Peter Bogdanovich

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domino harvey
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#26 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:09 pm

tryavna wrote: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?
I'm a Bogdanovich apologist but gosh I was let down by this film. Dunst, Herrmann and Izzard were fine but every other actor was unbearable and most were at best just obnoxious-- though Dunst and Herrmann did have a tendency to ham it up and Bogdanovich didn't reign them in as much as he should have. I noticed that it was based on a play but it must have been the worst play ever written if the dialog came straight from it. A few stray moments of Bogdanovich shine through but the direction was by large underwhelmingly utilitarian. It should have been so much better than it was. Really, any movie where Izzard is the best actor is in serious trouble.

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Antoine Doinel
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#27 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:39 pm

I have to agree with domino. The Cat's Meow felt like such a huge, missed opportunity and I kept wanting to love it. Moreover, it never was as vicious as I hoped it would be, probably because Capt. Ascot reveres classic Hollywood too much to really dig into it.

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tryavna
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#28 Post by tryavna » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:12 pm

Antoine Doinel wrote:Moreover, it never was as vicious as I hoped it would be, probably because Capt. Ascot reveres classic Hollywood too much to really dig into it.
Perhaps when I watched it, I just happened to be in the mood for an unapologetically old-fashioned new movie.... It has been two years ago since my original post, so who knows? Maybe I wouldn't have the same reaction now. I have to say that I do remember enjoying it more than I thought I would, but then again, a movie earns a lot of goodwill from me right at the outset when it gives a relatively unsung character actor like Herrmann a chance at a big, juicy role.

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domino harvey
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#29 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:17 am

Thanks to the kind actions of a few heroes from this board, I finally saw the last unseen Bogdanovich film from his Targets thru They All Laughed period, the elusive At Long Last Love. Far from being the abomination its reputation made it out to be, it was unsurprisingly fantastic. It is awfully earnest but damned if it isn't just so cheerful and exuberant with the possibilities of cinema that I gladly succumb to its charms. And even in the pan-and-scan (and luckily it seemed to my eye to have been around 1.85, so it could have been worse) ripped VHS recording of a rare (uncut) TV broadcast, the film contains probably the finest cinematography and camera work of any Bogdanovich film. How in the world Kovacs pulled off that last shot, where he creatively angles to show the view in a mirror but then keeps moving the camera until it appears to film directly in front of the mirror-- it's an absolutely insane shot, as are many of the extremely long takes. There must have been days worth of blocking for the final dual dance sequence alone. It's a shame this film never got a VHS or DVD release, because you can't judge a lot of films based on their initial bad theatrical response, and this is the case study.

Also, I gotta say, I don't get critics and popular negative opinion of Shepherd's acting abilities. Her performance was perfect for Daisy Miller and here again Bogdanovich knew how to highlight her seemingly inherent "girl in a woman's body" persona to his advantage-- and what, people think it's unintentional?

I've discussed this in PMs with several people, but I believe Bogdanovich bad reputation among Hollywood-types (Did he run over Biskind's dog with his car or what) unfairly soured pubic perception of his films. I can think of no other director more in desperate need of a critical reappraisal.

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justeleblanc
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#30 Post by justeleblanc » Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:02 am

hey domino, i'm glad you liked the film as much as i did. for me, i absolutely love his comic timing. its a wonderful throwback to wilder and sturges et al, but at times it seems even more original, as if he treats dialog like its some elaborate staging modeled after a rube goldberg concoction.

i havent read much about him and his reputation, but i think -- at least with the recent release of they all laughed -- that the reappraisal of his career has already begun.

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domino harvey
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#31 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:42 pm

I haven't been able to get "Well, Did You Evah?" and "But In the Morning, No" out of my head.

