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Robert Altman

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Reply #180 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).


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Reply #181 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.
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Reply #182 on: November 21, 2006, 02:56:45 PM
Fuck.... just found out on IMDb. I was having a pretty good day until just now...


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Reply #183 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."
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Reply #184 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.


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Reply #185 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.

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Reply #186 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.


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Reply #187 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."
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Reply #188 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.


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Reply #189 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.

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Reply #190 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.


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Reply #191 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.
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Reply #192 on: November 24, 2006, 07:06:58 PM
Actually, Altman's first feature was The Delinquents in the mid-50's. 
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Reply #193 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.

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Reply #194 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.