Picturing Peter Bogdanovich
My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
In 1971, Newsweek heralded The Last Picture Show as "the most impressive work by a young American director since Citizen Kane." Indeed, few filmmakers rivaled Peter Bogdanovich's popularity over the next decade. Riding the success of What's Up, Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973), Bogdanovich became a bona fide celebrity, making regular appearances in his own movie trailers, occasionally hosting late-night television shows, and publicly advocating for mentors John Ford and Howard Hawks. No director of his era surpassed his ability to capture an audience's imagination.
In Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director, journalist and critic Peter Tonguette offers a film-by-film journey through the director's life and work. Beginning with a string of 1970s classics, Tonguette explores well-known films such as Saint Jack (1979), They All Laughed (1981), and Noises Off (1992), as well as the director's work on stage and television. Drawing on interviews conducted over sixteen years, Tonguette pairs his analysis with an extensive, previously unpublished series of Q&As with Bogdanovich. These exclusive interviews reveal behind-the-scenes details about the director's life, work, and future plans. Part memoir, part biography, this book offers a uniquely intimate portrait of one of Hollywood's most underappreciated directors.
"Peter Tonguette has paid Peter Bogdanovich the ultimate compliment with this book-length interview that evokes -- and surpasses in depth and detail -- Bogdanovich's own pioneering studies of such legendary directors as John Ford, Allan Dwan, and Fritz Lang. In conversations rich with anecdote and spiked with insights, Tonguette traces the ups and downs of Bogdanovich's exemplary career as a master of the classical style who contended with the radical shifts of a postclassical Hollywood." -- Dave Kehr, former New York Times film critic and author of When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade
"In 1992, Peter Bogdanovich published This Is Orson Welles, an invaluable, book-length interview focused on Welles's view of his own career. Now, Peter Tonguette has returned the favor with this revelatory, lengthy series of conversations with Bogdanovich. Tonguette turns the focus to Bogdanovich's films -- the only testament a director needs." -- Scott Eyman, author of Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart and John Wayne: The Life and Legend
" Picturing Peter Bogdanovich is a rare and most welcome work of film criticism that is not only a story of its subject but also a story of fandom, friendship, and the tender teachings of master to apprentice. As a lifelong Bogdanovich reader and watcher, I too am that apprentice, along with all other lovers of Hollywood. I am very grateful to Peter Tonguette for delivering, con amor, this next lesson." -- Sam Wasson, author of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman
"Peter Tonguette's new book is the definitive portrait of filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich's life and career. Detailed, insightful, and beautifully written, this seamless book reveals Tonguette and Bogdanovich to be a perfect match of author and subject." -- Josh Karp, author of Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind
"WONDERFUL -- a book celebrating Peter Bogdanovich. His movies are a great gift to us all. He's a true Master. Peter Tonguette's interviews with Bogdanovich are fascinating. His passion for writing shines bright in this book on the great filmmaker. It's a terrific read." -- Jeff Bridges
"A full and fascinating portrait of one of our greatest moviemakers." -- Paul Theroux, author of Saint Jack and The Mosquito Coast