, still a virgin.

The first movie star she met was the No. 1 attraction in pictures: Mickey Rooney, age 20. Mickey decided that she was for him, and since he was already an experienced ladies' man, he thought the naïve country girl would be a pushover. She wasn't. Marriage turned out to be the only way to bed her, and that took a while, first because of her reluctance, then because of MGM's disapproval. They didn't want their all-American boy (Andy Hardy, no less) to marry. But neither the studio nor Ava could resist Mickey.

MGM was the squarest studio in town, and the most successful. But its executives had no idea what to do with Ava Gardner. In her first five years, she made 4 shorts and 22 features, not one of which is worth mentioning. It took a loan-out picture at Universal to turn her into a star. In "The Killers" (1946), playing a femme fatale, she finally came into her own. But only briefly. She was good, and much better than good, in a number of movies (like George Cukor's studio-truncated "Bhowani Junction," 1956), but over her entire career, there was only one film that truly captured the persona we came to associate with her — the good-bad girl, the tough-soft, hard-drinking, straight-shooting beauty who could keep up with any guy. That picture was John Ford's African love story "Mogambo" (1953), with Clark Gable and Grace Kelly, the single time Gardner was nominated for an Oscar. It was her third film with Gable, and she made a characteristically sharp remark about her co-star, whom she had adored as a child in North Carolina, and loved platonically as a friend: "Clark is the sort of guy that if you say, 'Hiya, Clark, how are you?' he's stuck for an answer."

While her movies were usually disappointing, her private life was another matter. Love-making with Mickey seems to have been a major turning point for Ava. She not only enjoyed it immensely, but evidently decided to become proficient in all matters sexual. By every account she succeeded. Eventually Mickey strayed, and thus awakened another Ava trait: jealousy. She dumped him. And so began the most important aspect of Ava Gardner's story — her love life. It was complicated, varied (to put it mildly) and deeply intense.

Server, the author of biographies of Robert Mitchum and Sam Fuller, supplies all the twists and turns without becoming salacious. The funniest is Howard Hughes's decades-long but unsuccessful pursuit. Her second marriage, to the musician Artie Shaw, reveals him as a thoroughly unlikable fellow.

But the central love in Ava's life was, of course, her "romance of the century" with Frank Sinatra. He famously left his wife and three children for her, and made at least one genuine suicide attempt because of their topsy-turvy relationship. Madly in love, both were jealous, independent and hot-tempered — they could go from passionate closeness to fury in a matter of seconds. Ava summed up the relationship in another of her pithy remarks: they had no troubles in bed, she said; the fights began "on the way to the bidet." Server's pages on this storied affair provide many of the most touching moments in his excellent biography (and it's to his credit that he does not milk them unduly). Long after the two were divorced, each continued to carry a torch for the other.

This was clear to me even from the few minutes I spent talking with Ava at the Graves memorial. I had known Sinatra for a while and had almost made a film with him, so I brought his name up. The look in her eyes became distant and sad, very similar to the way Sinatra's eyes turned at the mention of her. Lucia Graves, the writer's youngest daughter (it was she who translated Gardner's posthumously published memoir into Spanish), was 12 when she met Ava, and she told me that whenever she visited Ava's London apartment, Gardner was always playing Sinatra records. Interviewed for this book, Lucia gives perhaps the most moving testimonial of Ava's last days, of her marked diminishment and yet of how "the moment you were with her . . . you saw that nothing had really gone away, nothing was lost, she was still beautiful."

Lucia also told me that Ava had very much wanted her autobiography to be titled after the very first Robert Graves poem she had read. Though Graves would dedicate a couple of later poems to her, the one he initially singled out for her attention — because it reminded him so much of her — went in part: "She speaks always in her own voice / Even to strangers."

Ava had wanted to name her memoir "In Her Own Voice." (It was published as the prosaic "Ava: My Story," except in Spain, where Lucia made good on Ava's wish.)

There was another key phrase from the same poem: "She is wild and innocent, pledged to love / Through all disaster."

This, Graves wrote, was "Ava to the life." He was right.

Peter Bogdanovich's most recent book is "Who the Hell's in It."
"Captain Ascot!" Ha!

Amusingly, tonight's Big Smash festival in Vancouver kicked off with something Kier-la had dug up of Peter Bogdanovich asking people not to talk during the movie, in the manner of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Orson Welles (was there one other...? I forget). Damn fine imitations, but he looked almost as ridiculous as Hugh Hefner -- I have no idea what he was wearing aside from the ascot, but somehow I imagine a red velour smoking jacket. He seems like a REALLY odd duck.

A.

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gubbelsj
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#3 Post by gubbelsj » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:09 pm

Despite being a Bogdanovich-booster, I just couldn't pass this one up. In a rather reactionary chapter from Kevin Starr's Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003, a story is related of Pope John Paul II meeting with the Hollywood elite in 1987, in which he asks them to clean up their act. Bogdanovich was there, and gives this quote:

I thought he was going to be tougher on us, given some of the things we put out there. One thing that rang a bell with me was the remark that even the smallest decision can affect millions for good or evil. I thought of decisions I've made, and would like to unmake.

Maybe he was thinking of Cybill. I'm sure you guys can come up with other suggestions.

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HerrSchreck
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#4 Post by HerrSchreck » Mon May 08, 2006 5:41 am

I been so tired of him and for so long I can barely even joke about him.

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Gordon
Waster of Cinema
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#5 Post by Gordon » Mon May 08, 2006 8:33 am

I like his cravats. Any interview he gives where he is not wearing one is a bad omen and may even be an imposter, like the bearded Robin Williams.

