Books by Peter Bogdanovich

Released: Sept. 24, 2004

"Often engaging, but lacks the consistent depth and keen judgment of John Kobal's People Will Talk (1986). (120 photos) "
Following up Who the Devil Made It (1997), a solid collection of pieces about directors from film's Golden Age, Bogdanovich presents a series of uneven takes on film stars he has known. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

" With confident writing, opinions infused with knowledge, and expressions of sheer ecstasy about the move-going experience, this volume is a joy to read."
The second annual volume in this series is an outstanding collection of essays that takes both movies and writing seriously. Read full book review >
WHO THE DEVIL MADE IT by Peter Bogdanovich
Released: April 1, 1997

This massive collection of lengthy, in-depth conversations with 16 of Hollywood's greatest directors is a film buff's delight. Before he became a director in the late 1960s, Bogdanovich (The Killing of the Unicorn, 1984, etc.) enjoyed a notable career in film criticism. He ceaselessly promoted American film's neglected achievements and sought out the directors he admired for interviews. Some of these interviews were first published in the '60s. Many more, compiled over the course of more than a decade, are previously unpublished. Bogdanovich has a first-rate understanding of the difficult and elusive craft of directing. Among the accomplished and diverse figures included here are Robert Aldrich, George Cukor, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Sidney Lumet, Otto Preminger, Don Siegel, Josef von Sternberg, and Raoul Walsh. As becomes clear in the course of these interviews, most of them learned their craft from the ground up in the wildly innovative days of silent film. They explain to Bogdanovich how they gradually learned to fight for and preserve their individual styles in a studio system that increasingly viewed movies as product and art as an irritant. If there is one thing that all of these men held in common, it was a belief in the primacy of the image. They were always trying to tell their stories in a highly individual visual style so that, as one producer said to director Joseph Lewis, ``every foot of film has your signature on it.'' While there are plenty of revealing anecdotes and thorough discussions of movies and stars, the level of detail here can be daunting. Elaborate dissections of how shots were set up and theories of lighting will delight cinephiles but may be a little too much for the average moviegoer. A fine achievement that helps illuminate the art and craft of some remarkable directors. (62 b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >