One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and The Lost American Film
Bill Teck’s 2014 documentary One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich & the Lost American Film is an intimate look at a certain golden period in the filmmaker’s career. Bogdanovich has dedicated his life to movies which started with him being an aficionado and then becoming a writer and director. He got his start in the business working for Roger Corman on low budget exploitation movies like The Wild Angels (1966). He then was offered a chance to direct his first film Targets (1968) which included as part of the terms, incorporating footage from Corman’s horror film The Terror into it. The clever crime-thriller told two stories at once. One focuses on Byron Orlock (Boris Karloff), an aging horror film star that is working with a young enthusiastic director (Bogdanovich) on a final production before retiring. Meanwhile, a psychotic sniper (Tim O’Kelly) is terrorizing the city. The film culminates with a suspenseful sequence that merges both pieces together really nicely. The movie showed the wit and talent Bogdanovich had for telling intriguing stories on the big screen. In the 70s he made The Last Picture Show, Whats Up Doc? and Paper Moon which were received well. For the rest of the decade he continued to work while his presence in the public eye both behind and in front of the camera made him a celebrity.
At the end of the 70s, Bogdanovich shot two movies with the late Ben Gazzara: Saint Jack (1979), about a pimp in Singapore and They All Laughed (1981) a detective story set against a romanticized version of New York City. They All Laughed was a very personal project for Bogdanovich and has resonated with filmmakers who saw and loved it including Quentin Tarantino (Jackie Brown), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Noah Baumbach (While We’re Young). During the making of the movie, Bogdanovich’s girlfriend model/actress Dorothy Stratten was murdered by her jealous, estranged husband/manager. This tragic story would be turned into a movie called STAR 80 starring Mariel Hemingway and Eric Roberts a few years later. One Day Since Yesterday partly celebrates the final movie Stratten made and how much Bogdanovich, her family and co-stars were forever affected by her death. After a lengthy grieving period, Peter returned to directing and made MASK (1985) starring Eric Stoltz and Cher but experienced some studio interference when songs by Bruce Springsteen were left out of the film against his wishes. He later sued and got them back for the Director’s Cut which was released in 2004. The finale of the documentary gives us a look at Bogdanovich’s most recent film She’s Funny That Way (2014) which has been cited by the filmmaker’s friends/cast as kind of modern version of films like They All Laughed which they cherish.
One Day Since Yesterday features insightful interviews with Peter’s sister Anna Thea Bogdanovich, his two daughters, Jeff Bridges, Quentin Tarantino, Ben Gazzara, Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson, Colleen Camp, George Morfogen, Nancy Morgan, Glenn Scarpelli, Louise Stratten, critics Molly Haskell, Todd McCarthy and Andrew Sarris and Producer Frank Marshall.