What's sad is apparently Bogdanovich believed the critics who trashed the film and even placed an ad apologizing for it shortly after release! There was a retrospective of all his films from his 68-81 period earlier this year and the organizers had to twist Bogdanovich's arm to get him to even show up for At Long Last Love. His reply was "Why do you want to show that film?" He did get convinced to come and introduce it and the film got a great response with wild applause after some of the more intricate numbers, so hopefully he'll stop believing the critics and work on getting this released. Pssssst, Criterion...

Also he presented a director's cut of Nickelodeon in black and white, which is a decision I have a big problem with (filming in black and white and just changing a color film to black and white are two different visual results) but does seem to suggest that it's probably about to get a R1 release if there's a new altered print in circulation. Even so, I'm glad I have my original color copy from R2 and will only pick up the eventual B&W version for the extras.

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Belmondo
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#32 Post by Belmondo » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:23 pm

I enjoyed "At Long Last Love" immensely and I have the 2 Record LP issued at the time of its original release.
Paraphrasing from the liner notes:
Bogdanovich admired the early musicals of Ernst Lubich and particularly admired the fact that the musical numbers were filmed and recorded as the cameras rolled - by late 1932, all the studios were coming to the conclusion that it was more expedient to prerecord both the vocals and orchestrations and this technique has been used ever since.
Bogdanovich wanted his actors to be "in the moment" for the musical numbers and had the Fox sound department rig up tiny speakers which were implanted into the ears of the performers and played piano accompaniment as they sang live. Orchestrations were added after final editing.
In my opinion, all of this worked better than Bogdanovich ever got credit for and the movie is a delight.

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domino harvey
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#33 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:44 pm

I just won the soundtrack on eBay 8-)

I didn't expect much going in, especially given how unwatchable Mask is, but I finally saw Illegally Yours for the 80s project and it wasn't half-bad. It had a lot more Bogdanovich-touches than I anticipated, particularly in the first ten minutes or so before it moves into a more conventional narrative. The movie's not particularly funny but the insanity of some of the more elaborate set-ups does have a certain energetic charm. The movie suffers from way too many 80s comedy crutches (nerdy little brother, anyone?) and certainly doesn't rank among Bogdanovich's best films, but it's not a failure either.

As a bonus, the film also features the most ridiculous sunglasses I've ever seen:

Image

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#34 Post by Polybius » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:38 am

If you start talking up Hustle, the board may have it's first ever intervention.

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domino harvey
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#35 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:43 am

In my ongoing quest to nauseate the forum, I watched George Hickenlooper's Picture This, a retrospective doc on the Last Picture Show filmed during the shooting of Texasville, with some perspective on the town where both films were shot. I assume if Texasville ever gets a special edition this'll be thrown on disc two, as it's not much of a documentary film and merely anticipates DVD on-set featurettes. It's perhaps worth seeing solely for Timothy Bottoms hilariously anguished "performances" during his talking heads segments. I'm not sure I've ever seen an actor affect his personality quite to transparently before and he does it again in the press conference footage so he must really be like that whenever cameras roll. Hickenlooper does have some fun contrasting Shepherd (who is wearing an electric blue Nike workout ensemble that truly places the filming in its period) being really optimistic with Bogdanovich cynical, but ultimately this is just a future DVD extra. However, there were some lols to be had at an angry Texan proclaiming "You knew with a name like Bogdanovich, he wasn't from Archer, Texas!" and two drunken cowboys in a field making veiled, obscenity-laced threats against Cybill Shepherd.

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#36 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:37 am

I remember in the BBC series Watching (from 2000 about different elements of cinema from size, to openings and the mythology of the cinematic fight) there is quite a funny interview with Bogdanovich where in the episode devoted to close ups he talks about how he was praised for elicting such a fine performance from Cher in Mask and for all the close ups of her reactions in the film. He then talks about how this really just came about from the necessity of having to talk the inexperienced actress through every scene and it being easier to say "look down, look up, look thoughtful, now sad" to Cher from beside the camera in a close up!

