XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => The Director's Chair => Topic started by: classical gas on November 17, 2003, 05:31:25 AM

Title: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 17, 2003, 05:31:25 AM
ok, i went through the whole list of the director's forum and didn't see anything on him, except one, that wasn't really a dedication about him, but about popeye.  did my eyes decieve me?  is there not a thread for him?  if so, please redirect me.  i just saw nashville for the first time tonight and recently saw mccabe & mrs miller, so i'm buzzed about him.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on November 17, 2003, 08:28:23 AM
I think there's lots and lots of conversations about him all around this place, but no threads totally dedicated to him.  

I'll join in.  So you liked Nashville, huh?  It's probably my favorite of his.

If you just got into him, I suggest you try out this 5-year stretch of movies:

Nashville (1975)
California Split (1974)
Thieves Like Us (1974)
Long Goodbye, The (1973)
Images (1972)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
MASH (1970)

Some of the best in American cinema...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 17, 2003, 09:40:07 AM
I'd really like to see California Split, but it's impossible to find, even on vhs rental...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on November 17, 2003, 09:56:15 AM
The closest thread we have to Alman's films:
http://xixax.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3912
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on November 17, 2003, 10:03:49 AM
Quote from: SoNowThen
I'd really like to see California Split, but it's impossible to find, even on vhs rental...


There's a site I visit sometimes that the owner has amassed a large collection of hard-to-find movies.  He will sell or trade you a VHS copy of California Split, if you like.  It's his favorite Altman film.  

But, I know it's hard to blind-buy something, especially from someone you don't know.  It's up to you.  

Click here (http://www.subcin.com/altman.html) for info on the movie, and email him if you're interested.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 17, 2003, 10:33:23 AM
I might just do that, thanks.


Um, before I shell out for vhs though, anyone heard of a possible dvd release? Mac or Mod?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 17, 2003, 01:46:13 PM
California Split was never even released on video.  It is hard, if not impossible to find, so I would recommend getting it any way you can.  It is worth a blind buy.  It is one of Altman's best films.  Along with Karel Reisz's The Gambler, also from 1974, California Split is the best study of compulsive gambling ever put on film.   If you enjoyed Rounders and Owning Mahony, you'll definitely like California Split.  Altman has done a fair amount of gambling himself, so he knows this milieu better than any other director.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 17, 2003, 01:56:49 PM
speaking of gambling, if I may sidetrack for a minute, I've always wanted to see ...Split, along with Ashby's "Lookin' To Get Out". Anybody seen that?


also -- if Split was never released on video, how'd you guys see it?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Slick Shoes on November 17, 2003, 02:03:44 PM
Funny, my video store carries California Split. I've almost rented it a dozen times. I didn't realize it was so hard to find. I guess I've become spoiled with this place. I just wish they carried more mainstream stuff -- I wanted to see T3: Rise of the Machines this weekend but they didn't carry it. I damn near broke down and got a membership at Blockbuster.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on November 17, 2003, 03:07:53 PM
Quote from: Slick Shoes
I wanted to see T3: Rise of the Machines this weekend but they didn't carry it. I damn near broke down and got a membership at Blockbuster.


they were doing you a favor.  actually thats really funny that your store is so snobby that they refuse to carry mainstream movies.  mine has an incredible selection of rare crap, but also has like EVERYTHING (incl. mainstream movies).  but, now that i have netflix i rarely go there.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 17, 2003, 03:32:40 PM
I saw California Split on TV a few times in the 70's and 80's.  I was fortunate to see it on the big screen once, at a festival for Nevada movies back in 1978.  I'm pretty sure it has never been on video.  Maybe it came out on Beta in the late 70's.  Who knows.  Now the only way to see it is if it's on cable.  I hope they put it on DVD.  It was produced by Leonard Goldberg of Charlie's Angels and Melrose Place fame.

I saw Lookin' to Get Out in 1982, when it was released (briefly) in Los Angeles.  Not a very good film, considering it was directed by Hal Ashby.  I've only seen it once, maybe I should see it again, but the 1st impression was not good.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 17, 2003, 03:32:54 PM
Quote from: Pawbloe
I think there's lots and lots of conversations about him all around this place, but no threads totally dedicated to him.  

I'll join in.  So you liked Nashville, huh?  It's probably my favorite of his.

If you just got into him, I suggest you try out this 5-year stretch of movies:

Nashville (1975)
California Split (1974)
Thieves Like Us (1974)
Long Goodbye, The (1973)
Images (1972)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Brewster McCloud (1970)
MASH (1970)

Some of the best in American cinema...


How is "The Long Goodbye"?  It seems really interesting to me, and I've been thinking of getting it from netflix.

Yeah, I really liked Nashville.  I liked the pacing of the film.  It unravels itself so slowly and is at times a little boring, but not much.  But for the last hour, you're glued to the screen, because thanks to the pace of the film, the people seem so real and you're really interested in them by that point.
I'd also really like to see MASH, but i've put it off for so long.  I really want to see it, but war movies turn me off.  Some I like, but I'm always more hestitant when it's war related.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 17, 2003, 03:35:08 PM
MASH is not a typical war film, just as McCabe and Mrs. Miller isn't a typical Western.  MASH is definitely one of Altman's greatest films.

Long Goodbye is great, too, a total reinvention of the film noir/private eye genre -- and beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond.  After seeing this film, Spielberg hired him to shoot Sugarland Express.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SoNowThen on November 17, 2003, 03:42:41 PM
Long Goodbye is brilliant. Go buy it!!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ernie on November 17, 2003, 04:32:26 PM
I remember "watching" a vhs copy or two of California Split on ebay SoNowThen, you might wanna check there too. I think that's where I'm going to get it off of if I do get it.

Anybody ever seen O.C. and Stiggs? Flix (the channel) plays it a lot. It's got some funny parts but it's not a great movie, it's a mess. I'd still watch it if you get a chance. It's kinda cool.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on November 17, 2003, 04:53:05 PM
Quote from: SoNowThen
Long Goodbye is brilliant. Go buy it!!


its good.  its the only Altman film i have.  i've only seen a handful of them so far, but its the only one i've rushed out to buy.  seen...

-MASH
-THE LONG GOODBYE
-NASHVILLE
-THE PLAYER
-SHORT CUTS
-GOSFORD PARK

and i just got my netflixed McCabe dvd today, so ill be watching that soon.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on November 17, 2003, 05:08:52 PM
The man's been waiting over 35 years for an Oscar. Won't they just award with one finally?! I really thought he was getting it for Gosford Park too...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 17, 2003, 05:22:59 PM
yeah, but don't you think with all the great directors who haven't won, but have been nominated many times, it's really a privledge to not win one.  this is where the quote "it's great just to be nominated" really applies.  It just means you're doing something right if you can consistently be nominated, but never win.  Everyone can acknoweldge your talent, but you're just not mainstream enough to win.  i'm speaking of Altman, as well as Kubrick, Scorsese, PTA (although he's got many more movies yet to be made) and the list goes on..
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on November 17, 2003, 05:29:47 PM
For great film directors, that's looking at it incredibly optimistically.
If Scorsese directs a great film in GoodFellas, he should get the Oscar instead of Kevin Costner. And don't tell me its a privilege to lose to Costner... that's just not cool.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 17, 2003, 05:32:57 PM
you're right, i was just saying it's a privledge to be with the handful of greats who haven't won, i guess i was being sarcastic, but i'm just not sure anymore.  I'm sure scorsese and altman will get lifetime achievement awards; although, they're still going strong, so there's still hope of an actual director's award.  but altman is getting old..
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on November 17, 2003, 06:24:09 PM
Precisely. I think Scorsese ACTUALLY has a good shot with the Aviator. But Altman.. I don't think he has great chances with the Company. I don't see the voters being too high on a film like that. It's very depressing when you think of all the films he wasn't even recognized for. The good thing is that a guy like Altman really doesn't care over a guy like Scorsese in terms of getting Oscars. So I guess in that respect, thank god Altman is at least going to get a lifetime achievement award.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on November 17, 2003, 10:35:14 PM
okay, i listed the 6 films of his i've seen above, (as well as McCabe And Mrs. Miller which i'll be watching soon), and i'm thinking of having an Altman week sometime next year to fill in some gaps, so if i were to pick out 5 of his flicks i havent seen yet, where do i go from here?  any altman-experts wanna help me out?  godardian maybe?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: godardian on November 17, 2003, 11:00:15 PM
Quote from: themodernage02
okay, i listed the 6 films of his i've seen above, (as well as McCabe And Mrs. Miller which i'll be watching soon), and i'm thinking of having an Altman week sometime next year to fill in some gaps, so if i were to pick out 5 of his flicks i havent seen yet, where do i go from here?  any altman-experts wanna help me out?  godardian maybe?



Well, I'm no Altman expert  :oops:, but of the ones you haven't seen, I'd recommend:

3 Women

Brewster McCloud

Fool for Love (if only to check out where he meandered off to in the eighties).
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on November 18, 2003, 12:52:27 AM
:idea:
There should be an XIXAX movie night where we watch Nashville.
:-D
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 18, 2003, 05:48:03 AM
That would be cool, cause that would be one movie i'd love to analyze and talk about with others....my roommates would never watch it...

and i've got to get 'california split'; you guys have intrigued me so much...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 18, 2003, 12:46:07 PM
Altman will never win a Best Director Oscar, and certainly will never win a lifetime achievement award.  He is too controversial.  There are many in Hollywood who hate him.  He hasn't made a film for a major studio in almost 20 years.  He is a true maverick.

All of his films are worth seeing, even his so-called failures.

I've seen all of 'em since MASH.  Shall we run down the list:

MASH -- a classic.  One of his best.
Brewster McCloud -- off-beat, early 70's anti-establishment black comedy, doesn't always hit the target, but still worth a look.
McCabe & Mrs. Miller -- his best film
Images -- one of his lesser 70's films.
Long Goodbye -- a classic
Thieves Like Us -- more austere in tone than his earlier satirical films.  Relentlessly grim tale of crime in the Depression.
California Split -- classic about the insular world of compulsive gamblers.
Nashville -- another high point in his career.
Buffalo Bill and The Indians -- something of a let-down after Nashville, it is still one of the most unique Westerns ever made.  I haven't seen this in 20 years, I need to see it again.  
Three Women -- it is amazing that something this abstract could come from a major studio, but back then studios were more willing to take chances.
A Wedding -- a bigger ensemble than Nashville, with mixed results.  Lots of great moments.
Quintet -- austere and dystopian, very slow, relentlessly grim.  Enjoy!
A Perfect Couple -- an enjoyable romantic comedy.
Health -- tyring to be like Nashville, with dwindling returns.
Popeye -- very mixed reaction to this one.  
When You Coming Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean -- the first of Altman's adaptations of plays.  This film, not Silkwood, was the first time Cher was taken seriously as an actress.
Streamers -- the antithesis of Top Gun in the 80's.
Secret Honor -- the antithesis of Give 'Em Hell, Harry.
Fool for Love -- Sam Shephard, one of America's top playwrights, get the Altman treatment.  Need to see this again.  Haven't seen it since it came out.  This was the first time Kim Basinger was used in a serious role.
Beyond Therpay -- perhaps Altman's worst film.  The jokes fall flat.
O.C. and Stiggs -- Altman's version of an 80's teen comedy, which went straight to video.  It's actually one of his better 80's films.
Tanner 88 -- A multi-episode mockumentary about a fictional Presidential candidate crossing paths with real candidates during the actual 1988 campaign season.  This HBO series brought fresh acclaim to the director.
Vincent and Theo -- another relentlessly grim movie.  Started the trend of 90's biopics about tortured artists (Basquiat, Pollock, etc.).
The Player -- Altman never went away, but this was regarded as a comeback.  One of his best.
Short Cuts -- another classic.
Ready to Wear -- another ensemble piece about an insular industry -- turned out more like Health than Nashville.
Kansas City -- a return to the Depression era, like Thieves Like Us.  Highly under-rated.
Gingerbread Man -- even Altman can't turn Grisham's chickenshit into chicken salad.
Cookie's Fortune -- Yet another comeback.  A new autumnal mellowness is in evidence.
Dr. T and the Women -- I must be the only person who liked this film.  Richard Gere's best performance.
Gosford Park -- another high point.  A fresh setting ideally suited to Altman's sensibility.
The Company -- looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on November 19, 2003, 01:15:49 PM
soixante = true Altman fanatic

I'm jealous.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: molly on November 19, 2003, 02:23:13 PM
Quote from: classical gas
yeah, but don't you think with all the great directors who haven't won, but have been nominated many times, it's really a privledge to not win one.  this is where the quote "it's great just to be nominated" really applies.  It just means you're doing something right if you can consistently be nominated, but never win.  Everyone can acknoweldge your talent, but you're just not mainstream enough to win.  i'm speaking of Altman, as well as Kubrick, Scorsese, PTA (although he's got many more movies yet to be made) and the list goes on..


A critic (nice one) wrote that people should take notice of the films that were nominated, but didn't won - those are "must see" ones.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 19, 2003, 03:25:51 PM
i completely agree with this critic.  never in the history of the academy awards has who or what i thought of as the best director or movie of the year actually won.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: molly on November 19, 2003, 03:31:02 PM
yes. He named few movies that won, and nobody today remembers them.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: classical gas on November 19, 2003, 03:31:49 PM
who is this critic anyway?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: molly on November 20, 2003, 10:09:40 AM
Quote from: classical gas
who is this critic anyway?


a local guy, you've never heard of him
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: abuck1220 on January 25, 2004, 02:17:28 AM
can anybody recommend any good books on altman?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on January 25, 2004, 02:30:16 AM
Quote from: abuck1220
can anybody recommend any good books on altman?

