Lazarus, Reborn

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Which leads to perhaps the truest explanation for his slide into the footnotes. His best films recalled his icons, the guys he's still screaming about: Howard Hawks, John Ford, Preston Sturges and other gray icons of the bygone studio system. Scorsese once said of Bogdanovich, "He's the last classical filmmaker around," and by his own admission, that always put him in a "weird spot." Bogdanovich, in the early '70s, was the last of the old-time filmmakers come too late to the party, a newborn thrown right into the casket.

"I've never been comfortable with my own generation," he says. "Scorsese's comment is nice. At least, it sounds nice. But having gotten older, everything has more reverberations on a lot of different levels. I think the goal is still the same: to affect the viewer in some way that's hopefully constructive. I think that's still the same. But my pleasures are not as innocent as they were."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky