Tag Archives: Andie MacDowell

Robert Altman – Robert Altman – Short Cuts (1993)

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Given Robert Altman’s fondness for working with ensemble casts, it comes as no surprise that his films often provide a shambolic cross-section of a particular institution or locale, whether the titular mobile army hospital of M*A*S*H, the indigenous country music scene in the great network narrative Nashville, or the intersecting lives of 20-odd Angelenos in 1993’s Short Cuts. For Short Cuts, Altman and co-screenwriter Frank Barhydt mashed together nine stories and a poem from “dirty realist” writer Raymond Carver, shifting their setting from Carver’s beloved Pacific Northwest to suburban Los Angeles—a place Altman clearly feels much more ambivalent about. Read More »

Steven Soderbergh – Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

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With his provocative feature debut, twenty-six-year-old Steven Soderbergh trained his focus on the complexities of human intimacy and deception in the modern age. Housewife Ann (Andie MacDowell) feels distant from her lawyer husband, John (Peter Gallagher), who is sleeping with her sister, Cynthia (Laura San Giacomo). When John’s old friend Graham (a magnetic, Cannes-award-winning James Spader) comes to town, Ann is drawn to the soft-spoken outsider, eventually uncovering his startling private obsession: videotaping women as they confess their deepest desires. A piercingly intelligent and flawlessly performed chamber piece, in which the video camera becomes a charged metaphor for the characters’ isolation, the Palme d’Or–winning sex, lies, and videotape changed the landscape of American film, helping pave the way for the thriving independent scene of the 1990s. Read More »