Indeed I can:
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0312304676.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SHAFTR on January 25, 2004, 02:38:34 AM
so I finally saw Nashville.  I went nuts over the end scene at the Parthenon because a week prior I was in Nashville for the Music City Bowl and I went to the Parthenon.  It made me laugh.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on January 25, 2004, 03:02:56 AM
Quote from: abuck1220
can anybody recommend any good books on altman?


(http://art.half.ebay.com/prod/3091127.jpeg)   (http://art.half.ebay.com/prod/430582.jpg)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SHAFTR on January 25, 2004, 03:06:31 AM
(http://a1055.g.akamai.net/f/1055/1401/5h/images.barnesandnoble.com/images/1010000/1014363.gif)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on January 25, 2004, 11:49:07 AM
Quote from: SHAFTR
(http://a1055.g.akamai.net/f/1055/1401/5h/images.barnesandnoble.com/images/1010000/1014363.gif)

haha, yeah.  but if you actually want to like him as a person, dont read it.  because he seems like a drunken asshole.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on January 25, 2004, 01:15:33 PM
Another great book about Altman came out in 1978, and is out of print.  I forgot the title, but it is worth seeking out, and contains some wonderful insights into his work.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on February 20, 2004, 12:29:50 PM
Today is Robert Altman's 79th birthday.  After all these years, he is still a maverick and still going strong.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on February 20, 2004, 01:05:40 PM
happy birthday rob.  heres to 79 more years being a drunken arsehole, and making movies that nobody wants to see!  :wink:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on February 20, 2004, 01:13:36 PM
And in just a few weeks, The Company finally comes to my town.  Can't wait.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on February 20, 2004, 03:08:43 PM
I'll be seeing the Company in Toronto soon. Happy birthday!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Sebastian Haff on February 22, 2004, 07:12:48 PM
I've enjoyed following "Tanner '88" on Sundance the past few weeks. It's been fun to see how Altman does video. It's just like his films. I don't know why I expected anything other than that.

I guess I thought he might do something a little bit different with the different medium, but the only difference is the harshness of video.

If anyone else has noticed it, I also found it humorous that the copy of Tanner '88 that Sundance showed was full of ugly analog video glitches. I wonder if this was on purpose, or just a bad dub?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on June 25, 2004, 10:56:50 PM
I just saw a bit of a documentary on Altman on the Fox movie channel.  I think that's what channel it was, anyway.  Pretty good, some good stories, fairly informative even though it was rather short.  The guide said two hours, though it ended about an hour and a half in.  No commercials, so it was a premium channel I was watching.  Maybe the guide was a bit off.  Apparently, MASH was the first R-rated film to use the word "fuck."  And seeing an old man like Altman say "fuck" is fucking cool.  No fucking pun intended.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on June 27, 2004, 03:24:33 AM
I just saw McCabe & Mrs. Miller for the first time tonight -- twice, once with the commentary track. It's astounding; exactly what I expected, in a way, and yet nothing like it. There's really nothing else like it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on August 09, 2004, 08:01:06 PM
just watched the hour and a half documentary on altman on the Fox Movie Channel called Altman: On His Own Terms (ono discusses on the previous page).  it helped to give better insight as to what working with him is like.  i didnt know that elliott gould (and donald sutherland) tried to get him fired from MASH because they disliked him so much and then went onto being friends and making several movies together. it was interesting, although the praise being showered on him from all sides was a pretty different picture than the alcoholic asshole from Easy Riders...  it did help give me, personally, a little better idea of where he is coming from and a little more respect and appreciation for his movies.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on August 09, 2004, 08:03:24 PM
The same one I saw, I take it?  (See previous page.)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on August 09, 2004, 08:06:26 PM
yeah, as noted (edited).  it was only an hour and a half.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on August 30, 2004, 03:08:50 PM
(http://www.dvdpricesearch.com/beta/images/covers/37902.jpg)
California Split
DVD Release: 2004-11-02

Cast:  Ann Prentiss, Elliott Gould, George Segal, Gwen Welles
Directed by:  Robert Altman

Synopsis:
Bill Denny (George Segal) and Charlie Walters (Elliott Gould) are two compulsive gamblers with nothing in common except incredibly bad luck. But after a chance meeting at an LA card parlor, these two losers find that together, they make an unbeatable team. Embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime winning streak, Bill and Charlie bet their way from the tacky racetracks and bars of Los Angeles to the plush casino tables of Reno, where they end up staking their good fortune on a "friendly" little game of poker with the legendary world champion, Amarillo Slim. A high-rolling comedy about two friends with an uncontrollable urge to score.  
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Genre: Drama  
Sound Format: 1.0
Studio: Columbia/Tri-Star  
Screen Format: 4:3 / LBX / 16:9
Rating:  
Theatre Release: 1974
MSRP: $24.95  
Discs: 1
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on September 04, 2004, 05:06:07 PM
It's about time.  Terrible cover art, though.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatball on September 04, 2004, 06:38:02 PM
I watched The Company, Nashville, and Gosford Park.

I really wanted to embrace Altman as a great filmmaker because I have the habit of embracing filmmakers, but I really can't do that with the Big A. I couldn't really sit through The Company and Nashville and never truly watched them straight through. Gosford Park I could sit through because of the period setting and some sort of plot involved. But the rest, is like watching a staged documentary, but nothing really happens.  :?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: bonanzataz on September 04, 2004, 06:55:31 PM
altman's films take rewatching to enjoy. i don't see how you can say nothing happens in nashville. SO much happens in nashville. i love that movie very very much.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on September 04, 2004, 07:01:00 PM
meatball, don't feel bad about not being able to sit through Nashville.  It's awful.  Same with Gosford Park.  I still haven't gotten to see The Company, so I can't comment there.  His best films from what I've seen are Short Cuts and The Player.  I've also heard great things about McCabe and Mrs. Miller and MASH, but I haven't seen them yet.  The thing about Altman is he is rather hit or miss, but when he hits, he's great.  I'm betting what Taz says about having to watch his films more than once is true, but I've tried three times with Nashville and still nothing.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: bonanzataz on September 04, 2004, 07:58:48 PM
maybe i like nashville b/c i like that kind of music. i don't know. but i also do feel like by the end of the movie i really get to know these characters and i can empathize with them. there are parts that really move me and parts that make me chuckle to myself and parts that have me laughing out loud. i like it b/c it feels real, i guess. i don't really know why i like nashville so much. i can't believe that there are people who don't, but to each his own.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on September 05, 2004, 02:06:44 AM
Quote from: ono.
meatball, don't feel bad about not being able to sit through Nashville.  It's awful.  

 :shock:

These better be some good reasons...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on September 05, 2004, 02:33:18 AM
Time flies like an arrow (and fruit flies like an orange).  Can't believe it's been over a year since I posted these thoughts:

http://www.xixax.com/viewtopic.php?t=1015&highlight=nashville&start=15

It's just one of those things.  Everyone has an allegedly good film they just can't seem to tolerate.  This is one of mine.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on September 05, 2004, 02:47:34 AM
Read Pauline Kael's review of Nashville.  I think she gets Altman more than any other critic.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on September 05, 2004, 03:02:18 AM
Yeah, I read it a couple years ago - have a copy one of her books, one of her compilations of reviews, For Keeps.  I was impressed with Kael's writing and insight, as I usually am.  Don't know if I can take another sit-through of the film, but maybe someday.  Someday, time permitting, I want to go through all the films she's reviewed.  She's reviewed a lot of stuff a lot of people here have never heard of.

Such a crazy feeling.  I haven't taken this book off the shelf in months.  I open it, and Seal - Waiting for You starts playing at random from my MP3 list (Modest Mouse's Trailer Trash was next - now there's an odd transition).  Deja vu - well, guess you had to be there.  Smell (the smell of the book) is the worst in inflicting that sort of thing, but hearing is a close second
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on September 05, 2004, 03:38:31 AM
You will die alone.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on September 05, 2004, 01:49:22 PM
Thanks!  :yabbse-thumbup:  :-D
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on September 06, 2004, 03:04:52 AM
I just watched Nashville for the umpteenth time the other night.  I first saw it in 1976, as an impressionable youth, and the other night I still discovered small details that I hadn't noticed before.  Quite often Altman's staging and blocking seems like "found behavior," until you study it closely and realize how much effort he puts into both the composition of shots and blocking of actors.  What seems tossed-off and improvised is actually meticulously staged -- it merely feels spontaneous and lifelike.

Then I watched The Company again, and enjoyed it even more on my third viewing.  Some critics have complained that this film has no plot, or very little plot, but I disagree.  Altman embeds plot points, character arcs and other narrative devices in a welter of detail that plays more like pages torn out of a diary than a novel.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatball on September 06, 2004, 04:24:32 PM
I suppose Altman would work for me if I was interested in the subject matter of his movies (i.e. Nashville). And that's only if there were no documentaries on the same subject matter that I could watch instead. But, really I'd rather not watch something three or four times to finally appreciate it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on September 08, 2004, 02:12:02 PM
Quote from: meatball
I suppose Altman would work for me if I was interested in the subject matter of his movies (i.e. Nashville). And that's only if there were no documentaries on the same subject matter that I could watch instead. But, really I'd rather not watch something three or four times to finally appreciate it.


You weren't intrigued enough by Nashville to give it one more shot?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatball on September 08, 2004, 09:28:14 PM
Quote from: Ravi
Quote from: meatball
I suppose Altman would work for me if I was interested in the subject matter of his movies (i.e. Nashville). And that's only if there were no documentaries on the same subject matter that I could watch instead. But, really I'd rather not watch something three or four times to finally appreciate it.


You weren't intrigued enough by Nashville to give it one more shot?


Not really.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ©brad on September 08, 2004, 09:31:25 PM
Quote from: soixante
I just watched Nashville for the umpteenth time the other night.  I first saw it in 1976, as an impressionable youth, and the other night I still discovered small details that I hadn't noticed before.  Quite often Altman's staging and blocking seems like "found behavior," until you study it closely and realize how much effort he puts into both the composition of shots and blocking of actors.  What seems tossed-off and improvised is actually meticulously staged -- it merely feels spontaneous and lifelike.

Then I watched The Company again, and enjoyed it even more on my third viewing.  Some critics have complained that this film has no plot, or very little plot, but I disagree.  Altman embeds plot points, character arcs and other narrative devices in a welter of detail that plays more like pages torn out of a diary than a novel.


this is all actually very true.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatwad on October 30, 2004, 03:58:30 PM
don't believe anything about this project has been posted yet, so here is an article

Movie is latest news from Lake Wobegon

Plans take shape for 'Prairie Home Companion' filming this winter at Fitzgerald

BY CHRIS HEWITT

Movie Critic

It will not be a quiet week in Lake Wobegon when Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits and others hit town to make a film version of "A Prairie Home Companion."

"We are getting the financial pieces in place. Sometimes the partners come, and sometimes the partners go, and you hope it all comes together," said Tony Judge, who has worked on the radio show in a variety of capacities and is coordinating production of the film. "There's every reason to be confident about its getting made."

The plan is for shooting to take place at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater.

"We are holding January and February for the film," said Brian Sanderson, general manager of the Fitzgerald.

"We're crossing our fingers and hoping it goes forward."

Plans were still being discussed this week, Sanderson said, but he adds it's getting late to find somebody else to use the theater if the movie doesn't happen: "The closer you get to the date, the less chance there is to find another rental."

The movie would take place as the radio show is being performed, so it would include both onstage performances and behind-thescenes action. Judge said negotiations are ongoing with Waits and Lyle Lovett (who are expected to play cowboys Dusty and Lefty), Streep, Tomlin and other potential cast members (George Clooney has been mentioned as a possibility for tough-guy detective Guy Noir), but none of those actors can be signed until there's a definite start date.

Judge said the script, written by "Prairie" creator Garrison Keillor, has "romance, intrigue, threats. It's a funny film, and I think people who know 'Prairie Home Companion,' and even those who do not, will like it."

The project has been in the talking stages for 18 months or so, Judge said. That's when he introduced Keillor and Robert Altman (whose movies, including "Nashville" and "Gosford Park," have usually centered around a specific community or culture) in Chicago, where Altman was shooting "The Company."

"Altman is a great fan of radio. It was an important force for him as a kid," Judge said, noting that Altman was not a regular "Prairie" listener.

"I think he has become one. He wasn't a great fan of the show, but, over the next few months after they met, he came and saw performances at Town Hall in New York and was out here to see the show, too."

Judge said putting the movie package together has been "fraught with all the difficulties of independent film organization and financing. But it's very exciting, because it's such a good, strong, natural idea. And, beyond the good story and the prominence and popularity of Garrison Keillor and Robert Altman, we have an audience of nearly 4 million people every week across the country who we think we be eager to see a movie called 'A Prairie Home Companion.' "

Some of those listeners may even get a chance to be in the film. Judge said it's too early to know exact details, but, since the film takes place during a performance of the show, audiences will probably be required.

Who knows? If they're lucky, they may even get to sample some Powdermilk Biscuits and Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie from the film's commissary.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on October 31, 2004, 01:02:08 PM
Thats a GREAT combination!  Two great Ensemble storytellers together.
I've seen their styles as differing, with the more cynical Altman endings compared to the average down-home optimsism of Keilor, but who knows? It may just rock.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on October 31, 2004, 08:03:57 PM
What do you guys think of Secret Honor?  I have read it is basically like a film of a play and a little boring.  Is it worth at least a rental from an Altman/PBH fan?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Stefen on October 31, 2004, 08:41:18 PM
PTA talks about it so im sure you will get a resounding yes from these parts. No comment.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on November 01, 2004, 01:39:05 AM
Quote from: Ravi
What do you guys think of Secret Honor?  I have read it is basically like a film of a play and a little boring.  Is it worth at least a rental from an Altman/PBH fan?

I bought it and watched it last week. When it comes time to list our favourite films for the Xixax Dekapenticon, I'll be adding Secret Honor this year.

does that answer your question?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on November 01, 2004, 01:51:01 AM
Prairie Home Companion rules! That is some great news. Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett were made to appear in a movie about that show (aside from being made to make brilliant music, of course).
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 05, 2004, 03:20:51 AM
Recently, I have re-watched some of Altman's lesser known films.

Fool for Love is the only feature film adaptation of a Sam Shepard play, and it captures Shepard's peculiar setting and world-view.

Then I watched Gingerbread Man for the 3rd time.  It was interesting to see how Altman brought style and atmosphere to Grisham's prosaic legal thriller storyline.  

Kansas City is an overlooked gem, and Altman captures some wonderful jazz performances.

Tanner 88 is out on DVD, and it is well worth viewing, especially in light of the recent election.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 08, 2004, 12:03:48 PM
California Split has just been released on DVD, and it is one of Altman's best films.  It is also one of the best films ever made about gambling, alongside The Gambler with James Caan.  Oddly enough, Spielberg was thinking of directing Cal Split before Altman came on board.

California Split reminds me of a Cassavetes film, especially Husbands, with its exploration of male bonding and carousing.  It also shows how obsessive and self-destructive gamblers can be, without resorting to obvious melodrama.  Also, Altman is a gambler himself, so he knows this world on a first-hand basis.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SHAFTR on November 08, 2004, 03:03:36 PM
I just saw 3 Women, a very non Altmanesque film.  It would make an interesting triple feature with Persona & Mulholland Dr.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: samsong on December 04, 2004, 04:19:54 PM
Nashville just kicked my ass... why I didn't take the time to sit down and watch this when I had the chance before still confuses me but, well, now I have, and I'm very very glad.  Consider myself converted; I <3 Altman.

My only real complaints about what has to be among the greatest and most important American works of art ever created is that it's a bit obvious in spots and I felt that Altman lost a little steam in terms of interweaving the characters/plots (the middle hour is considerable slower than the one that precedes it and the greatest forty minutes I've seen in a while that follows).  I hate country music but it had a certain poignancy in this film that is completely necessary and universal; ts appeal is of no consequence.  It's up the viewer whether or not they let the music bother them to where they can't see the genius that's at work here, in which case it's their loss.  I love soixante's observation that in Altman's films, what seems haphazard and improvised is actually deliberate and very meticulously constructed.  Nashville is one of the most beautiful conducted/composed films in all of cinema.

To me, Nashville is comparable to Godard's Weekend in terms of cultural and cinematic importance, except with the latter I was completely blown away whereas with Nashville I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in cinema and the joy of having seen a great film.  If I haven't made it clear enough, Nashville is a masterpiece.

I think I'll be blind buying Short Cuts, 3 Women, and Secret Honor (or asking for them as gifts) come Christmas.

Going through the thread I haven't read much about Images from anyone.  I love the film... anyone else seen it?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: 03 on December 04, 2004, 04:50:52 PM
yes, i like it a lot.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: eward on December 04, 2004, 05:22:33 PM
samsong, blind buy california split too
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on December 10, 2004, 03:11:22 AM
Yes, blind buy Cal Split, Tanner 88 and Short Cuts, if you enjoyed Nashville.  I just watched California Split again, and the DVD's widescreen format was a revelation after watching it so many times on cable.

California Split is Altman's most Cassavetes-like film, in which two middle aged men dodge the responsibilities of the average American life -- it is a nice companion piece to Husbands and Killing of a Chinese Bookie.  It is also a great study of compulsive gambling, released the same year as another great study of compulsive gambling, The Gambler.

California Split, in short, is Altman at the top of his game, one of his very best.

The advent of DVD's has put things in perspective -- in the 80's, supposedly Altman's low point, he was directing such cutting edge fare as Tanner 88 and Fool for Love and Secret Honor.  His other contemporaries from the "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" generation were either inactive or were kowtowing to Hollywood corporate dictates (Color of Money or Peggy Sue Got Married, for example).  Altman went underground, filming low-budget adaptations of plays by important American playwrights (Sam Shepard, David Rabe).

Altman will turn 80 in 2005.  It is time for him to receive a lifetime achievement award from AFI, and a special Oscar.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on December 15, 2004, 09:01:01 PM
New Line has announced the DVD release of Robert Altman's Kansas City for 2/15 (SRP $19.97). The disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio. Extras will include audio commentary and the film's theatrical trailer.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cowboykurtis on December 16, 2004, 12:12:43 AM
i time and time again have tried to warm up to altman  -- i give him utmost respect for the man he is and the work he has created - however, I do not like his films. i have tried and tried again to warm up to altman --  looking at them with a critical eye they are very well concieved and executed, however I just can not seem to enjoy his movies as a viewer. hes one of the few directors i respect yet avoid at any cost. ridicule me if you may. now i have not seen his whole body of work -- ive seen his best regarded films - however if there are any less accessible/discussed films that one could recommend, I'd love to seek them out.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Weak2ndAct on December 16, 2004, 12:14:11 AM
Well, which did you see?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cowboykurtis on December 16, 2004, 12:29:54 AM
short cuts
nashville
secret honor
3 women
gosford park
popeye
the player
mccabe and mrs. miller
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on December 16, 2004, 12:37:26 AM
And you hated all of them?  Well, if you couldn't get into The Player, you'll probably never like Altman.  It's the most straightforward film you'll get from him (from what I've seen anyway).  Short Cuts really grows on you, though.  Like Magnolia.  Only difference is, Short Cuts doesn't come in a neat little package, though.  It just ends, but seems to keep on going, where as Magnolia has a nice little bookend (even though its critics say okay, what was the point?).
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cowboykurtis on December 16, 2004, 12:54:59 AM
i wouldnt say i hated them -- im just not crazy about the way he tells stories -- i can stand back and respect the choices he makes and the stories he tells, I just don't enjoy his films as a viewer -- for instance im not going to throw nashville on as I would with the maltese falcon for the pure joy of watching the film -- my biggest problem is i dont think he hides his technique very well -- im so aware of his "filmmaking" while watching, that I can't surrender to the story -- i find his style, epecially his use of zoom lenses and sound (eventhough most rave about the sound) very distracting and poorly executed.  i most recently saw 3 women -- the tone of the film was wonderful, however i felt there was this desperate attempt to make it overtly enigmatic that detatched me from the story --   i was intruiged with it's mystery and ambiguity, however it was not a film that resonated - they simply die for me soon after the film fades.  i really do feel his film are strongest in tone and atmosphere - i fell in hine sight, one can think of any which film and be taken back to the world. curiously I am most attracted to atmospheric directors -- it could very well be the atmospheres he creates are not ones that i am interested in.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on December 16, 2004, 01:41:51 AM
Quote from: cowboykurtis
my biggest problem is i dont think he hides his technique very well -- im so aware of his "filmmaking" while watching, that I can't surrender to the story -- i find his style, epecially his use of zoom lenses and sound (eventhough most rave about the sound) very distracting and poorly executed.


The style of the film does not have to be invisible to be enjoyable.  Look at Citizen Kane, Magnolia, or any Kurosawa film.  I'm aware of the filmmaking while watching those films, but it doesn't detract from them.  The sound on some of the older films can sound like a mishmash at times, in the pre-digital era.

I liked Gosford Park a lot when I first saw it, but watched it once or twice more and didn't like it as much.  I'd rather watch Rules of the Game.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cowboykurtis on December 16, 2004, 12:22:52 PM
Quote from: Ravi
Quote from: cowboykurtis
my biggest problem is i dont think he hides his technique very well -- im so aware of his "filmmaking" while watching, that I can't surrender to the story -- i find his style, epecially his use of zoom lenses and sound (eventhough most rave about the sound) very distracting and poorly executed.


The style of the film does not have to be invisible to be enjoyable.  Look at Citizen Kane, Magnolia, or any Kurosawa film.  I'm aware of the filmmaking while watching those films, but it doesn't detract from them.  The sound on some of the older films can sound like a mishmash at times, in the pre-digital era.

I liked Gosford Park a lot when I first saw it, but watched it once or twice more and didn't like it as much.  I'd rather watch Rules of the Game.

im not saying that visible style ruins a film -- i just do not like HIS style. I think the way he shoots is sloppy and does not fit the stories he tells.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: grand theft sparrow on December 16, 2004, 02:10:15 PM
Quote from: MacGuffin
New Line has announced the DVD release of Robert Altman's Kansas City for 2/15 (SRP $19.97). The disc will include the film in anamorphic widescreen video with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audio. Extras will include audio commentary and the film's theatrical trailer.


What?  No Jazz '34 to go with it?  Eff that.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Rudie Obias on December 23, 2004, 08:38:38 PM
is A WEDDING on dvd?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on December 23, 2004, 09:10:13 PM
Quote from: rudieob
is A WEDDING on dvd?

No.. ever heard of Amazon.com?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on December 24, 2004, 01:57:30 PM
It would be nice if 20th Century Fox put A Wedding, Quintet, A Perfect Couple and Health on DVD.  A Wedding and Quintet used to be on video, but are out of print.  They showed A Wedding on the Fox Movie Channel a few months back.

It would be cool if MGM put out Brewster McCloud, Thieves Like Us and O.C. and Stiggs on DVD.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on February 18, 2005, 02:45:41 AM
Saturday, February 20th is Robert Altman's 80th birthday.  I hope his best work is still ahead of him...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: kotte on February 18, 2005, 03:08:17 AM
You mean Sunday...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on February 18, 2005, 09:24:07 AM
Quote from: themodernage02
happy birthday rob.  heres to 80 more years being a drunken arsehole, and making movies that nobody wants to see!  :wink:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on February 20, 2005, 03:21:17 AM
Today is Robert Altman's 80th birthday.  Whether you like his work or not, everyone has to admit that Altman goes his own way, screw the consequences.  When Scorsese and Coppola were making lightweight movies in the 80's with Tom Cruise, Altman was tackling David Rabe and Sam Shepard plays and putting them on film.  There is something heroic about making a film version of Streamers at the height of Top Gun era, going completely against the grain of the culture.

And then he did Tanner 88, working on HBO before other feature filmmakers headed down that route.  

Altman is the only "Easy Riders Raging Bull" director who didn't become either a whore or a washout in the 80's.  He simply loves to direct, and will tolerate no interference from the suits and marketing jerks.  If that means making a film for 100K, so be it.  

This guy fought in WWII, his first feature credit was as a screenwriter in the late 40's.  He was part of the "golden age" of TV in the 50's and 60's, a big part of the countercultural film movement of the 70's, a pioneer in the indie film movement of the 80's and 90's.  He continues to make high quality work today.  He has seen and done it all.  In the words of the late Arthur Miller, "Attention must be paid."

For my money, Altman is the greatest American director of all time.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on February 20, 2005, 03:35:30 AM
A-men.  80 and he's still going strong, and from the looks of the features on The Company DVD (check it out if you haven't, it's a quite beautiful, unique film), he's not slowing down any time soon.  Can't wait for Paint (Ultraviolet :().  There are very few directors I respect and admire as much as him.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on February 21, 2005, 02:50:25 PM
To celebrate his birthday yesterday, I watched Three Women, which I hadn't seen before. It's brilliant. I think Shaftr said that it would make a great triple feature with Persona and Mulholland Drive, and that's exactly what I was thinking when I watched it. It's also seriously frightening - those last fifteen minutes in particular.

After McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville, I think it might be my favorite film of his. I've got The Long Goodbye and Secret Honor lined up on my Netflix Queue at the moment...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on February 21, 2005, 04:19:51 PM
Kansas City is out on DVD on Tuesday, February 22.  This is one of Altman's underrated films, a bleak slice of Depression-era crime drama in the vein of Thieves Like Us.  The jazz performances are as good as Bird.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on February 21, 2005, 11:28:21 PM
I'd also like to mention that Altman's commentaries are the best EVER.

He's incredibly informative, and then you also get lines like "Sissy Spacek was just the greatest thing since...since hash."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on February 22, 2005, 11:48:56 AM
Quote from: Ghostboy
I'd also like to mention that Altman's commentaries are the best EVER.

He's incredibly informative, and then you also get lines like "Sissy Spacek was just the greatest thing since...since hash."


Altman is perhaps the only major filmmaker who does commentaries for most of his films, which is impressive considering he's done more than 30 films.

Watched the Kansas City DVD last night, after purchasing it at Tower for a mere $10.  It looks gorgeous.  There's one really cool shot that features 10 characters composed in 5 groups of 2 -- Altman has such a great eye for composition and blocking.

Also finished watching Tanner on Tanner -- it is worth seeing if you've watched the original Tanner 88.

I think Altman is the only major flmmaker who admits to (still) smoking reefer.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 26, 2005, 04:31:43 PM
I just finished The Long Goodbye. Great film. Classic Altman. Next is Kansas City.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on March 26, 2005, 05:44:54 PM
Just watched Secret Honor. Very impressive, and I think it's pretty clear exactly how it influenced PTA, not just in casting PBH, but in how he writes dialogue. All the stuttering, the unfinished sentences and such.

The commentary is (as usual with Altman films) terrific. Among other interesting factoids: the film was crewed almost entirely by students at the University Of Michigan, where the film was shot; and there was no script, really, or at least any that Altman ever looked at - he based the film entirely on Hall's performance, which was shot in sequence, improvising the camera moves along the way. The moitor motif was also something they came up with the first morning of the shoot.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SiliasRuby on March 26, 2005, 06:16:16 PM
Secret Honor is a wonderful film with a balls to the wall proformance by PBH. I waven't watched the commentary on the DVD yet, but I soon will.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on May 15, 2005, 01:07:14 PM
We're dissing Lohan in one thread and then Altman goes and casts her:

Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan and Woody Harrelson are set to star in Robert Altman's next movie, a spin-off from Garrison Keillor's legendary U.S. radio variety show "A Prairie Home Companion." Keillor has written the script and will appear as himself in the movie, which will shoot this summer in Minneapolis. John C. Reilly, Lily Tomlin and Maya Rudolph are also confirmed to star, with Kevin Kline in talks to join the cast reports Variety.

The film is based on the fictionalized premise that Keillor's multi-award-winning show, which is carried on 500 radio stations across the States, is being shut down after 30 years. As the ensemble of performers, musicians and back-stage crew prepare for the final live broadcast, long-simmering passions boil to the surface while an imperious stage manager struggles to hold everyone together. Streep and Tomlin play sisters, while Lohan is a sexy ingenue. A menacing stranger, who might just be the angel of death, stalks in the wings, but the show must go on.

"A Prairie Home Companion" has been on air since 1974. Keillor tells homespun tales of the fictional Midwestern town Lake Wobegon, which are interspersed with musical interludes.


John C., Tomlin and the invaluable Maya Rudolph are great additions, but whither Tom and Lyle? I hope they're still in it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: pete on May 15, 2005, 01:17:07 PM
wow, john c. reily and lily tomlin...they sho are typecasted as ensemble actors.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on May 17, 2005, 04:28:18 PM
A bit more info:

Altman Directing 'Prairie Home Companion'

Robert Altman's next movie has a location.

The director, famed for his ensemble casts, will bring Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly and Lily Tomlin to a St. Paul, Minn. theater for his adaptation of Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion."

"As a longtime Keillor fan, I'm thrilled to be doing this project with him," director Robert Altman recently told the Star Tribune.

Garrison Keillor wrote the movie's script and will be playing a character named, well, Keillor.

The comedy is about an long-running radio show that's suddenly canceled after 30 years on the air. As the cast and crew prepare for the last live broadcast, secret love affairs, jealousies and feuds come to a boil, taxing the patience of a stage manager struggling to hold the show together.

Streep and Tomlin play Bonnie and Rhonda Johnson, the two remaining performers of a five-sister country music act, with Lohan as Streep's daughter.

Altman has directed more than 30 films and received five Academy Award nominations for best director. His films include "M A S H," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on June 23, 2005, 11:09:04 PM
Madsen tuned to 'Companion'
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Virginia Madsen and L.Q. Jones are headed for Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion." They join Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, Woody Harrelson, Lily Tomlin, Maya Rudolph and Lindsay Lohan. Garrison Keillor, host of the celebrated radio show of the same name, will play himself in the film.

Based on a script by Keillor, the fictionalized story unfolds backstage during a fateful broadcast of the show, which the players discover is to be their last. Madsen will play a dangerous woman, while Jones will play a musician who's been a regular on the show for years. Streep and Tomlin play the last two sisters remaining from a five-sister country act, Lohan plays Streep's daughter, Harrelson and Reilly are singing cowboys Dusty and Lefty, Rudolph plays the stage manager, and Kline plays the show's security guard.
 
The film is set to shoot next month in Minneapolis.

Altman will direct and produce through his Sandcastle 5 Prods. shingle. Greenestreet Films and River Road Entertainment are executive producing and financing.

Oscar-nominated for her performance in "Sideways," Madsen just completed filming "Firewall" with Harrison Ford. (The film was previously known as "The Wrong Element.") Madsen is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

Jones' credits include "The Wild Bunch" and "Ride the High Country." He more recently appeared in "The Patriot," "Casino" and "The Mask of Zorro."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on June 24, 2005, 02:27:04 AM
Jones' credits also including directing the cult sci-fi classic A Boy and His Dog in 1975.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatwad on June 24, 2005, 08:58:48 AM
so i guess tom waits is out now? i hope not
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: SiliasRuby on June 28, 2005, 11:03:56 PM
Yeah, that would really suck. I was crossing my fingers he would be in it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on July 06, 2005, 12:26:19 AM
Jones finds home with 'Companion'
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Tommy Lee Jones has joined the all-star cast of Robert Altman's latest film, which is based on Garrison Keillor's famous radio show "A Prairie Home Companion."

Jones joins Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Lily Tomlin and Maya Rudolph in the untitled comedy, which is written by Keillor. Principal photography recently began in St. Paul, Minn.
 
The movie follows the radio show's eclectic performers, with their long-simmering passions on and off the air, who have to deal with a Texas conglomerate that buys the show and wants to end its run.

Jones will play the Axeman, a shadowy character dispatched by the conglomerate.

The film is being produced by Altman's Sandcastle 5 Prods. and financed and executive produced by GreeneStreet Films and River Road Entertainment. Capitol Films will handle the film's international sales, its third Altman picture in a row after "Gosford Park" and "The Company."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on July 06, 2005, 12:27:18 AM
spoilers: altman will die during the production.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ABKman18 on July 19, 2005, 03:43:40 AM
Quote from: Cinephile
spoilers: altman will die during the production.


ok, wow, this was so not funny.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on July 19, 2005, 03:51:07 AM
Quote from: ABKman18
Quote from: Cinephile
spoilers: altman will die during the production.


ok, wow, this was so not funny.

ok, wow, that's why there's a spoiler warning.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ABKman18 on July 19, 2005, 04:28:32 AM
Quote from: Pubrick
Quote from: ABKman18
Quote from: Cinephile
spoilers: altman will die during the production.


ok, wow, this was so not funny.

ok, wow, that's why there's a spoiler warning.


I understand the damn joke.  I don't see the point of it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: polkablues on July 19, 2005, 04:52:44 AM
Quote from: ABKman18
Quote from: Pubrick
Quote from: ABKman18
Quote from: Cinephile
spoilers: altman will die during the production.


ok, wow, this was so not funny.

ok, wow, that's why there's a spoiler warning.


I understand the damn joke.  I don't see the point of it.


It's funny because Altman's quite old.  Death is often the end result of a long life.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ABKman18 on July 19, 2005, 05:02:44 AM
yes, I understand the joke, but I still don't see the humor in it.  In my mind, it doesn't fall under the dark humor category, more like cruel to me. How is it funny to prophetize someone's death.  I'm trying to see it, but I can't.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on July 19, 2005, 05:14:51 AM
i said this before i even knew about him being bound to a wheelchair and having a backup director. so yeah, i dont see the joke either.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Sleuth on July 19, 2005, 02:14:16 PM
Paul Sills has a really flexible arm
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Bethie on July 22, 2005, 02:07:06 AM
Quote from: ABKman18
yes, I understand the joke, but I still don't see the humor in it.  In my mind, it doesn't fall under the dark humor category, more like cruel to me. How is it funny to prophetize someone's death.  I'm trying to see it, but I can't.


There's nothing funnier than a funeral.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on July 22, 2005, 02:28:07 AM
Quote from: Bethie
Quote from: ABKman18
yes, I understand the joke, but I still don't see the humor in it.  In my mind, it doesn't fall under the dark humor category, more like cruel to me. How is it funny to prophetize someone's death.  I'm trying to see it, but I can't.


There's nothing funnier than a funeral.


yeah, haven't you ever heard of "putting the 'fun' back in funeral"?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Rudie Obias on August 17, 2005, 02:05:48 PM
i just watched TANNER 88 and TANNER ON TANNER so i'm a huge robert altman kick right now.  which should i blind buy first, the criterion collection's 3 WOMEN or SECRET HONOR?  which one is worth watching first.  both are the same price.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ABKman18 on August 17, 2005, 03:00:13 PM
Quote from: Cinephile
Quote from: Bethie
Quote from: ABKman18
yes, I understand the joke, but I still don't see the humor in it.  In my mind, it doesn't fall under the dark humor category, more like cruel to me. How is it funny to prophetize someone's death.  I'm trying to see it, but I can't.


There's nothing funnier than a funeral.


yeah, haven't you ever heard of "putting the 'fun' back in funeral"?


ok, now you're getting somewhere....I like where this is going.

Quote from: rudiecorexxx
i just watched TANNER 88 and TANNER ON TANNER so i'm a huge robert altman kick right now.  which should i blind buy first, the criterion collection's 3 WOMEN or SECRET HONOR?  which one is worth watching first.  both are the same price.


3 Women is a must for any Altman fan! I haven't seen Secret Honor yet, so don't know what to tell you there.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: eward on August 17, 2005, 03:23:11 PM
they're both good but i'd go with secret honor first...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Rudie Obias on September 01, 2005, 03:21:26 PM
ok.  now i can't decide to get either VINCENT & THEO, McCABE & MRS. MILLER or IMAGES next.  robert altman is great!!  but i do understand he does have some misses and i don't wanna buy movies like DR. T & THE WOMEN or THE COMPANY again.  help!!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: w/o horse on September 01, 2005, 03:57:25 PM
McCabe & Mrs. Miller.  Without a doubt.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on September 01, 2005, 09:37:30 PM
What's wrong with The Company?  :(

But, yes, McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a winner. :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: eward on September 01, 2005, 11:00:56 PM
i agree.  not about the company.  and dont even bother with images.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ono on September 01, 2005, 11:53:48 PM
The Company is visual poetry.  Watch it again and let yourself be mesmerized.  Hypnotized, almost.  I still remember the dance in the rain.  And the umbrellas.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: ABKman18 on September 02, 2005, 03:59:49 AM
I love the Company as well.  that film feels like a blissful wonder to watch.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on September 02, 2005, 12:31:38 PM
I think all of Altman's films are worth seeing -- except maybe Beyond Therapy.

I've always felt that Three Women is somewhat overrated.  I think California Split and Long Goodbye deserve a lot more attention.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cowboykurtis on September 02, 2005, 12:38:38 PM
Quote from: soixante

I've always felt that Three Women is somewhat overrated.


Couldn't agree with you more.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on September 08, 2005, 12:28:54 PM
Altman to Direct Arthur Miller Play

Hollywood filmmaker Robert Altman is to direct the first British production of "Resurrection Blues," one of the last works by American playwright Arthur Miller.

Kevin Spacey, the artistic director of London's Old Vic Theatre, announce the collaboration on Thursday.

It is the first time that Altman, now 80, will direct for the London stage.
 
Spacey said "Resurrection Blues," a black comedy which had its world premiere in Minneapolis in 2002, "is a remarkable play, very funny and provocative and challenging."

"This is one of the last plays Arthur Miller was working on right up until the last weeks of his life," Spacey said.

"Arthur Miller had hoped it would premiere in London and was so pleased the possibility was in the air that it would come to the Old Vic because he loved this theater. We want to see that particular dream of Miller's come true."

Miller died Feb. 10 at age 89.

Set in a South American banana republic, "Resurrection Blues" is the story of a messianic rebel leader who is captured and sentenced to death by crucifixion. A U.S. production company decides to film the execution for TV.

Altman has more than 30 movies to his credit and five Academy Award nominations for directing, though he hasn't won an Oscar.

He recently completed shooting a movie based on humorist Garrison Keillor's popular radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" and plans a movie of "Resurrection Blues."

His other movies include "MASH," "Nashville," "The Player," and "Short Cuts."

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Altman said he would go on making movies "as long as I last and as long as people allow me to do it."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: 72teeth on September 08, 2005, 12:33:08 PM
Quote from: Cinephile
spoilers: altman will die during the production.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on October 13, 2005, 09:47:56 AM
Altman Helming Tortoise and the Hare
Source: Mary October 12, 2005

According to Screen Daily, Gosford Park director Robert Altman is returning to the UK to film The Tortoise and the Hare, due to shoot in London next year from a screenplay by Andrew Davies.

Emma Thompson is in talks to board the film, likely to be financed by Picturehouse. The project is being produced by Alan Ladd Jr.

"It's a relationship movie," Ladd commented. "There are four major parts and a couple of other very good parts, but it is not a big ensemble like 'Gosford Park'."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on January 11, 2006, 04:51:27 PM
Altman to Get His Honorary Oscar

Robert Altman, one of five directors who hold the record for most Academy Award nominations without winning, finally is getting an Oscar.

Altman, who had best-director nominations for "M-A-S-H," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park," will receive an honorary Oscar at the March 5 awards.

In announcing the award Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cited Altman for a "career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike."

Altman, 80, is tied with four other filmmakers for the record for Oscar futility, losing all five times they were nominated. The others: Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Clarence Brown and King Vidor.

Yet Altman is considered one of modern Hollywood's boldest innovators and iconoclasts, a caustic satirist who pioneered unconventional methods, including huge ensemble casts, overlapping dialogue and tracking shots lasting minutes at a time without cutting, with the camera on the move as it flits from one character to another.

Academy board members were "taken with Altman's innovation, his redefinition of genres, his invention of new ways of using the film medium and his reinvigoration of old ones," said Sid Ganis, academy president. "He is a master filmmaker and well deserves this honor."

Altman began his career in documentary, industrial and educational movies, moving into feature films with the low-budget "The Delinquents" in 1957. After working in television, he shot to fame with "M-A-S-H," an anti-Vietnam film thinly disguised as a tale set during the Korean War.

His other movies include "McCabe and Mrs. Miller," "The Long Goodbye" "Popeye" and the dark Hollywood satire "The Player."

Altman's latest film "A Prairie Home Companion," based on Garrison Keillor's radio show is due out June 9.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on January 11, 2006, 05:00:27 PM
ooh, i hope he goes.  and i hope his speech is awesome. 
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on January 11, 2006, 07:40:02 PM
Well, it's about time.

