Peter Bogdanovich, one of America's most established Hollywood figures passed away in the first week of the new year. He started his career as a film critic, only later shifting his attention and efforts to filmmaking, following the example of Cahiers critics like François Truffaut or Jean-Luc Godard. In 1961, at the age of only twenty-one, Bogdanovich organized the first-ever American retrospective of Orson Welles’s films, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, also writing a monograph on Welles’ work. The following years he did the same with the films of Howard Hawks, and later with Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford and Allan Dwan. Bogdanovich wrote extensively on the subject of cinema, but one of the most acclaimed works remains the collection of interviews he conducted with Hollywood directors throughout his career, Who the Devil Made It (Knopf, 1997).
Peter Bogdanovich also walked an illustrious path in filmmaking, having a longlasting and productive “love affair” with Hollywood. Bogdanovich took his first steps in the industry, like many others, under the auspices of Roger Corman, writing scripts and slowly but surely turning to directing himself. It was The Last Picture Show (1971), his second feature, that put him at the forefront of the industry, a film that was critically acclaimed and a huge commercial success, receiving eight Oscar nominations. Bogdanovich went on to make many more films, among which the 1970s trio What’s Up, Doc? (1972), Daisy Miller (1975) and At Long Last Love (1976) stand out particularly.