Saturday, April 01, 2006
Bogdanovich Nails It!
I recently read an article in The Los Angeles Times by director Peter Bogdanovich entitled, "Moving Away From the Movie Theater." I highly recommend that you read it. (It's still available online at www.latimes.com.) In it, Bogdanovich touches on many of the topics and points brought up here at "Movies on My Mind," including the death of the neighborhood theater, the overall decline of the movie-going experience, the lack of great films, the communal experience of watching a film, and the horror of films being shown on iPods! Over the years, Bogdanovich, who has, on more than one occasion, (including a stint at the L.A.-based DVD Entertainment Conference, which I used to promote) shown a penchant for name dropping, is never-the-less, a true lover of film -- having himself, directed, among others, The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, and Mask. Here's an excerpt from his piece: "Movies, when you used to see them on the big screen, had a mystery that they no longer have. For one thing, they were irretrievable: Once the first and second runs were past, most films were not easy to see again. They were much, much larger than life and therefore instantly mythic (screens and theaters were a lot bigger before the multiplex arrived). And they were inexorable; once a film had started, there was no pausing it or in any way stopping its relentless forward motion." I couldn't agree more. Bogdanovich's passion for film oozes out of the article. Here's an idea he proposes which I whole-heartedly support: "Wouldn't it be a great thing," suggests Bogdanovich, in the article, "if all the studios pooled their resources and opened large-scale revival theaters in every major city as a way of promoting DVDs of older films, which remain difficult to move in the kind of bulk everyone would like?" Yes, it would be a great thing. Most of pop culture has taught us that everything old is new again. If something is retro enough, a whole new generation may be waiting to claim it as their own. (Sony, I think is betting its newly purchased Rocky and Pink Panther franchises on that notion. Lucy Liu is betting the same thing with her revival of the Charlie Chan franchise.) Bogdanovich's article is certainly one of the best I have read on film in many a year and deserves not only to be read, but to be clipped (or printed out) and revisited time and time again -- just like a great movie.