When Scorsese makes it to 80, the Academy will give him a lifetime achievement award.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: The Perineum Falcon on January 12, 2006, 11:15:04 AM
ooh, i hope he goes.  and i hope his speech is awesome. 
i hope he doesn't die before then. :oops:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Astrostic on January 13, 2006, 12:45:41 AM
For anyone in the Boston area, The Coolidge Corner Theatre does a little award thing every year where they honor an actor or actress that they like and do a feature on them and yada yada.

Well, this year, they chose Meryl Streep.  Aside from the in-person screening of Adaptation they are holding, they are Also showing a pre-screening of Prairie Home Companion on April 5 with, once again, Streep there in-person. 

Sounds too good to miss. I know I'll be there.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on March 05, 2006, 02:28:21 PM
Mr. Altman's unflinching eye
He strafed the Army in "MASH" and laid Nashville flat. The filmmaker has never shied from debunking the myths of the American way.
By Peter Rainer, Special to The Times

ROBERT ALTMAN, who receives an honorary Academy Award tonight, is perhaps the most American of directors. But his Americanness is of a special sort and doesn't really connect up to any tradition except his own.

Many movie directors, of course, have been comprehended as quintessentially homegrown artists. John Ford gave the Western landscape an elegiac purity; John Huston's best movies, like Hemingway's best prose, had a virile grace; Frank Capra manufactured populist fables; Sam Peckinpah's sweat-soaked world was riven by elemental forces of loyalty and betrayal. Howard Hawks' America overflowed with toughs who loved to talk; Preston Sturges, who adored jabber every bit as much as Hawks, served up a gaggle of archetypal eccentrics.
 
But Altman, who has ranged as widely as any of these directors across the American panorama, is a more mysterious and allusive artist. He is renowned for the buzzing expansiveness of his stories, the crisscrossed plots and people, but what strikes home most of all in this sprawl is a terrible sense of aloneness. In film after film, in "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" and "The Long Goodbye," in "Nashville" and "Short Cuts," the human tumult masks a solitude. If being an American means being rooted to the land, to a tradition, a community, then it also means being forever in fear of dispossession. Altman understands this better than any other filmmaker. It's what gives even his rowdiest comic escapades their bite of woe.

In "Nashville," for example, the free-flowing madcap pageant is studded with moments when we are brought shudderingly close to the privacies of the soul, as in the scene showing Ronee Blakley's breakdown on the stage of the Opry Belle, or Gwen Welles' forlorn striptease in a smoke-filled hall of hecklers, or Keenan Wynn receiving the news of his wife's death in the hospital just at the moment when a chatty, unknowing soldier sidles over to him. In the bar lounge sequence where Lily Tomlin is mesmerized by Keith Carradine singing "I'm Easy," she looks stricken by her own unbidden desire.

Altman once said, "Human behavior, filled with all its mystery and inspiration, has always fascinated me." To capture what he can of this mystery, he developed an extraordinarily supple technique capable of registering the subtlest flinches of emotion. His elliptical style allows us the pleasure (or at least the illusion) of discovering a movie for ourselves, without all the packaging and predictability that most directors go in for. (Sometimes, however, as in most of "3 Women" and all of "Quintet," the ellipses swamp the movie.) His aural tracks pick up the halting, run-on gabble of people as they really sound. His cameras, seemingly on the fly, seize the small moments that are, in fact, the big moments — to take one example out of a thousand, the glance that Julie Christie's madam in "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" gets from Shelley Duvall's mail-order bride right after her husband dies and she knows the next stop is the whorehouse. Nothing is inconsequential, Altman seems to be saying in his movies, because everything has human weight if you know what to look for.

One reason his films can seem so cavalier to audiences is because his humanism is unsentimental. For him, sentimentality is just another false piety. Altman is not simply being a curmudgeon — he's intuiting his way to something more genuine. It makes sense that he has made a career out of subverting traditional genres: the war movie ("MASH"); the western ("McCabe & Mrs. Miller"); the private-eye film ("The Long Goodbye"); the musical ("Nashville"); the biopic ("Vincent & Theo"); the documentary ("Tanner '88"); the classic whodunit ("Gosford Park"); and so on. Genres can be a form of false piety too.

"Vincent & Theo," starring Tim Roth, is probably the most uncompromising movie ever made about an artist (and one of Altman's few films set outside America). One might expect this fanatically independent director, who has fought his way in and out of Hollywood for most of his working life, to covet the great painter's miseries. But no homilies are proffered here. Art may be Van Gogh's religion, but clearly Altman sees it as too high a price to pay. The Van Gogh of this movie is an artist not because of his madness but in spite of it. There is a livid, discordant quality to the film. When Van Gogh ventures alone into the fields to paint, the clacking of birds and insects is a beckoning malevolence. For Van Gogh, life is bedlam and Altman, who surely must see this as a cautionary tale, recoils from the horror even as he appears to press into it.

Carving out a career

ALTMAN has had one of the most improbable careers in movie history: Starting out as a director for a dozen years of episodic TV shows such as "Sugarfoot" and "Whirlybirds," he broke through in his mid-40s with "MASH" and "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" and never looked back. It was as if all those years of hackwork had jolted him into innovation.

There is an almost ineffable sense of liberation to his films from the '70s. "The Long Goodbye," which casts Elliott Gould as a new-style Philip Marlowe in a groggy, funkytown L.A that Altman captured better than anyone else, is a deliriously lyrical tragicomedy about being valiant in an unvaliant world. Altman seems to be trying out in it everything he knows about life and about moviemaking. In formal terms, it comes closer to pure jazz than any mainstream movie ever has. Certainly Gould, with his mumbled riffs and lanky lope, was never better. (Actors love Altman, perhaps because he has the good sense to be stupefied by what they are able to do.) Later in the decade, after a six-year run of amazements that also included "California Split" and his masterpiece set in the Depression, "Thieves Like Us," Altman lost his way for a time. Because of the bad box office on "Buffalo Bill and the Indians," he was dropped by Dino De Laurentiis from "Ragtime," instantly making that proposed version of E.L. Doctorow's novel a prime candidate for The Greatest Movie Never Made. The congregations in "A Wedding" and "A Perfect Couple" and the barely released "HEALTH" were unfizzy — Altman Lite. The zoomy camerawork never seemed to zoom in on anything interesting, and one longed for the babble to subside.

But then, after the debacle of "Popeye," this improvisatory maverick who favored screenplays as mere blueprints confounded everybody by decamping from Hollywood and directing a series of letter-perfect stage adaptations of plays by David Rabe, Sam Shepard and Christopher Durang. The results were doubly confounding since in at least two instances — Donald Freed and Arnold Stone's "Secret Honor," with Philip Baker Hall delivering a psychotic rant as a walled-in, post-Watergate Richard Nixon, and Ed Graczyk's mood-memory play "Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" — Altman was at his most cinematically inventive. The faces of the actresses in that film, including Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black and Marta Heflin, have a silent-movie-star luminosity, a frailty. The pathos of death is in their fine-drawn features.

Altman confounded everybody again when, at age 67, he pranced back into Hollywood with "The Player," a poison dart dipped in the nectar of sweet revenge. The film, adapted from Michael Tolkin's novel, plays extremely well as a black comedy about the film business, but it's also about something deeper: It's Altman's death knell for his profession. The murder of the screenwriter by Tim Robbins' studio executive, which he gets away with scot-free, stands in for the murder of movie art in modern Hollywood. The paradox, of course, is that Altman's movie is itself a work of art.

The Hollywood of "The Player" is as emblematically American as the Nashville of "Nashville." Both are fiefdoms ruled by fear and glamour and populated by people who have a tense, wall-eyed watchfulness. They never seem to sleep. Altman has always had an almost anthropological avidity for rooting around inside a culture, which is another way of saying that, despite his penchant at times for drawing attention to the fact that the movie we are watching is indeed a movie, he has an impulse for the truth. His antennae are set to catch the vibrations in the zeitgeist. "Nashville," coming off of the assassinations and Watergate and Vietnam, is one of the funniest movies ever made and also one of the scariest; it makes you feel in your marrow the derangement of American life. You sense that something bad is going to happen in that movie long before it actually does.

I have emphasized this darker aspect of Altman's career because the great hectic humor in his movies is so self-evident and because he has so often been written about as some kind of professional party giver — an exalted maker of festive confabs. This kind of treatment may be a backhanded tribute to the sheer enjoyableness of his best films, but it doesn't begin to get at why he is so important.

On-the-nose narrative

IF we sometimes feel in this country that we are caught up in an Altman movie in which we are onstage all the time and everyone is pointing a camera at everyone else, it is because he has given us a way of seeing that is eerily in tune with the times. He recognizes better than any other filmmaker how our lives have become commodified and corrupted by a society in which everything is for sale. The overheated jamboree of "Nashville" and the banal apocalypse of the Raymond Carver-derived "Short Cuts" are all of a piece with the paranoid ferocity of "Secret Honor" and the vampirish "The Player." They all jam together as one vast vision of an America stewing in its own juices.

These movies carry a furious sense of loss. It is in his two finest films set in the American past — "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," with Warren Beatty's brash frontier dreamer, and "Thieves Like Us," with Carradine and Duvall as doomed Depression lovebirds — that Altman's full sorrow shines forth. Both films are elegies for innocence. Watching them is like gazing at a family photo album of loved ones long ago passed away.

Altman has never won an Oscar for directing a movie, though he's been nominated five times. He has said of Hollywood, "They make shoes, I make gloves." Back in the '70s he was quoted as saying, "Sometimes I feel like little Eva running across the ice with the dogs yapping at my ass. Maybe the reason I'm doing all this is so I can get a lot done before they catch up with me." Tonight, at 81, with a new movie based on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" coming this year, the director gets to call off the dogs in front of half a billion people. It's a twist that could happen only in an Altman movie.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Garam on March 05, 2006, 05:36:02 PM
Everytime someone posts in this thread, I take a deep breath in, wondering if he's popped it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on March 05, 2006, 06:37:01 PM
new banner idea:

INGMAR BERGMAN ROBERT ALTMAN: STILL NOT DEAD
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: jigzaw on March 05, 2006, 11:41:23 PM
God bless Robert Altman.  He stood up there and delivered a great and humerous speech.  After hearing about his work on Prairie Home, and needing P.T. Anderson to be a stand-in for him, I was expecting an incoherant dude in a wheelchair, but he pulled off a great appearance and a great speech.  I'm not a fan of all his movies, but this award is long overdue.  I may have hated Dr. T and the Women and Gosford Park, but I'll never forget McCabe and Mrs. Miller and The Player.  Now its time for me to check out Nashville for the first time and Mash and freakin Short Cuts.  Ok, I'm drunk as a friggin skunk.  But I'm really proud of Altman tonight, and pissed that Crash won for fucks sake.
thank you
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ghostboy on March 05, 2006, 11:45:51 PM
In honor of the achivement Oscar, film critic Matt Zoller Seitz organized a Robert Altman blog-a-thon for this weekend. There have been a huge number of excellent pieces written about him and his films over the past few days, and they're all linked to right here (http://mattzollerseitz.blogspot.com/2006/03/altman-now-more-than-ever.html) (including my own). The list is still being updated. If you have some time to kill, give some of them a read...they're great. For his own entry, Matt interviewed Deadwood creator David Milch about the influence McCabe & Mrs. Miller had on his show.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: samsong on March 26, 2006, 01:23:29 PM
just saw California Split... his best, maybe, or at least my favorite (it's between this one and McCabe & Mrs. Miller). i was blown away.

also saw Nashville on the big screen last night.  SO GOOD.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: grand theft sparrow on April 20, 2006, 10:07:22 AM
A Prairie Home Companion
Followed by a Pinewood Dialogue with Robert Altman
Thursday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.


2006, 100 mins., 35mm, PictureHouse. With Garrison Keillor, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan. In Altman’s 39th feature film, reality and fiction once again merge as a radio show prepares for its final broadcast.

At the Directors Guild Theater, 110 West 57th Street, Manhattan. Tickets: $24 public/$16 Museum members. Call 718-784-4520.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on April 27, 2006, 03:17:58 PM
A Prairie Home Companion
Followed by a Pinewood Dialogue with Robert Altman
Thursday, June 8, 7:30 p.m.
i'll see you there, freaks!  :shock:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatwad on April 28, 2006, 07:20:52 AM

i'll see you there, freaks!  :shock:

i'll be there as well. got my ticket a few weeks ago
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: eward on April 28, 2006, 08:08:11 AM
fuck, i wish i could go.  i don't think i'll have many more oppurtunity's opportunities to meet him.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on April 28, 2006, 08:49:28 AM
fuck, i wish i could go.  i don't think i'll have many more oppurtunity's to meet him.
i hope you use the time to read up on the english language.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: eward on April 28, 2006, 10:28:15 AM
lol cut me some slack, it was early....that is NOT a mistake I would normally make!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: I Don't Believe in Beatles on May 20, 2006, 08:02:06 PM
PTA wrote the foreword to "Altman on Altman."  It's two pages long. 
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on May 21, 2006, 01:19:47 AM
transcript/scan?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: I Don't Believe in Beatles on May 21, 2006, 01:28:35 AM
transcript/scan?

I didn't have any money to buy it.  Sorry.  I was hoping it'd be a "search inside!" book on Amazon, but nope.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: squints on May 21, 2006, 01:57:33 AM
I live in a tiny college town in Oklahoma. not too much culture to be spread around but we take what we can get. My latest attempt at educating the masses is an independent video store operated by myself and two other guys. we're in the final stages of getting everything together and we have an entire wall devoted to a number of films divided specifically by director. so far we've got the likes of herzog, kurosawa, fellini, godard, peter jackson, spielberg, coppola, malick, takeshi miike, kenji fukasaku, shinya tsukamoto, tarantino...a load of others..and of course pta. The only two on the wall of directors i demanded be there were pta and robert altman. in the past year i've become somewhat of a fanatic altman fan (thanks in part to this wonderful site) and his section is one of the last to be purchased. in gathering a collection of his "best" films for his section on the wall i think i've come up with a decent list knowing that hopes of having every one of his films on the wall is relatively impossible
so here's what's going on the wall:
MASH
McCabe
The Long Goodbye
California Split
Nashville
3 Women
Popeye
Secret Honor
The Player
Short Cuts
Gosford Park

i think its a good list. if it were your store would you leave anything out or add anything? so far the only ones we have are Short Cuts, Nashville, McCabe, The Player, and California Split...but unless someone convinces me otherwise i'm gonna order the rest monday.

and by the way...owning a video store with over 7000 movies and having a business account specifically for the purchase of more movies just rendered the "I Just Bought" thread completely useless to me.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on May 21, 2006, 03:03:07 AM
I would add Tanner 88 and subtract Popeye.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: I Don't Believe in Beatles on May 21, 2006, 11:56:45 AM
 :yabbse-thumbup:
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on May 21, 2006, 06:02:08 PM
that was great.  thanks!  you should pass it along to C&RV
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on May 23, 2006, 08:38:50 AM
I live in a tiny college town in Oklahoma. not too much culture to be spread around but we take what we can get. My latest attempt at educating the masses is an independent video store operated by myself and two other guys...

Squints, good luck with this.  I have a feeling it's going to be TOUGH. 

I had a similar notion in starting an independent movie theater using low-tech equipment to keep cost down.  My plan was to rent an office space, purchase consumer-grade electronics, and house inexpensive seating to hold about 25-30 customers.  I estimated my monthly operating costs to be about $2500, and this is without licensing rights.

Licensing rights is what gets you.  I contacted the MPLC about an umbrella license in hopes that it would give me a list of movies that I could freely access and show whenever I wanted.  What's nice about the umbrella license that it was an annual fee for a cheap price (estimated $3000), and this would prevent me from contacting the individual studio, and thus driving my cost and time up exponentially.  Well, no such luck.  They told me that their agreements didn't cover instances where movies are shown in a theater setting and/or marketed and advertised to gather an audience.  What their umbrella license would cover would be movies you want to publicly show at a church, school, local gathering, etc. and not for profit.  They told me to contact the individual studios to get licensing rights for each movie, which is ridiculously expensive (as much as $10,000 per movie).

With the difficulty of license agreements and the constraints of the market I'm in, the obvious choice was to kill the idea.  I originally was planning to run with this as a side project and a hobby, since I'm already employed full-time.  I would have to keep the theater running 15 days of the month to break even with my costs, and that was more than I wanted to be involved with it.  It would be ok if I could get it up and running, and turn it over to someone else to run full-time, but we're talking a long start-up time.

If anyone is interested in starting this up in a larger market (Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, etc.), feel free to contact me.  I can give you ideas and cost estimates to create a business plan.  Though I still feel this type of business will be unprofitable until the studios agree to some kind of cheap global license agreements to allow business owners to have a fighting chance in making profits.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on June 06, 2006, 02:07:24 PM
From Entertainment Weekly:

"This is going to be fast and furious," says Robert Altman of his upcoming movie, Hands on a Hardbody. He isn't making an action flick, but he is dabbling in cars: Body is a fictional take on the '99 doc about folks who enter a contest to win a pickup truck. In talks to star: Billy Bob Thornton, Hiliary Swank, Chris Rock, and The Rock.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on June 06, 2006, 04:09:54 PM
They should get Burt Reynolds, and a new title.

Hands on a Hardbody sounds like a bad 80's spring break sex comedy.

Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: RegularKarate on June 06, 2006, 04:57:52 PM
They should get Burt Reynolds, and a new title.

Hands on a Hardbody sounds like a bad 80's spring break sex comedy.


That was the name of the doc
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on June 06, 2006, 07:07:25 PM
fuck, i wish i could go.  i don't think i'll have many more oppurtunity's to meet him.

well it looks like you wouldn't have had THIS opportunity to meet him either. 

Thursday, June 8
7:30    A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION with Virginia Madsen
(Robert Altman will not be able to appear in person.)
At the Directors Guild Theater, Manhattan

hope everyone with tix is a big virginia madsen fan...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatwad on June 07, 2006, 12:05:05 PM
i called this morning and had my tickets replaced with tickets for the strangers with candy show that the museum of the moving image is doing on june 16th. colbert, sedaris and dinello will be there. so i'm a little happier then i was when i found out Altman could not make it

EDIT: Just found out Colbert won't be there  :(
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on June 21, 2006, 08:57:00 PM
What do you guys think of the films included in the Robert Altman collection?  I've only seen M*A*S*H.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: cine on June 21, 2006, 09:15:29 PM
i called this morning and had my tickets replaced with tickets for the strangers with candy show that the museum of the moving image is doing on june 16th. colbert, sedaris and dinello will be there. so i'm a little happier then i was when i found out Altman could not make it

EDIT: Just found out Colbert won't be there  :(

was i able to get a refund on the altman ticket since he was promoted to show up but didnt?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: meatwad on June 22, 2006, 08:18:08 AM
i called this morning and had my tickets replaced with tickets for the strangers with candy show that the museum of the moving image is doing on june 16th. colbert, sedaris and dinello will be there. so i'm a little happier then i was when i found out Altman could not make it

EDIT: Just found out Colbert won't be there  :(

was i able to get a refund on the altman ticket since he was promoted to show up but didnt?

yeah
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: samsong on June 23, 2006, 01:21:10 PM
oh, you haven't lived till you've seen McCabe & Mrs. Miller on the big screen... on weed!  but seriously, seeing it projected was unbelievable.

Thieves Like Us kinda sucks.  i'll take They Live By Night over it (and most other love-on-the-run films) anyday.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on June 23, 2006, 11:07:54 PM
Hollywood's new stars: Altman, Walters, Wolf

Robert Altman, Dick Wolf, Lauren Shuler Donner and Barbara Walters will join 20 other artists and performers to be honored in 2007 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Recipients were announced Friday by Walk of Fame committee chairman Johnny Grant. "It's a privilege to honor these performers," he said. In a marathon meeting held June 16, the committee reviewed more than 200 nominations to select the 23 honorees. Other honorees are (film): Michael Caine, Matt Damon, Jamie Foxx, John Goodman, Michelle Pfeiffer; (TV): Erik Estrada, Kiefer Sutherland, Jerry Stiller; (music): Combs, Mariah Carey, the Doors, Crystal Gayle, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain; (theater): Tim Rice, Lily Tomlin; (radio) Rodney Bingenheimer, Stu Nahan. (AP)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on October 06, 2006, 12:19:41 AM
All 'Hands' on for Altman pic
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Robert Altman, whose "A Prairie Home Companion" was released by Picturehouse, is close to teaming with the distributor again for his next project.

Altman and writer Stephen Harrigan are developing a script inspired by the events depicted in S.R. Bindler's 1997 documentary "Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary," which recounted a Texas endurance contest that offered a new Nissan Hardbody truck as the prize.

The last person left standing with a hand on the truck got to take it home. Altman has wanted to direct the project for years and now says it will be his next film. He compares it to Sydney Pollack's 1969 film "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" which centered on a marathon dance contest.

Harrigan, whose credits include such telefilms as Hallmark Entertainment's "The Colt" and Channel 4/Lifetime's "Widow on the Hill," is at work on the screenplay, and Altman has begun talking to such actors as Billy Bob Thornton and Hilary Swank, though cast availability when the film is ready to shoot will be a factor.

"He can get almost anybody," one source close to the production said. When the script is finished, it likely is to be funded by HBO International's Charles Schrager and greenlighted by Picturehouse president Bob Berney. Altman hopes to start production in January with a $10 million budget.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: grand theft sparrow on November 21, 2006, 10:44:49 AM
Film Director Robert Altman Dies
Film Director Robert Altman Has Died at a Los Angeles Hospital, According to a Spokesman

LOS ANGELES Nov 21, 2006 (AP)— Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind "MASH," "Nashville" and "The Player" who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81.

The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman's Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press.

The cause of death wasn't disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Find Your Magali on November 21, 2006, 10:52:17 AM
I won't soon forget his speech at the Oscars. RIP.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: squints on November 21, 2006, 11:25:52 AM
What a horrible way to start this day.

 :(
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pozer on November 21, 2006, 11:32:31 AM
missin' him already.  so happy he got one more picture in before he departed.  rest in peace, sir altman.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on November 21, 2006, 11:52:07 AM
Very sad news, though I'm glad he lived to such an old age and was regularly making films up to the end of his life.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: squints on November 21, 2006, 12:09:05 PM
Altman marathon all day. Starting with Short Cuts (My Personal Favorite), The Player, McCabe, Nashville, MASH, California Split, and ending with the one I haven't seen: 3 Women
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Derek237 on November 21, 2006, 12:10:32 PM
I just found out about Altman less than a minute ago. That's terrible!!! I have one of those sinking feelings....there's never going to be another Robert Altman film ever again. :( I hate those feelings.

R.I.P.


What's weird was that I was just thinking about his Golden Globe acceptance speech this morning...I wanted to find a transcript, or something. Damnit.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pozer on November 21, 2006, 01:18:35 PM
that sounds like an amazing day right there.  wish i could cut outta work to do the same.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: nix on November 21, 2006, 01:48:15 PM
3 Women is this shit. Tied with Short Cuts as my personal fav. We lost a true master today.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pozer on November 21, 2006, 02:12:17 PM
Altman marathon all day. Starting with Short Cuts (My Personal Favorite), The Player, McCabe, Nashville, MASH, California Split, and ending with the one I haven't seen: 3 Women
now i really want to do this today.  mine would go more like:  mash, m&m, long goodbye, california split, nashville, 3 women (one of the only ones I haven’t seen either), v&t, playa, and ending with shorts (my fav as well).
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Redlum on November 21, 2006, 02:15:39 PM
Squints, I must do the same and include Nashville which is the one I haven't seen.

I must also re-watch Prairie Home Companion. In the wake of this sad news... the angel of death has a sweet poignancy that will probably be quite soothing.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Chest Rockwell on November 21, 2006, 02:56:45 PM
Fuck.... just found out on IMDb. I was having a pretty good day until just now...
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on November 21, 2006, 05:03:03 PM
Can't remember what the first Altman film I saw was, but The Player was the first of his I saw on the big screen, and loved it instantly. Never being a fan of the show, I always thought his MASH was funnier than anything I ever watched of the TV adaptation. When I saw Short Cuts, the projector quit right in the middle of the Modine/Moore argument. I remember the entire audience (including myself) being very upset because it was right at the meat and heart of the fight and we were all into the film. That was the power of Altman and his storytelling.


 :yabbse-cry: :yabbse-cry: :yabbse-cry: :yabbse-cry: :yabbse-cry:



From indieWIRE:

For many who saw "Prairie Home" at the Berlinale this year, it was hard not to watch Altman's 37th feature -- a film about the end of Garrison Keillor's long-running American radio program -- without thinking about it as perhaps the last from the aging director. In "A Prairie Home Companion," the main character struggles to avoid dealing with a major change in his own career. Not that any of those who cheered "Prairie" at the Berlinale were hoping Altman would stop directing, but his age was an issue for the backers of the latest feature. Paul Thomas Anderson was hired as a back-up director and had to be on set whenever Altman was, just in case.

"Because I am so old and ancient..." Altman quipped at a Berlin press conference, "In order to get insurance we had to have a stand by director -- they thought they'd have a better picture if I croaked and P.T.A., Paul Thomas Anderson, took over." But, praising his understudy, Altman said of Anderson, "He couldn't have been more helpful and less intrusive - a great deal of the film is due to him."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Fjodor on November 21, 2006, 05:14:21 PM
This news saddens my heart, even though he was 81, and his career was to an end because of his state of health. But I'll honor him for giving me Short Cuts, my favourite of the 90s and McCabe and Mrs. Miller, the most poetic sort of Western I've seen. The Player, Nashville and 3 Women, are still there to see, and I look forward to these works of the late..  :cry: Robert Altman.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: gob on November 21, 2006, 05:46:11 PM
Tis a mighty sad day but we can be sure in the knowledge that he lived life proper and left some fucking good films behind.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 21, 2006, 07:25:01 PM
I'll never say Altman was a good filmmaker. He only got worse for me as the years went on. But I'll thank him for what he accomplished. The crest of American indepedent filmmaking rests on what he has done. No other filmmaker has created such a niche as he has done that will always afford everyone the chance to realize their visions on screen. Because Altman was such a permanent staple in Hollywood during tough times and always making his films; he created the idea that a filmmaker could get a budget during any time of Hollywood. No other filmmaker has created such an openness. Stanley Kubrick rested on the altar of having fantastic budgets and endless time to make his films. His situation has little to do with independent filmmaking. And Martin Scorsese became the poster boy that genre still can be relevant to an audience who has seen everything. But before Scorsese there was Robert Altman who made films always at his pace and signature, with or without an audience. Scorsese's work can't attune to that. No one else can either. Then the fact that Altman has been doing it for well over thirty years speaks the greatest volumes.

The only comparable figure is Woody Allen, but his last 10 years have been sorely questionable. Who really is his audience now? There has never any question with Altman. He's always been making films for the audience who wants to run with him at the pace he established many years ago. The fact he's been able to do it on reasonable budgets means that the door for the up and coming indie filmmaker will likely never close. When there's a will, there's a way. And when that is in doubt, just quote one of many numerous examples where Altman proved that there really is.

