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Entries in The Last Picture Show (5)

Tuesday
May142019

Bentonville: Fearless stuntwomen, retiring post-masters, and troubled schoolgirls

Part 2 of 3

Playing in traffic... (Captain America: Winter Soldier) one of the daily jobs of Hollywood stuntwomen

Aside from the very first opening night activities at Bentonville, the first film I attended was a work-in-progress doc called Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story. The director April Wright is still working on the final cut so there's still time to get more focused (it was easy to imagine this as an even fuller miniseries as it's trying to covering a lot!) but whatever it'll be in its final form will be entertaining...

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Tuesday
Jul112017

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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Saturday
Aug222015

Peter Bogdanovich Gives Good Quote

on the set of What's Up Doc (1972)Peter Bogdanovich, one of the leading directors of the early Seventies, has finally made another movie at 76 years of age. She's Funny That Way, which stars Jennifer Aniston and opens today, is his first since The Cat's Meow (2001) with Kirsten Dunst. His career has been very quiet since his last true hit (Mask, 1985) but he hasn't been.

Bogdanovich's lack of inhibition when talking to the press has surely caused him problems in his career, but it's a source of joy for movie fanatics.It's all too rare to get unmassaged opinions from powerful artists who aren't worried about ruffling the feathers of other artists.

He just gave good quote to the Hollywood Reporter on Barbra Streisand in What's Up Doc? (1972) who originally wanted to do a drama with him instead of a comedy, Cher in Mask (1985) --  he doesn't exactly flatter her but to say he believes she should have won the Oscar that year, and making Paper Moon (1973) with the O'Neal's. That's our favorite of his pictures as you probably noted during the 1973 Smackdown last year.

But his quote on The Last Picture Show (1971) is the best:

[The scene in which] Cloris Leachman [who won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role] throws that coffee pot and yells at Timothy Bottoms — Cloris did it brilliantly. She wanted to rehearse it and I kept saying, “I don’t want to rehearse it; I want to see it for the first time when we actually roll.” I had learned that idea — to not let the actors show you an emotional scene before they shot it — from John Ford through Henry Fonda. It was Hank Fonda who told me that for the big climactic scene with the mother in The Grapes of Wrath, [Ford] wouldn’t let the actors play it for him — he wanted it to be fresh when they did it and of course he used the first take.

So I said, “Action!” and she was extraordinary. [But] she said, “I can do it better.” I said, “No, you can’t; you just won the Oscar.” And to this day — Jeff Bridges told me that he [recently] ran into Cloris and that she said, “Oh, I’m so angry at Peter. That was the first take. I could have done it better.” And Jeff said: “Oh, Cloris. You won the Oscar!”

Friday
Nov292013

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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Friday
Jul132012

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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