Last Picture Show, Paper Moon Director Dies – The Hollywood Reporter

Peter Bogdanovich, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director of The Ultimate Picture Show whose career, which also included hits like What’s new old? Y Moon paper, put him on the path of living up to the example of those like Orson Welles and John Ford whom he adored so much, has died. He was 82 years old.

Bogdanovich died shortly after midnight Thursday of natural causes at his Los Angeles home, his daughter Antonia Bogdanovich said. The Hollywood Reporter.

Bogdanovich, whose ubiquitous horn-rimmed glasses and an ascot infused him with a professorial air as he recounted the Hollywood lore he enjoyed, catapulted to the A list with his second film, The Ultimate Picture Show (1971). The black-and-white drama set in a Texas city garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including honors for directing and adapted screenplay (shared with Larry McMurtry) for him, and supporting acting awards for Cloris Leachman and Ben. Johnson.

“Bogdanovich, 31, has achieved a tactile sense of time and place,” said Stefan Kanfer. Hour magazine shortly after the film’s release. “What’s more, he has performed the most difficult of all cinematographic feats: he has made boredom fascinating. Together, that’s enough to herald him as possibly the most exciting new director in America today. “

“He spoke to a lot of people,” Bogdanovich himself would later say in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune. “People have told me that it reminds them of their hometown, so I think it has a certain universality. Young love, and sex and all that, is pretty universal. “

Bogdanovich also walked out of the project with a new crush, golden girl actress Cybill Shepherd, the model who had made her feature film debut after he saw her on the cover of Glamor magazine. That led to the breakdown of his marriage to Oscar-nominated production designer and frequent collaborator Polly Platt, with whom he had daughters Antonia and Sashy.

Then he made two more films with Shepherd: the decorous Henry James adaptation. Daisy miller (1974) and the musical In the last love (1975), which also starred Burt Reynolds singing and dancing animatedly to Cole Porter’s tunes. But both failed when many in Hollywood, who only a few years earlier praised him for revitalizing the industry, turned against him.

“They were mad because I was having an affair with [Shepherd]”Bogdanovich said in a 2019 interview with Vulture. “I have seen photos of us; I look like an arrogant and attractive boy, and she looks like a sexy girl. And we were rich and famous and we made movies together.

“Sometime in the mid-70s, when we had a bad press, Cary Grant called me. He says, ‘Peter, for God’s sake, will you stop telling people that you’re happy? And stop telling them that you are in love. I said, ‘Why, Cary?’ “Because they are not happy and they are not in love.” He was correct. “

While his next two Picture show follow-ups – the crazy wacky comedy What’s new old? (1972), starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, and Moon paper (1973), with O’Neal and his daughter Tatum (who won an Oscar for best supporting actress) playing Depression-era con artists, were critical and commercial successes, Bogdanovich’s golden boy status would be short-lived. .

The Directors’ Company, which he, Francis Ford Coppola, and William Friedkin had established at Paramount in 1972, quickly disbanded after Daisy miller as the partners went their separate ways.

Bogdanovich was caught in the tabloid headlines in 1980 when Dorothy Stratten, Playboy Playmate of the Year, with whom he had started an affair while directing her in the romantic comedy. They all laughed (1981), was murdered by her husband, Paul Snider, who later committed suicide.

A distraught Bogdanovich bought They all laughed from 20th Century Fox and tried to distribute the film himself. However, the film did poorly and contributed to its filing for bankruptcy.

In 1984, Bogdanovich wrote the book Slaughter of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980, in which he attributed much of the blame for Stratten’s disappearance to Hugh Hefner, arguing that Playboy The founder unleashed Snider’s ire when he expelled him from his mansion. “If I were to face my own responsibility, there would be no way to ignore yours,” he wrote. “She couldn’t handle the slick professional machinery of the Playboy sex factory, nor the continued efforts of its founder to bring her into his personal fold, no matter what she wanted.”

While Bogdanovich persevered, in addition to writing and directing, he also took on acting jobs, appearing more prominently as a psychotherapist on HBO. The sopranos – her career came full circle in 2019 when she helped bring Welles gestation The other side of the wind to the screen.

In the film, originally shot in the early to mid-1970s, Bogdanovich executive produced the full version alongside producer Frank Marshall, and appears as young filmmaker Brooks Otterlake alongside John Huston’s great director Jack Hannaford. , an alternate. for Welles. His characters seem to be developing their own complicated master / protégé relationship.

Taking part in a panel discussion at the New York Film Festival, Bogdanovich said of the finished work: “It’s a very sad story, it’s a sad movie, it’s an ‘end of everything’ kind of movie. The only thing that survives is art. And that’s what Orson did even in Citizen Kane, which is as negative a movie as you can imagine. Nobody gets what they want, it all ends in tragedy, and it’s brilliantly done to make you forget about it and say “harder.” And that’s what you say in this. Art saves you from death. You say, ‘Orson is alive.’

Peter Bogdanovich was born on July 30, 1939 in Kingston, New York, the son of a Serbian painter. At age 12, he began keeping a file of cards with his opinions on every movie he had seen. At 16, he was studying acting with Stella Adler, and carried a spear in a 1957 New York Shakespeare Festival production of OTHELLO.

Around that time, he decided to direct. “It was a big mistake, because actors don’t have to work as hard and get more money,” he said in a 1977 conversation at the American Film Institute.

When he was just 20 years old, Clifford Odets gave him the opportunity to direct and star in an off-Broadway production of The big knife the playwright’s drama about Hollywood. Bogdanovich raised $ 15,000 for the staging of the play, which won strong notices in 1959. Two years later, he was appointed artistic director of the Phenicia Playhouse in the Catskill Mountains and directed the renovations of Royal road, Ten little Indians Y Rocket to the moon. He then directed and co-produced another off-Broadway revival, Once in life, in 1964.

Bogdanovich was writing film reviews and feature articles for Don and other publications when director Frank Tashlin encouraged him to move to Hollywood, so he and Platt, whom he married in 1962, crossed the country by car.

There he met Roger Corman, who knew him from his Don parts, and the famous producer put him to work on Peter Fonda’s motorcycle movie Wild angels (1966). He ended up rewriting the script and directing the ending of the film. The movie, which cost about $ 360,000, grossed $ 15 million and was Corman’s most successful source of income up to that point.

Two years later, backed by Corman, Bogdanovich wrote, directed and appeared in his first film, goals, starring Boris Karloff, who owed Corman two days of filming. The image, of a sniper targeting a drive-in crowd, was inspired by Charles Whitman, who killed more than a dozen people at the University of Texas in August 1966.

However, Bogdanovich would go on to condemn the violence on screen. Writing in The Hollywood Reporter In response to the 2012 shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado, he said: “Today, there is a general numbness from the audience. There are too many killings and killings. You make people numb by showing it all the time. The death toll in the images is huge. It lulls the audience into thinking it’s not so terrible. In the 1970s, I asked Orson Welles what he thought was happening with the images and he said, “We are brutalizing the audience. We are going to end up like the Roman circus, live at the Colosseum ”. Respect for human life seems to be eroding. “

Platt read McMurtry’s 1966 novel The Ultimate Picture Show and encouraged Bogdanovich to make a movie with him. Set in 1951 in the decaying city of Anarene, Texas, the film was nominated for best picture.

His other films ranged from Nickelodeon (1976), a tribute to Hollywood’s silent film era starring O’Neal and Reynolds; Saint Jack (1979), in which Ben Gazzara played a benevolent owner of a brothel in Singapore; Mask (1985), starring Cher as the mother of a disfigured son; Y Texasville (1990), a sequel to The Ultimate Picture Show which failed to duplicate the success of the original.

Most recently, Bogdanovich directed the comedy. She’s funny that way (2014), starring Owen Wilson and Imogen Poots, and the documentary The great buster, about silent film legend Buster Keaton, who played Venice and Telluride in 2018.

“I have learned one thing: every movie you make cannot be life and death,” he once said to Los Angeles Times. “You just have to keep making movies and hope for the best.”

Bogdanovich co-wrote She’s funny that way with Louise Hoogstraten, Stratten’s younger sister whom he married in 1988, when she was 20 years old. attending a film festival in Lyon, France, in late 2018.

At age 30, before his film career took off, Bogdanovich was an established journalist and film scholar. He had the Museum of Modern Art Film Library publish monographs on Welles, Howard Hawks, and Alfred Hitchcock. For a generation of film school students, he served as a substitute teacher, presenting large volumes of pieces to directors and studios.

He also published a book in 1997, Who the hell did it: conversations with legendary directors, and put together another book in 2004, Who the heck in it: portraits and conversations, which contains 26 profiles and interviews.

Bogdanovich also developed an individual theatrical show called Holy monsters in which he recounts anecdotes about his film career and interprets impressions of famous directors he meets.

In 1971, he wrote and directed a documentary on Ford for the California Arts Commission and AFI which he reviewed in 2006 when it aired on Turner Classic Movies. Most recently, he partnered with TCM on a The plot thickens podcast.

Recalling a conversation he had with Welles shortly before the Citizen Kane Director died in 1985, Bogdanovich seemed to be looking back at his own life: “I said, ‘Jesus, Orson, I feel like I made so many mistakes.’ And he said, ‘Well, it seems hard to go through life without doing a lot of them,’ which was our way of rekindling our friendship. That was the last time we spoke. “

In addition to his daughters, survivors include his grandsons Maceo, Levi, and Wyatt.

Seth Abramovitch contributed to this report.

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