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 Drawing on interviews conducted over sixteen years, Tonguette pairs his analysis with an extensive, previously unpublished series of Q&As with Bogdanovich.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.
"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
"I can't think of anything more joyous for a movie lover than sitting down for a long conversation with Peter Bogdanovich, and the interviews in this book make you feel like you're doing just that. Warm and wise, sharp and funny, whether it's deep diving into craft or into the movies that inspired his own work, it's all pure gold from one of the greats. If you love movies, these interviews are a treasure trove." -- Rian Johnson, director of Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi
" 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
"A full and fascinating portrait of one of our greatest moviemakers." -- Paul Theroux, author of Saint Jack and The Mosquito Coast
"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
"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
"I always viewed Peter Bogdanovich's long career with a degree of envy. I was familiar with his classic film writing beginning with his groundbreaking MOMA monograph on Orson Welles. Then like so many of us he joined the Corman caravan, working his way up from low budget exploitation films, and along the road to success he seemed to have personally known just about all the classic Hollywood icons. But it took Peter Tonguette's carefully researched and incisive book to show me that Bogdanovich's life and work were anything but charmed. His topsy turvy career is laid out with sympathy and frankness, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the way Hollywood works, then and now. Plus, it's a great read!" -- Joe Dante, director of "Gremlins" and "The 'Burbs"
" Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director is the book Bogdanovich fans have wanted for so long. Peter Tonguette looks at Bogdanovich's career from his early days to his most recent release, 'The Great Buster.'" -- Wellesnet.com
"[T]he book is splendid for what it offers: a cozy chat between artiste and sycophant. The best bits are the parts that add drama to the director's '70s reign and his benighted '80s: the moments when he fights to make a name for himself under Corman's mentoring; the moments when Bogdanovich realizes his ego and shortsightedness prevented otherwise intriguing films from having impact; and the occasion when he comes face to face with a brutal and sickening tragedy and must go on living and creating. These moments make the book, and his career, interesting. Bogdanovich was lucky, but he was also terribly unlucky." -- Cinema Sentries
"Peter Tonguette's Picturing Peter Bogdanovich: My Conversations with the New Hollywood Director, part of the Screen Classics series at the University Press of Kentucky, is a most welcome release.... From start to finish, he approaches the whole of Bogdanovich's life and work with an obvious adoration and, what is more, a demonstrable knowledge repeatedly seen in the depth and detail of his questions. Picturing Peter Bogdanovich is a passionate, engaging and thoroughly insightful volume of film history." -- Vague Visages