PB: I asked Hitchcock if he thought that the American films were the most vital. He said yes, because when you make a film for America, you automatically make it
for the whole world because, as he said, America is full of foreigners. Look, why is your name Bogdanovich and why is my name Hitchcock? Why aren't we Smith and Jones?
It's a good example. American films are generally made for a bigger audience, for the world, as opposed to French films, which are made for French people, or Italian films, made for Italian people. I would hate to think of French films being made in English because then you loose the quality that's French about it.
YS. What do you see happening to the cinema now?
PB. Well, anyone can see it now. American movies have become enormously stupid by and large, bloated, dumb, stupid, remakes, no original thinking. On the other hand, there are some very good films being made by younger filmmakers, less expensive films. There’s no foundation to it any more.
YS. A fairly pessimistic view of the situation, is it?
PB. I think it’s just realistic. Orson [Welles] said the Renaissance lasted only sixty years. We’re [at a time] when all the arts are in decadence. You don’t have novels being written like they did in the nineteenth century by the Russians or the English. There's no Dickens, no Dostoyevsky, no Tolstoy. There’s no Turgenev.
And there’s no Orson Welles, there’s no John Ford, there’s no Howard Hawks. That’s just the way it is. The fashions come and go. Thing go in cycles. There may be a return to greatness, but right now we are in a decadent period. The whole emphasis on technique, on digital, not digital—it’s all so uninteresting, and has nothing to do with the art of the movies. You see a lot of younger filmmakers’ work is very thin, doesn’t seem to have any resonance. Not all. There’re probably better films being made in China, and maybe Ukraine, where they are not so spoiled as in America.
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