Sundance Film Festival Going Virtual This Year

Peter Bogdanovich made a name for himself with the thriller ” Target “, Released in 1968, and also directed” The last session ” and ” Shall we pack our bags, doctor? “.

Peter Bogdanovich, famous Oscar nominated filmmaker for his classics such as The last session and Cotton candy, died Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 82 years old. His daughter, Antonia Bogdanovich, confirmed his death, adding that the director died of natural causes.

Bogdanovich started his career as a film critic and reporter before meeting producer Roger Corman, who had been so impressed with some of his work that he hired him to help him on some of his films. Success was not long in coming: he received praise for his first film, the thriller Target (1968), and his next film, The last session (1971), obtains eight Oscar nominations (including those for best director and best adapted screenplay). It remains arguably his most iconic film.

The following year, the filmmaker continued his brilliant career with Shall we pack our bags, doctor?, a highly successful romantic comedy, starring Ryan O’Neal and Barbara Streisand (who plays a character so inspired by Bugs Bunny that she eats a carrot in her first scene). O’Neal also starred in Bogdanovich’s next film, Cotton candy, a dramatic comedy set during the Depression era, in which he and his actual daughter, Tatum O’Neal, played a father-daughter duo of thieves (Tatum O’Neal won an Oscar for his performance at the age 10).

But the rest of Bogdanovich’s career will be tumultuous, marred by big flops, financial problems and personal tragedies. In 1980, Dorothy Stratten (actress and Playboy playmate with whom Bogdanovich had started an affair while directing her in the romantic comedy And everyone was laughing) is murdered by her husband, Paul Snider, who also commits suicide. Bogdanovich manages to get out And everyone was laughing in 1981, but the results are poor. Three years later, he published the book The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980, who deeply criticizes Playboy and Hugh Hefner, and blames them both for Stratten’s death. ” I destroyed itBogdanovich said of Hefner in an interview with Vulture in 2019. I destroyed the whole Playboy myth which, by the way, was a myth. The so called sex revolution of the late 50s and 60s was just another way to make guys get laid more easily. They were not feminists. It was just a way to get laid faster.

Peter Bogdanovich was born in Kingston, New York, in 1939 and fell in love with cinema from an early age. As a teenager, he studied acting, but finally decided that he preferred directing. He first worked in the theater, but maintained his love of cinema in the reviews and reports he wrote for Esquire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After moving to Hollywood and meeting Corman, the producer asked him to help him on Peter Fonda’s 1966 biker movie, The wild angels ; Bogdanovich rewrites the script and directs the end of the film, which at the time became one of Corman’s biggest box office hits.

Target (inspired by the Charles Whitman shooting at the University of Texas in August 1966) was released in 1968 (the same year, Bogdanovich directed another film, Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, under the pseudonym Derek Thomas). With the success of the film and the support of Corman, Bogdanovich could easily have made a career in these genre films, but as he explained to The Dissolve in 2013 : ” In the end, I’ve never made another movie like this, really. I thought I would do a series of movies like this, because it did well enough for that. But then I read Larry McMurtry’s novel, The Last Picture Show, and I fell in love with the idea of ​​making a movie out of it, mainly because I didn’t know how to go about it. I am always challenged when I don’t know how to do something. I tell myself there must be a way. And The last session made my career.

If the beginning of the 70s was undoubtedly the golden age of Bogdanovich, his fate changed in the middle of the decade with a series of failures like Daisy miller, Finally love and Nickelodeon. After a few years of absence, he returns with the police comedy Jack the Magnificent (1979), which received high praise, but did not meet with box office success. Around the same time, Bogdanovich’s long relationship with Cybill Shepherd (which began when he directed her in The last session) also ends, and Stratten’s tragic death follows shortly thereafter.

After posting The killing of the unicorn, Peter Bogdanovich returns to the cinema with the drama Mask, produced in 1985 with Cher. In 1990, he released a sequel to The last session, Texasville, but the film is far from having the same success as the first. After Nashville Blues (1993), Bogdanovich took another break before returning in 2001 with A scent of murder. The last film he made is Broadway Therapy (2014). After making a documentary about director John Ford early in his career, Bogdanovich returned to form later in his life, directing the documentary on Tom Petty in 2007. Runnin ‘Down a Dream, and in 2018 a film about Buster Keaton, The Great Buster: A Celebration.

In addition to his countless achievements and writings, Bogdanovich also did a lot of work in front of the camera. From the 1990s he starred in television series like Welcome to Alaska and in Noah Baumbach’s first film, Mr Jealousy. But his most famous role is that of Dr Elliot Kupferberg, the therapist of Dr Melfi, himself a therapist of Tony Soprano, in the series. The Sopranos.

Throughout his career, Peter Bogdanovich was also a film critic and scholar, publishing articles on directors like Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, and Alfred Hitchcock. In 1992, he and Welles (a longtime friend and mentor) brought together their conversations over the decades in the book Me Orson Welles. In 1997 he published Who the Devil Made It: Conversations With Legendary Film Directors (published in France in two volumes under the title Hollywood Masters), and in 2004 he released a sort of sequel, Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations With Hollywood’s Legendary Actors.

Jon blistein

Translated by the editorial staff

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Sundance Film Festival Going Virtual This Year