4 Shots From 4 Films: In Memory of Peter Bogdanovich


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

I just read that director Peter Bogdonavich passed away earlier today.  He was 82 years old.

Bogdanovich’s directorial career serves as both an inspiration and a cautionary tale.  He achieved the dream of many a film journalist by making the jump from writing about films to actually making them.  He went from interviewing Orson Welles to being declared the next Orson Welles.  His first film, Targets, allowed him to give Boris Karloff one final, great role.  His second film, The Last Picture Show, was nominated for Best Picture.  With his next film, Paper Moon, he directed Tatum O’Neal to an Oscar.  At a time when the so-called “movie brats” were rejecting the old ways of making films, Bogdonavich paid homage to the classic films of the past.  At his height, he made films that were both entertaining and, if you got all the references, educational.

Unfortunately, Bogdanovich’s later films were not as successful with critics or audiences.  Bogdanovich himself would later say that he underestimated just how much some of his former colleagues resented both his early success and his very public relationship with actress Cybil Shepherd.  In short, the critics were waiting for him to slip up and they attacked films like Daisy Miller and At Long Last Love like sharks in a feeding frenzy.  By the end of the 70s, he often found himself struggling to raise the money to make the movies that he wanted to make.  So determined was he to see that his film They All Laughed was released that he distributed it himself, at great financial cost.

Regardless of his later career struggles, Bogdanovich remained a tireless advocate for watching and appreciating the films that were produced during the the Golden Age of Hollywood and he was a regular fixture on TCM, where he would discuss the films of Welles, John Ford, John Huston, Howard Hawks, and others.  He oversaw the release of Orson Welles’s long-delayed The Other Side of the Wind, a film in which he co-starred with John Huston.  Along with directing, Bogdanovich was a reliable character actor and those who don’t know him as a director might know him as Dr. Melfi’s therapist on The Sopranos.

Finally, a lot of the Bogdanovich films that were initially dismissed have subsequently been positively reappraised.  Bogdanovich was correct when he said that many of his later films were unfairly criticized or dismissed.  If nothing else, Bogdanovich’s love of the movies came through in everything that he did.  He will be missed for film historians everywhere.

Here are….

4 Shots From 4 Peter Bogdanovich Films

Targets (1968, dir by Peter Bogdanovich, DP: Laszlo Kovacs)

The Last Picture Show (1971, dir by Peter Bogdanovich, DP: Bruce Surtees)

Paper Moon (1973, dir by Peter Bogdanovich, DP: Laszlo Kovacs)

The Thing Called Love (1993, dir by Peter Bogdanovich, DP: Peter James)

One response to “4 Shots From 4 Films: In Memory of Peter Bogdanovich

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