PIECES OF TIME: 

THE FILMS OF PETER BOGDANOVICH CONTINUES

With The Last Picture Show and Texasville 

April 15th through 17th 

Sag Harbor, NY – Sag Harbor Cinema will follow up its showing of Saint Jack and the rare 35 mm screening of They All Laughed with Peter Bogdanovich’s much celebrated second feature, The Last Picture Show (1971), and its sequel, Texasville (1990). Adapted from Larry McMurtry’s series of autobiographical novels, the two films are part of a continuing tribute to the work of Bogdanovich, a renowned Oscar winning filmmaker, who also left his mark as a curator, writer and historian of American cinema. He died earlier this year at age 82. 

Set in the early fifties in the dusty Texan town of Anarene, The Last Picture Show is a coming-of-age story starring newcomers Jeff Bridges, Cybil Shepherd, Randy Quaid and Timothy Bottoms, as well as veterans Cloris Leachman and Ben Johnson. 

Bogdanovich adapted the screenplay with novelist Larry McMurtry. Inspired by his mentors, John Ford and Howard Hawks, the director set this dark, elegiac story against the backdrop of a dying West, at the beginning of the Korean War, and at the end of movie houses like the Royal, where local teenagers go to kiss, grapple and watch John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in Red River. The film uses long, tracking shots and other New Wave techniques, following in Orson Welles’ footsteps, while also ushering in the “New Hollywood.”

Shot in striking black and white, The Last Picture Show received a total of eight Academy Awards nominations, including best Picture and Best Director, making Bogdanovich one of the hottest young directors in Hollywood. It won for Best Supporting Actress, Cloris Leachman, and Best Supporting Actor, Ben Johnson. 

Thirty years after the events of The Last Picture Show, the cast and characters return to Anarene in the sequel, Texasville, Larry McMurthry’s second novel of the cycle, published in 1987 and dedicated to Cybil Shepherd, who portrays Jacy in both films. This sequel breaks with the traditional cliches of reunification and nostalgia, going instead for a bittersweet and comedic tone depicting how the oil boom swept Anarane, turning farmers into millionaires and then leaving them in trouble again. We find our characters older, mostly richer, but not necessarily wiser. The old Royal is a burned down ruin and satellite dishes dot the townscape. At the studio’s insistence, Texasville was shot in color (by Nicholas Von Sternberg, son of Joseph), breaking with Bogdanovich’s desire to shoot the films in black and white as to not “prettify” their environment.

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“We had a memorable screening of The Last Picture Show, hosted by Ed Burns, at Bay Street, while our Cinema was still in construction. It gives me great pleasure to be able to finally screen it in our finished theater. Even more, together with its lesser known and just as poignant sequel, Texasville. A film of moving performances, melancholic humor and witty grace that was very much Peter’s,” says Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Founding Artistic Director of the Sag Harbor Cinema.

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Though there was never a follow-up to the two films in the series, the cast expressed interest in returning to the material with Bogdanovich at the helm. In 2010, Jeff Bridges spoke about it at the TRON: Legacy premiere, saying, “I was just in Texas with Peter [Bogdanovich] and we’re looking at doing the next installment…there’s actually five books that Larry McMurtry wrote about those characters and so we’ve done two and we wanna do the next thing. I don’t know if that’s ever happened before, every 20 years going back and doin’ that. So that’s something I’m hopin’ will come about.”

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Tickets will be available at sagharborcinema.org.

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More information about the films can be found below:

THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
Dir. Peter Bogdanovich

USA, 1971; 118 mins, in English

Rated R

Based on the autobiographical novel by Larry McMurtry, The Last Picture Show opens on the eve of the Korean War, and the beginning of the end for movie houses like the Royal, where Sonny enviously watches Duane kiss the town beauty, Jacy Farrow (Cybill Shepherd). On the screen are classics like “Red River” and “Wagonmaster,” films that speak to the small and dusty Texan town, while other locals are hypnotized by their television sets. The three teens wander through life, which occasionally intertwines with the lives of people like Ruth (Cloris Leachman), the 40-ish wife of a football coach, or Sam (Ben Johnson), the owner of the local pool hall; diner; and Royal theater.

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TEXASVILLE

Dir. Peter Bogdanovich

USA, 1990; 123 minutes, in English

Rated R

The people we last saw in the small town of Anarene, Texas, are now 30 years older. Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), the town’s mayor, is a self-confessed failure. His best friend Duane (Jeff Bridges), whose point of view shapes the action, has struck it rich in oil and subsequently run himself millions of dollars into debt while Karla continues to buy condos for their children. Jacy (Cybill Shepherd) returns home after a career as a small-time movie star. Although the film is built around the town’s big centennial celebration; the film’s focus is the complications, readjustments, and discoveries of middle age.

Sag Harbor Cinema

As a community based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image- from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between.

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Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016. SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and can purchase food and drink at our concession stand, cafe, as well as our member only rooftop lounge, The Green Room.

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AAQ / Resource: Ben Krupinski Builder

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