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Director Peter Bogdanovich dies at 82

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Peter Bogdanovich made a life in the movies. He died this week at the age of 82. He was just 16 when he said he was 18 to audition for Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He went on to snag small roles in low-budget Roger Corman monster, biker and sci-fi films, and, of course, eventually became an acclaimed director on his own, making honored movies, including "The Last Picture Show" and "Paper Moon."

Peter Bogdanovich also always wrote about film. His 1997 book "The Devil Who Made It" had interviews with directors, many of whom said great films are possible only if directors make use of good accidents. Accidents like these, wrote Peter Bogdanovich, are caused through the hidden source of fate, chance, destiny, luck, whatever we choose to call it. In ancient times, places were lightning struck - it was the original source of fire - were consecrated as holy, but it can also be wholly destructive. Each of the men in this book has had his turn with this vastly influential, often miraculous and white-magical lightning art of this techno age in which all of us, makers and users, are still guinea pigs.

(SOUNDBITE OF PAT MARTINO AND WILLIS JACKSON'S "BLUE VELVET") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.