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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Peter Bogdanovich at the Aero Theatre

David and I are very big fans of director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich. We've seen him several times over the years at various appearances in Los Angeles but we've never had a chance to talk to him. Sunday night, we were finally given that chance at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Bogdanovich was there two nights and luckily, I was able to get home from my classes in Arizona in time to catch the films and the discussion. He signed our books and was extremely gracious. I'm thankful that we were able to have the chance to talk to him if even for a second. I always enjoy listening to him speak and to hear the stories that only he can tell. 

He did a wonderful impression of Jimmy Stewart. This is the story he told: 

“What is it we like about the movies? I was sitting with Jimmy Stewart one time and we got on to the subject of movies and the effect they have on people. And Jimmy told me this story: “We were shooting a picture in Colorado. We broke for lunch, and it was the usual terrible box lunch. And this guy, an older fella, who’d been watching us, he comes over to me and says, ‘You Stewart?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You said a poem once in a picture. That was good.’ And I said, ‘Thank you very much.’ That was all he said and he walked away. And I knew just what scene he meant – it was a scene in a picture made 20 years before, and it was just about a minute, and he’d remembered it all these years. And I thought, that’s the wonderful thing about movies. Because if you’re good, and God helps you, and you’re lucky enough to have a personality that comes across, then what you’re doing is, you’re giving people little… tiny… pieces of time… that they never forget.” Isn’t that a great description of movies?” -Peter Bogdanovich

The funny thing is that immediately after he told that story, they ended the discussion and I jumped up and had him sign a copy of his book, Pieces of Time. I was the first one he signed for. Funny how things work sometimes.  


Aimeslee said...

He is such a filmophile! I know you had to enjoy it. Last year I read this AWESOME bio of John Wayne of all people by Scott Eyman. And Peter B. spoke a lot to the author. Get this: Peter and Larry McMurtry were hell-bent on making what eventually became TV's Lonesome Dove, but Peter wanted it like The End of the West - dark, ominous, tragic. Anyway, they were both insistent on it starring Wayne as Call, Stewart as Gus and Fonda as Jake. Fonda and Stewart were good to go, Wayne nixed it. McMurtry went back and rewrote what we now know as the classic. I thought of Wayne as little more than a 2D cardboard joke before this book. I now respect him highly. And I highly recommend the book. There's a lot of Peter sourcing in it, too. And my favorite Wayne movie is 1939's Stagecoach - omg, the way Ringo hangdog looks at Dallas - omg!!! Wayne was a sexy beast! haha xoxo, Aimeslee

Kelly Kilmer said...

Thanks, Aimeslee! I will definitely have to check out the book. My favorite Wayne movie is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Pair it with Ride the High Country and you have a perfect double bill. Anyone who says they hate Westerns needs to watch those films. ;)