Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, we salute the recently departed director and actor Peter Bogdanovich.
1968’s Targets gave Bogdanovich his start as a director. Boris Karloff plays a retiring horror actor while Tim O’Kelly serves as a sniper. Karloff’s character is quitting the monster movie business because he feels the actual news events of the day are much more horrific than anything he could ever act out on celluloid. As fate would have it, the movie was released shortly after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, boosting its topicality.
Fans of L.A. location shooting will want to see the finale, filmed at a Reseda drive-in movie. Spoiler alert: The climax is terrific, when Karloff’s character disarms the shooter by hitting him with his cane. So much for the scary sniper – defeated by an old man with a walking stick.
For a wine pairing with Targets: no, not a box of wine from Target, although there will be no judging from me if you choose to go that way. There is a gun club in North Carolina which sports a “Shoot Then Sip” night for ladies. Let’s hope they keep the shooting before the sipping. For Californians, Sonoma’s Wing and Barrel Ranch brings gunplay and drinking together. The ranch offers both shooting and hunting, so you can opt for clay pigeons or, I guess, real pigeons. Turley Cellars is one of their vintner partners, so get one of Turley’s great Zinfandels and shoot out the cork.
In 1971, Bogdanovich painted a heartbreaking portrait of hopelessness in The Last Picture Show. The film takes place in a small, desolate Texas town. I grew up in a slightly larger, slightly less desolate Texas town, but the movie rings true to me.
For pairing with The Last Picture Show, you can grab a Lone Star Beer – longnecks only, please – or get fancy with a wine from Lone Star Wine Cellars. The winery is on the North Texas Wine Country map, in McKinney. That town has more than one traffic light and several picture shows.
Just a year later came What’s Up, Doc? Bogdanovich called it a “screwball comedy, something like Bringing Up Baby: daffy girl, square professor, everything works out all right.” The daffy girl was Barbara Streisand, the square professor was Ryan O’Neal and all was well in the end – as it always is in the land of the romantic comedy.
The San Francisco chase scene reportedly cost a million dollars to shoot – a quarter of the film’s budget. The title was borrowed from the Warner Brothers cartoons. “What’s up, Doc?” was Bugs Bunny’s signature line. Look it up, youngsters.
The sorely missed Los Angeles restaurant, Cube, had on its marquee the phrase “what’s up D.O.C.?” Their partiality to Italian wines spawned that little vino pun. D.O.C. means Denominazione di Origine Controllata, a classification of wine regions in Italy. So let’s pair a wine from the Veneto D.O.C. with What’s Up, Doc? Just pick a red Valpolicella or a white Soave, you can’t miss.