Tuesday, August 04, 2015
One of the things we did at the Traverse City Film Festival was to attend a panel on Robert Altman. The festival showed two of his movies: NASHVILLE and M*A*S*H. The panel was composed of the curator of the Altman collection at University of Michigan, Geraldine Chaplin, a technical guy, Michael Murphy, Mrs. Altman and the documentarian who was presenting his film on Altman at the festival. It was fun listening to reminiscences of Altman. I had never realized how much TV he did before MASH came along.
I guess my favorite Altman film is MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER or THE PLAYER because it is so much about how movies got made. But a case can be made for so many of his films. What a great run he had at least twice.
What is your favorite Altman film? MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER is right up there, right?CALIFORNIA SPLIT, THE LONG GOODBYE, SHORT CUTS. The list goes on.
Posted by pattinase (abbott) at 8:00 AM
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I like a lot of them, but NASHVILLE is probably my favorite.
NASHVILLE. And I really like Gosford Park, too.
Patti, I think GOSFORD PARK is the only Altman film I have seen. I'd like to see M.A.S.H. partly because we enjoyed the Alda Alda starring television series, though I'm sure there is no comparison.
It is very different in that it is more light-hearted than the series became. Also certainly more stylish. It more closely follows the book, which pointed out the absurdity of war but wasn't particularly anti-war. The series became a protest of the Vietnam War. I like both a lot.
Funny--I just made a comment about "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" on Bill's blog this morning. That would be one of my favorites, especially its haunting use of Leonard Cohen's music. Speaking of Altman and music, I really liked "The Long Goodbye" too, even though the ending differed somewhat from the book, because of Altman's intriguing soundtrack: Different versions of the song, "The Long Goodbye" (music by John Williams, can't remember who wrote the lyrics--but it's a great song).
Just checked: John Williams and Johnny Mercer. You can't go wrong with that combination!
I'm not a huge Altman fan. I hated LONG GOODBYE. Not a lover of McCABE AND MRS. MILLER either. In fact, on my list of movies that I rewatch you will not find any Altman movies, though I did like many of them the first time.
I guess I'd say I don't have a favorite.
Not even M*A*S*H. I bet you are not an Elliott Gould fan. Phil is not either.
Not really. I did sort of like MASH but prefer the TV series. I liked THE PLAYER even though I'm not a big Tim Robbins fan. I also like GOSFORD PARK. NASHVILLE was good if sometimes overrated by critics. I'd probably have to watch it again to give it another chance.
THE LONG GOODBYE is still my favorite. MASH is a very interesting movie. I think the anti-authority comedy has not aged all that well, but the sense of melancholy under the "laughter" still comes through pretty strongly.
THE PLAYER is as good a satire as I can remember seeing. I have heard from many sources that those of us who are not on the inside of Hollywood missed quite a few of the jokes, and it's still that good.
Not a big Altman fan but I did enjoy Cookie's Fortune. Probably because there were so many great actresses in it :)
Guess I've never seen an altman film
Now COOKIE'S FORTUNE is another one I know I saw but I don't have a clear memory of it. It is sort of worrisome that I remember the early films better but maybe because I have seen them more times. Nice point about the melancholy, Graham. Now I want to see all of them again.
THE PLAYER is great fun though I think SHORT CUTS is even better. H ehad a pretty amazing run actually - NASHVILLE may end up being the one he is truly remembered for, while LONG GOODBYE is the one I have wanted to re-watch the most often.
Sounds like a great panel. – As to favorites, mine would have to be his episodes of the 1960s TV show COMBAT (a WW2 series with Vic Morrow). I was surprised to see his name when the show recently ran again on cable. And I wondered if Altman was the one who set the B&W documentary style for the first couple of seasons?
McCabe & Mrs Miller and The Player are my two favorites. I also like California Split and The Long Goodbye. Have never cared for Gosford Park. And find Popeye highly underrated.
Now that you have reminded me of so many of his films, I want to go re-watch them all. I have not seen all of them, but of the ones I have seen, I liked them all. MASH, The Long Goodbye, Gosford Park, and The Player are favorites.
I forgot he did GOSFORD PARK. That was a pretty good movie, although I think my expectations going in were that the mystery elements would figure more strongly.
I'm not a big Altman fan either, Patti. I have trouble understanding what people are saying in his movies, though for the life of me I can't remember which ones I've seen. Not many I know. I do remember GOSFORD PARK but didn't like it much. Though I always enjoy Maggie Smith in anything she cares to do. But who was the murderer?????
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