I don't know what Cher might think of the mystique of her performance being ruined (the programme features a hilarious sequence where Bogdanovich is talking through all these orders edited to Cher's reaction!) but it was a memorable example of the difference between an audience's perception of artistic achievement and the reality of how it was created! In a way though it doesn't matter how it was achieved if it works.

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Polybius
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#37 Post by Polybius » Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:29 am

domino harvey wrote: Shepherd (who is wearing an electric blue Nike workout ensemble that truly places the filming in its period)

$20 says she still owns it. She might not have worn it for a while, but I bet it's in the closet.
[..]two drunken cowboys in a field making veiled, obscenity-laced threats against Cybill Shepherd.
Spurned lovers.

Just for the record, I admire your dedication to a filmmaker you enjoy, even if I can't share (all of) it.

And I would sort of like to see this sometime.

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Antoine Doinel
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#38 Post by Antoine Doinel » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:11 pm

Peter Bogdanovich and Marc Cuban join forces, while Captain Ascot admits:
"I enjoy the experience of sitting in a theatre with a group of people," Bogdanovich explained. "Sex and the City was amazing because it was all women. I was the only guy in the theatre. And the women loved it. And I loved that the women loved it."

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#39 Post by kaujot » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:03 pm

"I enjoy the experience of sitting in a theatre with a group of people," Bogdanovich explained. "Sex and the City was amazing because it was all women. I was the only guy in the theatre. And the women loved it. And I loved that the women loved it."
That quote should somehow be integrated with the forum header image.

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#40 Post by somnambulating » Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:57 pm

For anyone in the greater Los Angeles Area:
The New Beverly Cinema is extremely pleased to present the next in our guest programmer series, legendary director

PETER BOGDANOVICH

director of The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Noises Off, Mask, Cat's Meow and many many more.

Peter's festival will run January 21-31, and will include some of his films, as well as films that have inspired him. Peter will be in attendance for some performances, schedule permitting.
I'm actually looking forward to the majority of January's line-up:

Badlands
F for Fake
Arabian Night
Decameron
The Nomi Song
The Fire Within
Rio Bravo
The Dollars trilogy
and heck, even Conan The Barbarian.

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#41 Post by Antoine Doinel » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:19 pm

Congrats to Captain Ascot for taking home a Grammy last night for Best Long Form Music Video, for Runnin' Down A Dream.

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#42 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:35 pm

I loved it, but damn if "Long Form" isn't an understatement in this case.

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domino harvey
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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#43 Post by domino harvey » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:52 pm

Unbelievably, I think that's actually the first big award win of his career

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Polybius
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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#44 Post by Polybius » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:13 am

Quite well deserved. As I mentioned in the thread dedicated to the film, after initial skepticism I wound up really enjoying it.

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#45 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:16 am

Polybius wrote:Quite well deserved. As I mentioned in the thread dedicated to the film, after initial skepticism I wound up really enjoying it.
I bought the Best Buy DVD last week. Definitely worth it for the concert DVD and the CD of some of the performances in the film.

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#46 Post by Antoine Doinel » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:36 pm

A look back at A Saintly Switch.

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domino harvey
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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#47 Post by domino harvey » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:19 pm

Just wait til you hear my defense

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#48 Post by nsps » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:56 am

Anyone who hasn't done so should read the imdb's dueling Bogdanovich biographies. I don't want to spoil it, but the first, by "John C. Hopwood," leads to a comically non-sequitur conclusion, which you must then juxtapose with the Official Captain Ascot account.

(Also, I'm not sure but I think "tends to" and "arguably" might have been added to the closing since I last read it—you know, for the sake of objectivity.)

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#49 Post by Perkins Cobb » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:09 am

Can this fool say anything at all without name-dropping Orson Welles?

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Re: Peter Bogdanovich aka Captain Ascot

#50 Post by Napier » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:14 am

Perkins Cobb wrote:Can this fool say anything at all without name-dropping Orson Welles?
Or doing, a very well by the way, Alfred Hitchcock impersonation.

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