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Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
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Entries in Peter Bogdanovich (4)


Bogdanovich on Filmstruck

by Eric Blume

This month, Filmstruck offers up the one-two-three early 1970s punch of director Peter Bogdanovich.  Can you think of any other filmmaker who made three such incredible pictures within a three-year period, only to fade into a disastrous career afterwards?

1971’s The Last Picture Show holds up incredibly well, and ranks as one of the decade’s finest pictures. This film about various lonely souls who have no clue how to connect still resonates powerfully, partially because Bodganovich is unapologetically “adult” in his handling of these story strands. Nothing feels watered-down or soft, and all the characters have edges that make them specific and interesting. Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman deservedly won supporting Oscars that year for their fine performances, but everyone in the cast delivers beautiful work. There’s a simplicity to the acting, in the best sense: everybody just “is”. Bodganovich has confidence with the material, and he’s passionate about the storytelling. There’s a lingering sadness about the picture that feels distinct in tone, matched perfectly to Larry McMurtry’s original prose and to the characters.

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Cinematic Companions: 'Nebraska' and 'The Last Picture Show'

Hello, lovelies. Beau here, finally coming up for air from my last few weeks of undergrad to comment on Alexander Payne's fantastic new feature, Nebraska, and note some uncanny resemblances it has with another particular favorite of mine.


It's not a far stretch to imagine why these two films have been linked to one another so often in various articles and reviews lately. Aside from the obvious aesthetic choices made on the part of the creative team to shoot in black-and-white, the framing of the eerily silent, seemingly deserted locales or the clarity with which both films perceive and study their unique characters, Nebraska and The Last Picture Show both manage to tread a fine line in American cinema of empathizing with their characters without fully submitting to them. 

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Stripper of the Day: Jacy Farrow 

Michael C here. I think it's safe to say a lot more people can relate to Cybil Sheperd's striptease in Bogdonavich's The Last Picture Show than they can to Magic Mike.

Strippers in movies usually hit the stage with the confidence of Greek Gods and the choreography of Madonna's back-up dancers. Rarely do movies strippers capture the truth that even for people as stunning as a young Cybil Shepherd, the idea of undressing in front of a room full of strangers is the stuff of nightmares.  The Last Picture Show Bogdanovitch captures that feeling in excruciating detail.

In one of those scenes impossible to forget once seen, Sheperd's small town heartbreaker Jacy Farrow has given her sweetheart the slip and run off with doofy Randy Quaid to an out-of-town party where it's rumored there will be skinny-dipping. Cut to a record player and a dozen naked Texas teens arrayed around an indoor pool, filmed by Bogdonavich with a matter-of-factness that must have left jaws on the floor in 1971. 

come on in, the water's fine

One of the ringleaders delights in informing Jacy that newcomers have to undress out on the diving board in full view of everybody. Jacy feebly agrees, and it's here that the tension spikes...

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Ryan O'Neal 70th's Birthday

Alex aka BBats here. It’s Ryan O’Neal’s 70th birthday today! He’s always been one of my favorite actors. In a few great movies, he showed incredible range and unbelieveable charisma.  After a few years of doing guest roles on television, O’Neal became a bankable star after Peyton Place's popular run. The Big Bounce (1969) was his first starring role in a film, but he’ll be remembered as bursting through to superstardom for Love Story (1970). 

Everyone’s seen Paper Moon (1973) and everyone should watch it again. (Its streaming on Instant Netflix, so no excuses!)  His collaborations with Peter Bogdonavich coincide with the peak of his career.  Look at his filmography in the 1970’s. It is an amazing assembly of films!  

I must confess that I still haven’t seen Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975).  I have a firm belief that one day some repertoire movie theater will screen it in 70mm (a man can dream, can’t he?). 


Go watch The Big Bounce, The Driver, What’s up Doc?, Nickelodeon, Wild Rovers, or any of his films.