A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

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Jeff
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#26 Post by Jeff » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:29 pm

A Prarie Home Companion will be opening the SXSW festival this year.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#27 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:54 pm

a nice interview with Altman: http://film.guardian.co.uk/interview/in ... 75,00.html

Apparently, he's working on a production of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic.

Here's a good excerpt:
"I'm getting a bit long in the tooth," he says wistfully, "and my parts are wearing out. I can put in a seven-hour but not a 12-hour day. But I've got lots of ideas I'm working on at the moment. I'm just apprehensive about the way cinema as a whole is going. The business is run by accountants who, as long as a film makes $40bn, don't care if it kills the industry. Everything can also be shown so quickly in the home - which means that the people who go to movie theatres are teenagers who just want to get away from home. The audience has changed and the content has changed to suit that audience. But, even if I'll be an outdated item very shortly, I intend to carry on as long as I can."

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#28 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:59 am

The poster:

Image

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dekadetia
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#29 Post by dekadetia » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:09 pm

The website is up, with a trailer.

marty

#30 Post by marty » Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:25 pm

I saw PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION at Berlin Film Festival. I thought the film was terrific although not to the same level of excellence as NASHVILLE, McCABE AND MRSS MILLLER or SHORT CUTS.

It will be interesting to see how it does in the US and elsewhere as all of the film takes place on stage and backstage of a theatre as the radio play is being transmitted. Streep and Tomlin are terrific especially when they sing and Harrelson and Reilly have a hilarious singing duet.

Overall: 7/10.

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#31 Post by Brian Oblivious » Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:40 pm

It's the closing night film at the San Francisco International Film Festival. May 4th.

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Lino
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#32 Post by Lino » Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:46 am


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Fletch F. Fletch
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#33 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:52 pm

A nice interview with Altman in Filmmaker magazine:

http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/spring ... e_show.php

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tavernier
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#34 Post by tavernier » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:46 pm

OK, now that Armond White has weighed in with his analysis (unsurprisingly, he calls it another Altman masterpiece), maybe someone can care to explain what this means:

Maybe now that Robert Altman has made his The Golden Coach with A Prairie Home Companion, his detractors can finally admit how well his career has matched that of Jean Renoir. For the uninitiated, that's intended as high compliment: Renoir being the standard of European art-movie humanism and deceptive formal complexity; Altman being just as formally innovative and spiritually perceptive.

or how about this:

Why should 2006 moviegoers care? Because Renoir's format allows Altman to summarize the condition of our contemporary culture. That is, Altman's seasoned perspective results in a completely original work of art.

or this:

The avant-garde miracle of Prairie honors Renoir's bequest: that complexity, warmth and seeming spontaneity make the highest, truest form of cinema.

For those of you brave enough to want to read White's whole insightful take, enjoy: http://www.nypress.com/19/23/film/ArmondWhite.cfm

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John Cope
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#35 Post by John Cope » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:17 pm

Well, I'm a great admirer of Armond's but even I don't agree with him all the time--I am, however, generally sympathetic to his point of view. It helps to remember that he always speaks in hyperbolic language, which I find endearing especially when I do agree with him. As I've said elsewhere, I admire him partially just for the simple fact that he absolutely does not mince words. To take your points one at a time
Maybe now that Robert Altman has made his The Golden Coach with A Prairie Home Companion, his detractors can finally admit how well his career has matched that of Jean Renoir. For the uninitiated, that's intended as high compliment: Renoir being the standard of European art-movie humanism and deceptive formal complexity; Altman being just as formally innovative and spiritually perceptive.
Why not compare Altman to Renoir? Quite frankly, I don't see anything so egregious here.
Why should 2006 moviegoers care? Because Renoir's format allows Altman to summarize the condition of our contemporary culture. That is, Altman's seasoned perspective results in a completely original work of art.
Here, of course, is the overstatement, but one I'd assume most of us could sympathize with. There are no completely original works of art and Armond knows this. Otherwise, once again, fair enough.
The avant-garde miracle of Prairie honors Renoir's bequest: that complexity, warmth and seeming spontaneity make the highest, truest form of cinema.
I hate to sound redundant but I'm pretty much in agreement with him here, too. Prairie Home Companion may not quite be a "miracle" but his contention of what constitutes the finest in cinema is a legitimate and worthwhile observation. It's never going to be objectively true, of course, or unanimously agreed upon but I'm sure Armond knows this as well.