Personally, I always related Robert Altman to the Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno. Both are old timers who were the best at just showing up for their job. Paterno has been coaching for 40 some years and only missed a game twice. Neither time had anything to do with his health, but family tragedy only. Altman has been in filmmaking business nearly as long. The coincidence of relating both is that recently Paterno was forced to coach in a wheel chair from the press box due to an injury. Some commentators figured he'd just not coach but he did (and in the only way he could). When Altman hired Paul Thomas Anderson as his co-director for A Prairie Home Companion, he didn't just rest on that gurantee. He personally wheeled around the set enacting the duties he's always done. Anderson was just the insurance to make the film. For both men, retirement truly means death. Paterno is in his 80s and just got a contract extension. Unheard of for such an elder in such a grueling job.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on November 22, 2006, 01:02:45 AM
'Hands' future is uncertain
Altman's projects pose problem for Picturehouse
Source: Variety

The death Monday of Robert Altman has put into jeopardy Picturehouse's feature based on the 1997 docu "Hands on a Hard Body," which Altman was to direct and produce.

Altman and screenwriter Stephen Harrigan were calling agents as recently as last weekend over possible casting attachments for the pic, which was set to go into production in early 2007. But the project is now in doubt.

Picturehouse topper Bob Berney said that while no official decision has been made, the fact that the auteur had a particular vision for his pics would make it tricky to transfer "Hard Body" to another director.

"It's going to be very tough," Berney told Daily Variety. "This was conceived as a Robert Altman film, and I'm not sure there can be any other way to do it."

Altman's Sandcastle 5 shingle was on board to produce the pic. Harrigan is best known as a telepic scribe, penning adaptations of "Murder on the Orient Express," as well as Hallmark Entertainment's "The Colt" and an O.J. Simpson movie for 20th Century Fox Television.

S.R. Bindler's original doc focused on an eclectic group of contestants who compete to win a truck by keeping a hand on it for days at a time, taking just short bathroom breaks. Movie was a character-driven story that elicited the dramas of a small Texas town.

How that jagged material would work as a feature was an open question, but Berney said that Altman had an idea to shape real-life events into a fictional story similar to his Garrison Keillor-inspired "A Prairie Home Companion."

Picturehouse acquired and released "Companion," Altman's final film, in the spring; helmer had recently completed the commentary track on the DVD, which was released last month.

Altman was reportedly moving ahead quickly on "Hard Body," partly out of a general work ethic but also out of a sense of mortality.

"He would joke that because of his age, he would need to have a backup director," Berney said of the project. "But of course you can't really have a backup director on a Robert Altman movie."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Alexandro on November 22, 2006, 01:58:59 PM
altman's death was an incident I kept expecting, he was so old by now I would often think that any day now, we would hear of his death. this made me really sad, and kind of anxious. part of me kind of believed i guess, that he just would never die and that he had "another one" in him. and no matter how many times on this year I kept thinking about the possibilitie of one of my definitive heroes dying, nothing prepared me for the sudden sadness I felt when I heard the news. It feels as if the world as I know it is incomplete. I know it actually is.

Very few filmmakers can be so unique that after a while, the movies are no longer good or bad, but liked and not that well liked. Few people you listen and feel completely on their tune. Funny that Altman always said the only ending is death, and now that he is dead, it feels like for his movies, this is only the beggining.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: AntiDumbFrogQuestion on November 22, 2006, 02:51:19 PM
part of me kind of believed i guess, that he just would never die and that he had "another one" in him.


he will be sorely missed, and it's strange that I stopped watching 'Nashville' right before this when I could have watched the whole thing and seen a masterpiece before the master's death.

but, not to get too metaphysical, Altman ISN'T Dead to us.  He's still alive in his multitude of movies, most of which I've never seen!  The "another one" he had in him is now part of us, and WE have more to say and add to our world, whether it be via the movies we create or lives we touch otherwise.

I'll never forget falling in love with the weirdness that was "Popeye" at age 8, or the warm, fun comfort I got from "Prairie Home Companion" at age 23.
We'll miss ya, Mr. Altman.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: A Matter Of Chance on November 22, 2006, 03:23:58 PM
.... the warm, fun comfort I got from "Prairie Home Companion"...

yeah, that's totally it. Prairie Home Companion was warm and fuzzy and I enjoyed it.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on November 23, 2006, 04:59:21 AM
But before Scorsese there was Robert Altman
scorsese's first theatrical release Who's That Knocking at My Door was one year before altman's first, Countdown. and of their respective breakthrough films, altman preceded scorsese with MASH by only 3 years (mean streets). Altman always gave the impression of being an ancient director cos he'd been working longer, but his feature film output started relatively late in his career. you're comparison to woody allen is more apt, at least in the early years. but of the three directors named thus far, with regard to their feature films, i would think of Scorsese and Altman as contemporaries.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 24, 2006, 07:06:58 PM
Actually, Altman's first feature was The Delinquents in the mid-50's. 
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: pete on November 24, 2006, 08:37:07 PM
I disagree once again with GT.  I don't know why you say he's not a good filmmaker, but since I'm not going out tonight, I'll DEBATE YOU TO THE DEATH.  I don't think anyone is better at weaving strands of stories together, and organically, than altman.  I like people like Spike and Michael Mann who cut the edge with the times and keep on breaking new grounds in terms of cinematography and editing techniques, but I appreciate old timers like Altman and Herzog who just keep on doing what they do even more.

back to translating.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on November 24, 2006, 09:28:48 PM
I disagree once again with GT.  I don't know why you say he's not a good filmmaker, but since I'm not going out tonight, I'll DEBATE YOU TO THE DEATH. 

About what? I didn't present an argument against Robert Altman. I was just making a statement.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on November 24, 2006, 09:38:57 PM
Actually, Altman's first feature was The Delinquents in the mid-50's. 
that barely registered. GT was talking as if Altman preceded Scorsese like Cassavetes did in significance. Altman didn't mean shit until MASH which was 3 years after scorsese's first feature, and 3 before his breakthrough. hardly a precursor, more a contemporary.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: soixante on November 24, 2006, 10:46:01 PM
Altman's second feature in the 50's, The James Dean Story, received a fair amount of critical acclaim.  Altman's work on Combat was highly acclaimed.  A few years back, TV Guide named one of Altman's episodes of Combat the best single episode of any TV program ever.  In additiion, Altman was pretty much the first major Hollywood filmmaker to create original programming on HBO -- Tanner 88 also influenced all the political shows that followed, such as West Wing.

Scorsese's early success, while well deserved, was also the result of timing.  In the late 60's, more money was available to young filmmakers fresh out of film school.  Altman worked in TV for most of the 60's because the old studio system, up til 1967, was reluctant to take chances on new filmmakers.  After Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate were hits, young filmmakers (like Scorsese) were in high demand.  Altman did what he could do until his big opportunity came along. 

On a technical level, MASH broke a lot of ground, especially in sound design (not just the overlapping dialogue, but the ambient sound as well). 
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on November 28, 2006, 12:40:30 AM
Lindsay Lohan's "adequite" eulogy

Robert Altman's death is a tragedy for all those who love cinema. And among them is Lindsay Lohan, who just appeared in his film The Prairie Home Companion. She has released a self-penned statement of condolences that shows not only how much she appreciated Altman, but also that stars should not pen their own statements of condolences. It seems only fitting to reproduce it in full from People magazine:


I would like to send my condolences out to Catherine Altman, Robert Altman's wife, as well as all of his immediate family, close friends, co-workers, and all of his inner circle.

I feel as if I've just had the wind knocked out of me and my heart aches. If not only my heart but the heart of Mr. Altman's wife and family and many fellow actors/artists that admire him for his work and love him for making people laugh whenever and however he could.

Robert Altman made dreams possible for many independent aspiring filmmakers, as well as creating roles for countless actors.

I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career.

I learned so much from Altman and he was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I've had in several years.

The point is, he made a difference.
He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.

So every day when you wake up.
Look in the mirror and thank god for every second you have and cherish all moments.
The fighting, the anger, the drama is tedious.

Please just take each moment day by day and consider yourself lucky to breathe and feel at all and smile. Be thankful.

Life comes once, doesn't 'keep coming back' and we all take such advantage of what we have.
When we shouldn't.....

Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves' (12st book)

– Everytime there's a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on. – Altman

Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come.

If I can do anything for those who are in a very hard time right now, as I'm one of them with hearing this news, please take advantage of the fact that I'm just a phone call away.
God Bless, peace and love always.

Thank You,
"BE ADEQUITE"
Lindsay Lohan
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on November 28, 2006, 05:00:57 AM
to whoever wrote the article, if you're gonna try to own someone for writing like a stupid teenager, at least get the title of his last film right.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Ravi on November 29, 2006, 08:34:51 PM
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/55673
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: FORT on December 01, 2006, 02:57:59 AM
Quote
He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.
i've met n spoken lindsay..
yea, she's as dim as u'd think. as in; lacking in brightness.
she does keep an entourage of stupider friends around her tho..
..so that she looks less stupider in comparison.

n yo pertaining to p's last post..
did mac really call it THE Prairie Home Companion?
or was that like part of the quote.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pubrick on December 01, 2006, 04:01:23 AM
n yo pertaining to p's last post..
did mac really call it THE Prairie Home Companion?
or was that like part of the quote.
it's the writer of the article he quoted. it's dumb cos they're trying to own her and they owned themselves in the process. it's like having a great comeback all lined up and then choking on shrimp.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: gob on December 08, 2006, 03:20:48 PM
Saw McCabe and Mrs Miller for the first time yesterday. It's definitely (along with Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid) in my top westerns and probably in my top 100. Brilliant brilliant filmmaking. A great example of every department pulling their finger out and Altman seamlessly blending all the elements together.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on January 22, 2007, 04:24:48 PM
40 minute audio interview with Robert Altman from the Museum Of The Moving Image after a screening of Kansas City last year...

Robert Altman - April 29, 2006
Robert Altman’s films play with the viewer’s conceptions of American film and of America itself. Altman has created a unique cinematic style, with a trademark mixture of documentary camerawork, semi-improvised performances, multi-layered dialogue, and overlapping narratives. His films reinvent Hollywood genres while revealing the layers of spectacle that make up American culture and society. A month after winning an Honorary Academy Award, Altman opened a 22-film retrospective of his career by speaking at the Museum following a screening of Kansas City, a panoramic and jazz-like melodrama about politics, race, crime, and the movies, which is set in Altman’s home town.

http://www.movingimage.us/pinewood/mp3.php?media_id=236
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on February 16, 2007, 01:10:33 AM
Hollywood plans tributes to Robert Altman

Three months after the death of Robert Altman at age 81, several tributes have been announced for the maverick director.

Film Independent, the organizer of the annual Independent Spirit Awards, the arthouse world's version of the Oscars, has created the Robert Altman Award, given to one film's ensemble cast and director; the first one will be given out next year.

At this year's Independent Spirit Awards ceremony in Santa Monica on February 24, where Altman will compete for best director for his last film, "A Prairie Home Companion," he will also be bestowed with an honorary award "for his body of work and contribution to the ensemble genre."

Helen Mirren, Robert Downey Jr., Elliott Gould, Christopher Guest, Sally Kellerman, Andie MacDowell and John C. Reilly are among the stars scheduled to pay tribute at the ceremony.

In addition, memorial services for the director have been slated for February 20 in New York and March 4 in Los Angeles.

The New York memorial will feature such Altman collaborators as Bob Balaban, Harry Belafonte, Kevin Kline, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins, Alan Rudolph, Joan Tewkesbury, Lily Tomlin, and Gary Trudeau. Altman's children Michael, Stephen, Robert Reed and Matthew will appear, and Annie Ross, William Bolcom, Elvis Costello and Robert Altman's Kansas City Orchestra are expected to perform.

Altman's New York memorial service is set for noon February 20 at Broadway's Majestic Theater. The Los Angeles service is scheduled for 2 p.m. March 4 at the DGA Theater.

The director of such films as "MASH," "Nashville" and "The Player," received an honorary Academy Award last year for "a career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike." Altman succumbed to complications from cancer last November.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on February 21, 2007, 12:24:31 AM
(http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070220/capt.nysw10602202118.film_altman_memorial_nysw106.jpg)(http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070220/capt.nysw10702202137.film_altman_memorial_nysw107.jpg)

Altman memorial tribute is a hit
Source: Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK -- It was a tribute even the irascible Robert Altman would have loved.

On what would have been the director's 82nd birthday, three months after his death from cancer, hundreds of stars and filmmakers came to Broadway's Majestic Theater on Tuesday to pay homage to Altman.

The ensemble cast that took the stage ranged from actors Julianne Moore, Kevin Kline and Tim Robbins to collaborators Paul Thomas Anderson, Garry Trudeau and Picturehouse president Bob Berney. The equally high-wattage audience included Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Lauren Bacall, Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Patricia Neal, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci.

Onstage stories were peppered with memorable quotes from a sometimes impatient Altman, who could turn down a suggestion with "Yeah, let's not do that" or try to speed things along with "Just get to the verb." Trudeau, the writer-producer of HBO's series "Tanner '88," said Altman's first words to him were, "I eat writers for breakfast." And as "The Player" star Robbins noted, "He would not only not suffer fools, he'd make fools suffer."

But despite the "occasional volatility" Trudeau felt was likely key to Altman's creative process, each tribute invariably ended with a testament to his role as an on-set father figure, a loving husband to wife Kathryn, a director who perfectly captured the chaos of life and an actor's best friend. "You never felt Bob's disappointment or disapproval with you as an actor," his "Nashville" and "A Prairie Home Companion" star Lily Tomlin said.

Moore remembered asking him, "Was that OK?" on the "Short Cuts" set, to which he replied, "Of course, it's OK. It's exactly what you're doing. You're perfect."

