CHICAGO – The work of filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich – who died on January 6, 2022, aged 82 – was inspired by the cinematic language of American films, which he interpreted through his many classic films. His most fertile and imaginative period were three films from 1971 to 1973, which began with his masterpiece, “The Last Picture Show”.
Bogdanovich’s personal life was also legendary and contributed to a less inspired creative period after 1973, but he made a big comeback with ‘Mask’ (1985) and didn’t stop there… he directed six more narrative feature films thereafter. , two documentaries and seven TV movies.
In 2016: Peter Bogdanovich at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce from Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com
Peter Bogdanovich was born in Kingston, New York, the son of Serbian immigrants. An early adapter of film scholarship, Bogdanovich kept a meticulous record of every film he saw from the age of 13 to his early 30s. He began his career as a screenwriter, researching the titans of the early studio era in their old age, and reignited scholarship on John Ford, Howard Hawks and Orson Welles. A chance encounter with producer Roger Corman led to his first directorial work, ‘Targets’ (1968), and his association with Ford and Welles influenced the creation of ‘The Last Picture Show’ (1971).
His follow-ups were the hilarious “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972) and the exuberant “Paper Moon” (1973). It was during this time that he divorced his first wife and collaborator Polly Platt, and had a longtime relationship with actress Cybil Shepard, who appeared in ‘Last Picture Show’ and then ‘Daisy Miller’. (1974) and “At Long Last”. Love” (1975), which were not as well received as his earlier films. Her next three films, “Nickelodeon,” “Saint Jack” and “They All Laughed” (1981, with then-lover Dorothy Stratton) ended her 1970s era in critical and box office downturns. Stratton was then tragically murdered by her estranged husband, another spiral in Bogdanovich’s life.
After Mask, he revisited his “Last Picture Show” roots with “Texasville” (1990), a critical and box office flop, but had strong ratings for “The Cat’s Meow” in 2001. “She’s Funny That Way ” was his last story. feature film, and his last film of any kind was the documentary “The Great Buster: A Celebration” (2018) about silent film era actor Buster Keaton. He has also acted in film and television, including a recurring role on “The Sopranos.” Peter Bogdanovich died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He is survived by his two children through his marriage to Polly Platt, Antonia and Alexandra, and three grandchildren.
HollywoodChicago.com’s Patrick McDonald spoke with Peter Bogdanovich when he attended the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival in 2016, where he received a Career Achievement Award. The interview starts on PAGE OF THEM.