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Bogdanovich Says Studios “Did the Right Thing” on DVD

3 Jul, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

Director Peter Bogdanovich has known many Hollywood greats over the years and can do some killer impressions of many of them, as he demonstrated during a luncheon keynote address during last week's “DVD at 5” conference in Los Angeles.

A strong supporter of DVD, Bogdanovich said Hollywood “did the right thing” with the product, pricing it at sellthrough from the beginning and fueling record consumer adoption of the consumer electronic technology.

“[DVD] is the best way to watch movies at home,” said the director, whose credits include The Last Picture Show, What's Up Doc, Paper Moon and Texasville, and who can be seen as a regular on “The Sopranos” HBO series when he's not busy with his next project.

Bogdanovich regaled “DVD at 5” attendees with personal stories regarding such legendary greats as Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Cary Grant, Orson Welles, Otto Preminger and Jimmy Stewart, all of whom he managed to muster more than a passable imitation of, especially nailing Hitchcock's droll, lugubrious manner and Stewart's stuttering, endearing speech.

It was from both Ford and Welles that he said he learned that some of film's greatest moments often occur by accident on the set. “‘Directors preside over accidents,’ Bogdanovich quoted Welles as saying.

He ended his talk by asking what it is that makes movies such a powerful medium and recalled a moment when Jimmy Stewart was confronted by an elderly man on a set who told him he'd watched Stewart recite a poem on a movie many years before and that moment of film stayed with him his whole life. Stewart, in recounting that, told Bogdanovich, “If you're good [as an actor], and God helps you and you're lucky enough to have a personality that comes across, you're giving people little tiny pieces of time [they] will never forget.”

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