The overlapping dialogue of New York filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Sidney Lumet, Michael Lynne, Christine Vachon, Pam Koffler, John Penotti, Jonathan Demme, Marcie Bloom, Dylan Leiner and John Sloss could be heard in the audience. Keith Carradine, David Brown, Cynthia Nixon, Buck Henry, Lee Grant, Sam Cohn, Richard Kind, Sally Kellerman, Lori Singer, Richard E. Grant and Kurt Vonnegut also were in attendance.

The event opened with a series of photos from throughout Altman's life and wrapped with a montage from his films. In between were performances from "Short Cuts" star and jazz singer Annie Ross (singing the Depression-era tune "One Meatball") and a song from an opera based on his film "A Wedding," written by William Bolcom and performed by Lauren Flanigan.

Sandcastle 5 producers Wren Arthur and Joshua Astrachan gave details of the film Altman was set to start filming Feb. 12, an adaptation of the endurance-test contest docu "Hands on a Hardbody." Meryl Streep, Billy Bob Thornton, Jack Black, Jack White, Chris Rock, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tomlin and Tommy Lee Jones were set to appear in the two-week shoot.

"In our last conversation, he was as clear and present as ever," Arthur said in one of the event's most touching speeches. "Bob walked off this planet with his boots on. He was the most inspiring person right up to the end."

Set up for release at Picturehouse, "Hardbody" might be restarted with another director in a style paying tribute to Altman, Berney said after the ceremony.

Others offering reminisces were Altman's sons Michael, Stephen, Robert and Matthew, along with Bob Balaban, Joan Tewkesbury, Alan Rudolph, E.L. Doctorow and Harry Belafonte. The latter revealed Altman's one-time plans to make what would have likely been his most controversial film, "Cork," tackling the subject of blackface and minstrel shows.

Tewkesbury and Robbins noted that the homage would have been the perfect Altman project. "It's called 'The Memorial,' and we are making the film as we speak," Robbins said. "There are cameras everywhere with subplots, subterfuge, whispered conversations and backstage preening. He's going to find us out, and God will laugh."

Added actor Bud Cort of the Kansas City, Mo., native: "Bob would love to be here. It's not only his birthday, it's also Fat Tuesday. He'd also see a chance to secure additional territories."

But Cort, who Altman discovered and cast in his 1970 films "MASH" and "Brewster McCloud," ended on a serious note by summing up what was lost three months ago. "There's a hole in the acting community that I pray to God can be filled," he said. "I don't think it can. Prove me wrong."

(http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070220/capt.nysw11402202130.film_altman_memorial_nysw114.jpg)(http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20070220/capt.nysw10902202122.altman_memorial_nysw109.jpg)
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pas on April 17, 2009, 07:18:06 AM
Very long thread for a no search function : is Quintet worth a watch ?
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pwaybloe on April 17, 2009, 02:21:05 PM
I couldn't get through it. 
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: modage on April 17, 2009, 03:41:04 PM
the thread that is, i'm sure quintet is great!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: New Feeling on April 18, 2009, 10:41:52 AM
Quintet is hard to get through but I thought the ending was cool enough to make it worth the effort.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Alexandro on April 18, 2009, 03:37:40 PM
I couldn't finish Quintet. I was tired, not in the mood, it seemed just to be going nowhere.

The Long Goodbye, that's a masterpiece. A Wedding, a bold and for the most part effective attemp to just go bigger than MASH. A Perfect Couple I thought was very sweet and well done, but if yo happen to dislike the music you're doomed.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Pas on April 19, 2009, 12:44:31 AM
Well I've started Quintet after all...holy shit it feels like work just watching it. A lot of plotholes (why are they so well fed ???) but all in all it's not that bad. Reminds me of Le Dernier Combat by Luc Besson. Very less good.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: MacGuffin on October 30, 2009, 05:12:42 AM
Get out the boxing gloves: Richard Schickel vs. Robert Altman
Source: Patrick Goldstein; Los Angeles Times

I usually try to avoid getting into dust-ups with critics writing in my own newspaper, but I can't avoid coming to the late Robert Altman's defense after reading Richard Schickel's nasty, dismissive review of "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchell Zuckoff, a new book about the man who brought us "MASH," "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts," "Gosford Park" and any number of other smart, funny and challenging films.

My primary problem with the review is that if Schickel has no respect for Altman as a filmmaker, how would he possibly be in a position to give a fair review to an exhaustive biography of the man? And it's certainly obvious that Schickel loathes Altman's work, since he starts out by ridiculing "MASH" as "a basically witless film," then moves on to trash the rest of Altman's oeuvre, saying that "misanthropy -- with a strong admixture of misogyny -- essentially substitutes for ideas in his movies and his characters are, in effect, characterless."

 Schickel seems especially aggrieved that Altman was a boozer and a pothead who -- as Schickel puts it in the first sentence of his review --  "never passed an entirely sober day in his life." In fact, Schickel seems obsessed with Altman's licentiousness, admonishing Altman over and over for his freewheeling ways, as if he were the first filmmaker ever to use and abuse a variety of intoxicants. He comes off like a schoolmarm, rapping Altman on the knuckles for having a good time, calling him "permissive," "addled by his addictions" and claiming that even in "MASH," everyone in the movie "appeared to be perpetually, mumblingly stoned."

Largely because Zuckoff writes admiringly of Altman's work, as have so many other critics, Schickel throws the filmmaker's biographer under the bus, claiming that Zuckoff "basically knows nothing about filmmaking and film history." I could go on, but you get the point. It would be an understatement to say that Altman admirers were outraged by Schickel's dismissive attitude to one of the great filmmakers of the late 20th century. Speaking to this point, I received a letter from Alan Rudolph, who linked up with Altman as an assistant director on "The Long Goodbye" before carving out an important career as a filmmaker himself, making such movies as "Welcome to L.A.," "Choose Me" and "Afterglow."

Rudolph's entire letter is attached at the bottom of this post, but here is his artful description of Altman's special gifts as a filmmaker. As Rudolph writes:

"Altman was an innovator. His films might seem casual, but intentionally so. They were behavioral in appearance, but carefully crafted with ideas, and strong on consequence. Having served as a screenwriter for Bob, I can personally attest to his rigorous attention to writing. He just didn't want the result to seem written.... Bob knew that continuously working in the rough was the best way to find his jewel. His biting humor never spared reality nor himself. The painful absurdity of it all. There was nobody like him during his professional peak, and there isn't now."

Well said, Mr. Rudolph. As for me, all I would ask of anyone who might be on the fence about Altman is to seek out one of his many adventurous films and watch for yourself.

You'll never be bored and you'll almost always be amazed by what an original, unsentimental approach Altman had to the art of cinematic storytelling. The UCLA Film & Television Archive has a salute to Altman coming up soon, starting with a Nov. 13 screening of "The Long Goodbye," his 1973 comedy that is a personal favorite of mine.

I'll keep you posted on future events as they unfold. Now, here's Rudolph's letter in defense of Altman:


Dear Editor,

Obviously your reviewer waited safely in his lair until Robert Altman
moved on, then bravely said what's been eating at the traditionalist
core of his film soul for years.

He negates Altman because of his life style. Would he dismiss
Huston's drinking or Hitchcock's sexual repression as influences on
their film gifts? Basically, this review says Altman was something new
and different when he made his mark, but the reviewer never really
bought it. So now Altman must be overrated and unimportant. What
has been universally accepted -- that Altman was the one of the greatest
American directors of his generation, an honor automatically inserting
his name into every serious evaluation of cinema forever -- your
reviewer claims was wayward opinion. He simply knows better.

Altman was an innovator. His films might seem casual, but
intentionally so. They were behavioral in appearance, but carefully
crafted with ideas, and strong on consequence. Having served as a
screenwriter for Bob, I can personally attest to his rigorous attention
to writing. He just didn't want the result to seem written. This wasn't a
dismissal of screenplays or writers, but Altman creating. Your reviewer
belongs to the legion of unsuccessful detractors of important artists
when bold work never before encountered was first unveiled. Some just
can't break with the past.

Directors, writers and actors don't have to replicate Altman for him to
have impacted their sensibilities. The power of a major artist is that
he or she is a force, standard, guide. What your reviewer doesn't grasp is
that great artists always lead the way. The torch gets passed, the
message out, the influence permanent. You don't have to be aware of
originators to be modified by them. Bob's insistence on doing things
his own way was essential. It's the major struggle. And Altman won.
Which is the ultimate defeat for the studio ruling class and
establishment apologists. Your reviewer uses Jules Feiffer's troubles
with Bob as an example of overindulgence, but glibly dismisses
Feiffer's description of Altman as a genius. In the critic's mind, Bob
wasn't the right kind of genius.

Altman never changed. To have "comebacks" shows he never went
away. Some of his films might have been less than others, but each had
the stuff of brilliance, and was part of a larger collection. Bob knew
that continuously working in the rough was the best way to find the
jewel. His biting humor never spared reality nor himself. The painful
absurdity of it all. There was nobody like him during his professional
peak, and there isn't now.

Alan Rudolph
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Alexandro on October 30, 2009, 09:39:08 AM
I read that the other day. Schickel's words are so vitriolic I thought he was going to be completely ignored or someone would come out and say it like it is.

To claim shit like that a critic needs to have more than an opinion, and even then his arguments have to be more than convincing, they need to have a point. We've seen that a million times here with GT, who drops some bombs on us like "2001 is only good for the filmmaking", or "the acting in the Godfather is bad", or "Dances with Wolves is better than Goodfellas", or "There will be Blood" is not very good, or "Inglorious Basterds is a piece of shit", and after we all roll our eyes or get angry at the guy he goes on and makes some compelling arguments that, if not for any better purpose (20, 000 words couldn't convince anyone that Dances with Wolves is better than Goodfellas, including Kevin Costner and the legion of idiots who gave it the oscar over the Scorsese pic), stir up conversation and thought on films we all hold as sacred cows.

Schickel is just aiming to piss people off or something. No arguments except what Rudolph describes in his letter. Altman was wrong because he smoked pot? Incredible. I hope Paul Thomas Anderson comes out on this one too.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: pete on October 30, 2009, 12:08:01 PM
all he wants is for someone to google him.  and I just did.  schickel you won this round!
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Neil on January 24, 2012, 03:06:25 PM
I just watched Short Cuts for the first time

I'd never seen this, and for a film just over 3 hrs long, I was happy to be engrossed the entire time. I love the idea of using the camera to dolly into nearly everyone's small things being reconciled or realized and this goes on for nearly 2 hrs and 45 minutes and then when we start to dolly out from some of the characters several times in the end, the moves become very effective.  I enjoyed how dark this film was.  I think I enjoyed it so much because the lack of exposition.  You gain a distaste for some of the characters but only insofar as their current situation allows.  I like that idea of being self contained.  

Julianne Moore kills it in this.  Her explosion near the end, where everyone seems to be melting down was completely on point.  I remember seeing 'Closer' for the first time and thinking how effective the scene with clive owen and julia roberts talking about cheating was. It shook me.  I'd never seen such a harsh confession, because it's truly a tough situation to be in.  The details you want to know are the same one's that will ultimately devastate you and you wonder if the details are even necessary.

To me that's the essence of the film to me.  The devil being in the details.  The great thing about this is that Altman understands that showing the devils face isn't necessary to evoke whatever emotion you want to show.  You reveal the puzzle pieces and conceptualize the finished puzzle.  If you knew any more about Gene than the film allows the ending would feel completely different when he retrieves the dog.  This is why Moore's scene works so well when she's confessing.  There are so many early details that start out seeming innocent.  She said more words that show her innocence and those details don't really mean anything, but it is when she gets to the sexual section, she not only down plays it a bit, but it becomes clear where those details live within the characters.  So,  we see the films essence again.  The short cut of it is much more effective than a complete exposition.  

I think my problem with talking about film is that i treat it very stream of consciousness instead of taking time to refine my thoughts and such.  Oh well, anyway; Great film.  Very effective for me.


I've never read any of Carvers stories, but I hope they are as entertaining as this.

EDIT: I was thinking a bit more on this film and then it hit me.  One could view this under a post modern lens and say that all of the fragmented narratives are what life is all about.  There is meaning within the lack of a grand narrative.  Just thought that might be worth mentioning.
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: wilder on April 04, 2014, 05:05:23 PM
UCLA's Robert Altman retrospective (http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-robert-altman-retrospective-ucla,0,6609900,full.story) begins June 29, 2014 runs April - June 2014
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Cloudy on December 17, 2014, 08:49:45 PM
“California Split,” 40 Years Later: An Interview with Elliott Gould, George Segal, and Joseph Walsh in Three Parts
http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/california-split-40-years-later-interview-elliott-gould-george-segal-joseph-walsh-three-parts/ (http://lareviewofbooks.org/interview/california-split-40-years-later-interview-elliott-gould-george-segal-joseph-walsh-three-parts/)

"Gould shows up first. He’s every inch the movie star, absolutely fascinating, disarming, but down to earth, sensitive and warm — and yet, you can’t read him easily. He’s mysterious, but intently philosophical and, of course, still very funny. Amused and bemused — that Gould way of virile masculinity mixed with offbeat, unexpected humor and intelligence that’s gone unmatched. No one is like Elliott Gould. Screenwriter Walsh follows, apologizing for being late (he’s only a few minutes late); he’s gracious, sharp, and comical — and ever the charming gambler. A guy full of stories. Wonderful stories. He always knows the score but is exceedingly generous. You get the feeling a lot of gamblers are. Segal is next, a bit more reserved, but once he opens up, a man who will burst out with a laugh and a quick, brainy quip or observation. You see his Blume from Blume in Love — you see him observe and soak in the discussion. You see him think. You can see why he’s a star."
Title: Re: Robert Altman
Post by: Neil on February 17, 2016, 05:11:58 AM
Well, just finished "Nashville" for the first time. What an ambitious film. From start to finish. Wow.