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#6 Post by filmfan » Mon May 08, 2006 8:41 am

His acting in "The Sopranos" when I had the chance to see it, is a little abysmal...I don't understand him, but then I guess one is not supposed to.

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Gordon
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#7 Post by Gordon » Mon May 08, 2006 11:22 am

Hey, in The Sopranos, he doesn't wear a cravat. I rest my case. It's like Samson's hair. During the writing of At Long Last Love, his collection of cravats were stolen by Terry-Thomas, thus the shite musical movie.

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Polybius
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#8 Post by Polybius » Mon May 08, 2006 9:13 pm

"Captain Ascot" is mine. I'm glad it's gone over so well 8-)

He's got some long ago good work on his resumé but his knifing of Hefner in the back put me off of him as a man and I don't think he's ever coming back from that.

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#9 Post by filmfan » Tue May 09, 2006 3:02 pm

I'm presently looking at the Region 2 "Nickelodeon", and I would say that his films have a special personal energy and distinct personality, generally missing from today's films....who might as well be produced by, well, anyone.

He produces films with "heart", for want of a better term.

Unfortunately, this "heart" is something that our Society recognizes as something dated and out of place in our cynical world.

I think we need more "heart".

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Polybius
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#10 Post by Polybius » Tue May 09, 2006 6:24 pm

I think he needs more head.

The big one. The other one is what got him into trouble in the '70's.

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tavernier
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#11 Post by tavernier » Tue May 09, 2006 10:44 pm

filmfan wrote:I'm presently looking at the Region 2 "Nickelodeon", and I would say that his films have a special personal energy and distinct personality, generally missing from today's films....who might as well be produced by, well, anyone.

He produces films with "heart", for want of a better term.

Unfortunately, this "heart" is something that our Society recognizes as something dated and out of place in our cynical world.

I think we need more "heart".
I loved Nickelodeon when I was 12, but when I saw it recently, I realized how ghastly it was.

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tryavna
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#12 Post by tryavna » Thu May 11, 2006 11:31 am

I recently watched his Cat's Meow on IFC and was pleasantly surprised. It's pure fiction, of course, but very enjoyable. I actually agree a bit with Filmfan. Who else would have made a quirky little film like this? And who else would have cast Eddie Izzard and Edward Herrman in lead roles?

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nick
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#13 Post by nick » Fri Mar 23, 2007 4:17 pm

I don't know if it has been mentioned yet but I just came across this article over at msnbc.com. Looks like the captain is being sued for bribery.

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tavernier
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#14 Post by tavernier » Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:32 pm

nick wrote:I don't know if it has been mentioned yet but I just came across this article over at msnbc.com. Looks like the captain is being sued for bribery.
Never trust a Yugoslav!

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Damfino
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#15 Post by Damfino » Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:44 am

I've become a really big fan of his commentaries. His own are fun (especially What's Up, Doc?) and ones involving his Cary Grant impression (Bring Up Baby) are usually pretty interesting. His on Paper Moon gets a little bitter when he talks about his career backlash, so that's always great to hear. I liked him on Citizen Cane and The Lady from Shanghai too since he knew Orson so well(es).

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Jeff
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#16 Post by Jeff » Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:02 pm

Damfino wrote:I've become a really big fan of his commentaries. His own are fun (especially What's Up, Doc?) and ones involving his Cary Grant impression (Bring Up Baby) are usually pretty interesting. His on Paper Moon gets a little bitter when he talks about his career backlash, so that's always great to hear. I liked him on Citizen Cane and The Lady from Shanghai too since he knew Orson so well(es).
You may be in the minority when it comes to liking his commentaries. I like them fine on his own films, but find that he tends to narrate other people's films.

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#17 Post by chaddoli » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:46 pm

I'm a big fan of Bogdanovich and think he gets a bad rap. People are far too hard on him. Yes, he's arrogant and thinks he knows everything (trouble is he nearly does). I think his commentaries (on his and others' work) are wonderful and I haven't seen a film of his I haven't liked. The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon are masterpieces, What's Up, Doc? is hilarious. Hell, I even really dig Daisy Miller and Mask has its moments. The real underrated gem of his body of work, however, is his only film with Dorothy Stratten, They All Laughed, just about the best modern romantic comedy I've ever seen. Heartfelt, funny, and lovely.

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domino harvey
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#18 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:52 pm

I am a big fan of Bogdanovich as well and am perplexed at some of the stars/directors that get reviled and rejoiced on this board. I find They All Laughed to be his best film. It's so self-aware and consciously a movie at all times, I love it.

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Polybius
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#19 Post by Polybius » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:33 pm

chaddoli wrote: The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon are masterpieces
Even I agree with that.

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Belmondo
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#20 Post by Belmondo » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:51 pm

I also enjoyed THEY ALL LAUGHED and I have a particular soft spot for SAINT JACK (1979). I find Bogdanovich's commentaries to be generally excellent, always entertaining, usually informative, and I share the concern of those who question why he gets no respect around here.

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#21 Post by ByMarkClark.com » Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:02 am

chaddoli wrote: The Last Picture Show and Paper Moon are masterpieces
And TARGETS is close.

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Antoine Doinel
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#22 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:50 pm

Peter Bogdanovich talks about his ascot. Literally.

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domino harvey
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#23 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:06 pm

Awesome

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tavernier
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#24 Post by tavernier » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:33 pm

So this thread's title should be changed to "Captain Bandana."

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essrog
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#25 Post by essrog » Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:56 pm

My vote goes for Captain Cozy or Captain "Christ, it's getting to be a bit much."

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