Movies In Focus

Podcast – Episode 18: James Kenney On Finding The Lost Director’s Cut Of Peter Bogdanovich’s SQUIRRELS TO THE NUTS

Premiering at the Venice Festival in 2014, She’s Funny That Way was the final narrative feature from the late Peter Bogdanovich. Starring Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans and Jennifer Aniston, the film was a screwball comedy which, while enjoyable, never truly felt like a cohesive vision from the master writer-director. And that’s because it wasn’t. 

Originally filmed as Squirrels To The Nuts Bogdanovich’s vision was compromised during post-production and after he finished his edit, he conducted reshoots and removed a lot of the film’s multi-strand plot . It was believed that the director’s original cut was lost all together – and that’s where James Kenney comes in. 

A life-long fan of Peter Bogdanovich, Kenney is a teacher and film writer at Tremble Sigh Wonder with an eye for collecting scripts and other film materials. One evening he was trawling through eBay when he noticed a HD tape for sale, titled Squirrels To The Nuts. The label on the tape stated a running time much longer than that of the final film – and It transpired that Kenney had discovered what is likely the only remaining copy of Bogdanovich’s true vision. 

Ultimately Kenney ended-up connecting with Bogdanovich, who began working to get his version of Squirrels To The Nuts released. Sadly, Bogdanovich died in January 2022, before he could achieve this, but now Squirrels To The Nuts is getting a limited run at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and it looks like the film will also get a full release at a later date. 

James Kenney joined the Movies In Focus podcast to talk about discovering the director’s cut of Squirrels To The Nuts and how he worked with Peter Bogdanovich to get the film released. We also discussed Bogdanovich’s career and a host of other film related topics in this podcast episode.

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