One of the great things about my job is the chance to travel and meet and talk to a range of cinematic artists. And I've been fortunate to get to know both Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show") and the late great Arthur Penn ("Bonnie and Clyde"), with whom I attended the Havana Film Festival in 1987. Both are erudite filmmakers who have a great deal to share; it's fun listening to them talk about cinema past and present.
So I look forward indeed to two documentary tributes to two great American directors that are playing La Biennale di Venezia in the Venice Classics section: "One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & The Lost American Film," the first documentary from Bill Teck, and "Mise en scène with Arthur Penn (a conversation)" by Amir Naderi.
"One Day Since Yesterday"not only examines Bogdanovich’s career and films, from "What’s Up, Doc?" to "Paper Moon," but reconstructs how Bogdanovich made "They All Laughed" (which played Venice in 1981), which was tangled in distribution problems at release, only to be resurrected decades later by directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. "One Day Since Yesterday" also tells the story of Bogdanovich’s love affair with his star, the late actress Dorothy Stratten, who was killed by her ex-husband in a fit of jealousy while the director was in the editing room.
Venice will also present out of competition Bogdanovich’s new film "She’s Funny That Way," co-written with his ex-wife, Stratten's younger sister Louise, with whom he also had a May-December romance. She was 20, he was 49.
Begun in 2005, "Mise en scène with Arthur Penn" is a long series of interviews by Naderi, who also looks at the Philadelphia-born director's influential films, from "The Left Handed Gun" (1958), "Mickey One" (1965) and "Alice’s Restaurant" (1969) to "Little Big Man" (1970), "Night Moves" (1975) and the ill-fated Brando vehicle "The Missouri Breaks" (1976). Naderi left Iran in the late 1980s. His American films have been presented at the Venice, Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance film festivals. "Vegas: Based on a True Story" (2008) was screened in Competition in Venice. "Cut," shot on location in Japan, opened the Orizzonti section in 2011. In 2012 he was a member of the Orizzonti jury.
The day-by-day programme of the 71st Venice Film Festival will be online starting tomorrow, Thursday August 7th, 2014, on the official website