Robert Altman

Robert Altman – Fool For Love (1985)

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“At the center of Sam Shepard’s ‘Fool for Love’ are two people whose hurts are so deep, whose angers are so real, that they can barely talk about what they really feel. That does not stop them from talking, on and on into the hurtful night, and eventually we can put together their stories, using what they have said, and especially what they have not said.

One of the characters is a blond slattern named May, whose natural beauty has been rearranged into a parody of the classic movie baby doll — Brigitte Bardot, say. The other character is named Eddie, and he is a cowboy who drives through the empty Texas reaches in the obligatory pickup truck with the obligatory rifle rack behind his head and the obligatory horse trailer behind the truck. One night May is working behind the counter of a restaurant in a crumbling motel, and she sees Eddie’s pickup coming down the road. She runs and hides. Standing in the shadows of the rundown motel is an older man (Harry Dean Stanton) who simply waits and watches. Read More »

Robert Altman – McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

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Quote:
“In the opening shots of Robert Altman’s “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” the camera follows John McCabe (Warren Beatty) making his way on horseback through the green-brown hills of the Pacific Northwest. As the camera pans slowly to the right, it picks up the credits, hanging in the rain-soaked air. They don’t fade in, as most credits do. Like everything else in “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” they seem to have existed before we took our seats in the theater, before Altman started filming.

“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is a western that, as shot by Vilmos Zsigmond, looks like old photographs lit from within, as though the subjects had created a sort of afterlife by finding a way to project their essence onto the film. The movie haunts you like a ballad whose tune you remember but whose words hang just beyond reach. And like listening to a ballad, we know the outcome of the events we’re watching was foretold long ago, but we’re helpless to do anything but surrender to the tale. Read More »

Robert Altman – That Cold Day in the Park (1969)

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From the New York Times:
IF there is a sicker, and more tedious, overbaked and inane serving of psychosexual nonsense this season than “That Cold Day in the Park,” it will have to go far to beat the Sandy Dennis vehicle that opened yesterday at the Orleans and Plaza Theaters.

The kindest thing to say of this misguided drama, about a wealthy, thirtyish spinster, who installs, then imprisons a coltish youth in her apartment, is that it caused a healthy flurry of filming activity in Vancouver, British Columbia, by an enterprising American production unit. Good color, a sprinkling of Canadian accents and some unfamiliar-looking urban settings provide a minor freshness of background flavoring. But that is the only fresh ingredient, unlike sturdy Canadian-made features of recent years, such as “The Fox,” also with Miss Dennis, and “The Luck of Ginger Coffey.” Read More »

Robert Altman – Nightmare in Chicago (1964)

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This serial killer suspense thriller by Robert Altman was originally broadcast as an episode of Kraft Mystery Theater, then expanded into a longer cut and released to theaters. It stars Charles McGraw, Ted Knight, and Carroll O’Connor, among others, and features an orchestral musical score by John Williams (billed as “Johnny Williams”) before he became famous with his scores for Jaws, Star Wars, and Superman. Read More »