Robert Altman

Robert Altman – The Long Goodbye (1973)

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Director Robert Altman, famous for his ability to turn any genre inside out, takes aim at film noir with this evocative adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel. Altman’s Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is a relatively unsuccessful private eye living and working in 1970s Los Angeles. Stepping into the shoes of the notorious detective, Gould delivers a captivating performance that is the definition of ’70s hip: he spends the entire film mumbling to himself, smoking cigarettes, and making wisecracks to everyone he encounters. This time around, Marlowe decides to investigate the supposed suicide of his friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton). Read More »

Robert Altman – A Perfect Couple (1979)

Ebert’s plot description:
“A sometime rock singer and a middle-aged Greek-American businessman who meet through a videotape computer dating service…
The movie’s mostly about the perfect couple of the title, a matching of Second City veteran Paul Dooley and Broadway actress Marta Heflin. He’s part of a genuinely bizarre family presided over by a ruthless Greek father who requires compulsory attendance at such family rituals as concerts and dinners. She plays a somewhat forlorn member of a music group, ‘Keepin’ em Off the Streets,’ which is part rock band, part extended communal family.” Read More »

Robert Altman – Nashville (1975)

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Robert Altman’s brilliantly freewheeling satire on the country and western music industry made little impression on the American box office in 1975. This was the year, remember, when a giant shark in Jaws inaugurated the modern blockbuster era. But three decades on, Nashville feels like one of the outstanding accomplishments of ‘New Hollywood’. 24 characters – including singers, musicians, agents, publicists, journalists, and assorted wannabees and hangers-on – converge on the capital of Tennessee, as a confused nation prepares to celebrate its bicentenary. Read More »

Robert Altman – California Split [+Extras] (1974)

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California Split

By Roger Ebert / January 1, 1974

They meet in a California poker parlor. One wins, despite a heated discussion with a loser over whether or not a dealt card hit the floor. They drink. They become friends after they are jointly mugged in the parking lot by the sore loser.

They did not know each other before, and they don’t know much about each other now, but they know all they need to know: They’re both compulsive gamblers, and the dimensions of the world of gambling equal the dimensions of the world they care anything about. It is a small world and a flat one, like one of those maps of the world before Columbus, and they are constantly threatened with falling over the edge. Read More »

Robert Altman – Short Cuts [+Extras] (1993)

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From two American masters comes a movie like no other

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While helicopters overhead spray against a Medfly infestation a group of Los Angeles lives intersect, some casually, some to more lasting effect. Whilst they go out to concerts and jazz clubs and even have their pools cleaned, they also lie, drink, and cheat. Death itself seems never to be far away, even on a fishing trip. Read More »

Robert Altman – Tanner ’88 (1988)

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Summary: In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a presidential candidate, ran him alongside the other hopefuls during the primary season, and presented their media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and TV news. The result was the groundbreaking Tanner ’88, a piercing satire of media-age American politics, in which actors Michael Murphy (as contender Jack Tanner) and Cynthia Nixon (as his daughter) rub elbows on the campaign trail with real-life political players Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, Bob Dole, Ralph Nader, Kitty Dukakis, and Gloria Steinem, among many others. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the complete eleven-episode television series—more relevant today than ever. Read More »

Robert Altman – The Player (1992)

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The Player is a 1992 satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own novel of the same name. It is the story of Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), a Hollywood studio executive who gets away with murdering a wannabe screenwriter who Mill believes is sending him death threats.

The film, loaded with movie references and Hollywood insider jokes, is a critique of the Hollywood movie business, which treats artists poorly and sacrifices quality for commercial success. It might seem surprising that around sixty big Hollywood names agreed to play cameos as themselves in the film, but Altman himself admits that “it is a very mild satire” and it offended no one.[1] Read More »