Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film (2014)

As a pretty serious movie nut, I have seen quite a lot of documentaries about film. Docs about specific films, docs about specific filmmakers, docs about movements, docs about techniques - I’ve seen them all. As edifying as most of these are, few of them actually rate as good cinema. Most of these docs come from a place of fanaticism and therefore the impulse is to include anything and everything that you can find related to your subject. This results in a long ramble that merely ends because there is no more material. What makes Bill Teck’s One Day Since Yesterday so unique is that it actually has a shape to it. Rather than just being a big love letter to They All Laughed, Teck is able to place that film within the context of Peter Bogdanovich’s greater life and filmography. There’s a real arc to this film. You begin by learning about Bogdanovich before he met Dorothy Stratten, then you get to spend a long time on their relationship and learn about the lovely film they made together, and then you are there with Peter through his loss of Dorothy, and lastly you get to see the various ways in which that loss is still shaping his life and career. As the end credits will attest, there was a lot more material that could have been used in the body of the film, but wisely Teck chose to place his narrative and emotion first. The result is a satisfying and heartbreaking whole that all cinephiles should seek out as soon as possible. It's on Netflix!

1 comment:

  1. Man! Thanks for the kind words! Humbled!