Author Topic: Robert Altman  (Read 32933 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +639
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #135 on: January 11, 2006, 04:51:27 PM »
0
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.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

modage

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 10784
  • Respect: +726
    • Floating Heads
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #136 on: January 11, 2006, 05:00:27 PM »
0
ooh, i hope he goes.  and i hope his speech is awesome. 
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

soixante

  • The Magic Flight
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
  • Respect: +5
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #137 on: January 11, 2006, 07:40:02 PM »
0
Well, it's about time.

When Scorsese makes it to 80, the Academy will give him a lifetime achievement award.
Music is your best entertainment value.

The Perineum Falcon

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1161
  • Respect: +16
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #138 on: January 12, 2006, 11:15:04 AM »
0
ooh, i hope he goes.  and i hope his speech is awesome. 
i hope he doesn't die before then. :oops:
We often went to the cinema, the screen would light up and we would tremble, but also, increasingly often, Madeleine and I were disappointed. The images had dated, they jittered, and Marilyn Monroe had gotten terribly old. We were sad, this wasn't the film we had dreamed of, this wasn't the total film that we all carried around inside us, this film that we would have wanted to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, that we would have wanted to live.

Astrostic

  • The Vision Quest
  • **
  • Posts: 100
  • Respect: 0
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #139 on: January 13, 2006, 12:45:41 AM »
0
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.

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +639
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #140 on: March 05, 2006, 02:28:21 PM »
0
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.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

Garam

  • The Meeting with the Goddess
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Respect: +232
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #141 on: March 05, 2006, 05:36:02 PM »
0
Everytime someone posts in this thread, I take a deep breath in, wondering if he's popped it.

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +639
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #142 on: March 05, 2006, 06:37:01 PM »
0
new banner idea:

INGMAR BERGMAN ROBERT ALTMAN: STILL NOT DEAD
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

jigzaw

  • The Road of Trials
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • Respect: +2
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #143 on: March 05, 2006, 11:41:23 PM »
0
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

Ghostboy

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 4893
  • Respect: +381
    • http://www.road-dog-productions.com/
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #144 on: March 05, 2006, 11:45:51 PM »
0
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 (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.

samsong

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1213
  • Respect: +219
    • http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&sub=All&id=samsong
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #145 on: March 26, 2006, 01:23:29 PM »
0
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.

grand theft sparrow

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
  • NO SLEEP TIL BROKER!
  • Respect: +7
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #146 on: April 20, 2006, 10:07:22 AM »
0
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.

cine

  • Pretttttyyy, Pretttyyyyy Pretty Good
  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 5553
  • Respect: +281
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #147 on: April 27, 2006, 03:17:58 PM »
0
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:

meatwad

  • The Magic Flight
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
  • Respect: +1
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #148 on: April 28, 2006, 07:20:52 AM »
0

i'll see you there, freaks!  :shock:

i'll be there as well. got my ticket a few weeks ago

eward

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 2831
  • Respect: +20
Re: Robert Altman
« Reply #149 on: April 28, 2006, 08:08:11 AM »
0
fuck, i wish i could go.  i don't think i'll have many more oppurtunity's opportunities to meet him.
"Do you laugh at jealousy?"

"No, I don't even laugh at seasickness! I happen to regard jealousy as the seasickness of passion."

 

DMCA & Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy