Setting a high bar for anyone who seeks to both make and understand movies, Peter Bogdanovich has excelled and endured as both film historian and filmmaker—with his life’s work in both capacities appreciated and appreciating in the half-century since his directorial debut. By the time he was a teenager, Bogdanovich was a beyond-avid moviegoer who could expertly assess and critique what he was seeing and processing. Soon he was writing professionally about contemporary cinema and also adventurously programming film series and retrospectives in New York. He then went West, resettling in Los Angeles to break into the movie industry; within five years, he was in the top rank of the New American Cinema. All the while he never stopped learning from his idols such as Allan Dwan, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Leo McCarey, Raoul Walsh, and Orson Welles, and in turn boosting their reputations. His movies dive into nostalgia both rose-colored and rueful; blur the line between romance and romanticism; and take plunges into boisterous comedy, melancholic drama, and joyful musicals. On the occasion of his new documentary about another of his idols, The Great Buster: A Celebration (opening October 5), the Quad’s retrospective invites a fresh look at Bogdanovich’s movie love and lovely movies.
With Peter Bogdanovich in person at select screenings