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tavernier
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#36 Post by tavernier » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:22 pm

John Cope wrote:Well, I'm a great admirer of Armond's
So you're the one! #-o

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#37 Post by leo goldsmith » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:34 pm

tavernier wrote:OK, now that Armond White has weighed in with his analysis (unsurprisingly, he calls it another Altman masterpiece), maybe someone can care to explain what this means:
Funny he makes no mention of how LiLo practically ruins the film.

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tavernier
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#38 Post by tavernier » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:37 pm

leo goldsmith wrote:
tavernier wrote:OK, now that Armond White has weighed in with his analysis (unsurprisingly, he calls it another Altman masterpiece), maybe someone can care to explain what this means:
Funny he makes no mention of how LiLo practically ruins the film.
I didn't think she ruined the film: she's barely in it enough!

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#39 Post by leo goldsmith » Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:48 pm

Oh, I'm kidding. She's totally fine ... until the end. In any case, it would be nice to read some Armondian hyperbolics about her, too.

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tavernier
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#40 Post by tavernier » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:33 pm

leo goldsmith wrote:Oh, I'm kidding. She's totally fine ... until the end. In any case, it would be nice to read some Armondian hyperbolics about her, too.
He rarely notices actors - Altman (or Spielberg, or DePalma, or Bertolucci....) might as well be playing all the parts as well as directing.

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#41 Post by David Ehrenstein » Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:10 am

Actually it's less The Golden Coach than it is French CanCan. In any event comparing Altman to Renoir at this stage of his career isn't overreaching in any way.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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#42 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:25 pm


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#43 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:25 pm

leo goldsmith wrote:Oh, I'm kidding. She's totally fine ... until the end. In any case, it would be nice to read some Armondian hyperbolics about her, too.
I thought she held her own up there, which obviously isn't easy. It was cool to see L.Q. Jones, who I think is underrated as a supporting actor.

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#44 Post by Michael Kerpan » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:56 pm

A mostly inoffensive, mostly entertaining, insubstantial bit of fluff. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin outshined the rest of the cast here. (Curious that I like Streep so much in this comic part -- as I find her hard to take in more "dramatic" fare). Lohan is really pretty lame here. Not sorry I went to see it -- but I won't need to see it again -- ever.

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#45 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:46 am

Saw this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Streep and Tomlin really are the best part of the movie, but this is a film made up of great moments but doesn't really work as a whole. There is some odd editing here and there (particularly the sandwich/mayonnaise scene seems to jump abruptly). Kevin Kline was fantastic and it's really depressing to think this is the same guy who signed on to to Pink Panther remake. His scene in the booth with Tommy Lee Jones in particular was really great and made me with the for a feature length with the two of them together. I honestly had no problem with Lindsay Lohan and am not sure what everyone else was complaining about. Her character was written as an angsty teen (complete with an "Extinct is Forever" t-shirt and Make Trade Fair logo on her hand - which were both nice touches) and she nailed it pretty right on. Her song wasn't great, but it was a nice way to close the show. I actually liked her character quite a bit more than the Angel character who as the literal symbol of the death of the show I found to be a bit overbearing.

I would like to add that I had my single worst movie going experience in probably a few years at this movie, and it confirms my belief that despite articles about younger, noisy patrons with their cell phones and children and blackberrys that "older" audiences are the absolute worst for talking through movies. Myself and my girlfriend were clearly the youngest people in the theatre by at least two and a half decades and the people directly behind me and a little further away would not shut the hell up. After three times of asking them to please stop I actually had to wait for a pause in the movie and scream "To the people who are talking in the back of the theatre, will you please shut up!" and of course, the talking only abated for about three minutes. Whenever these kinds of experiences happen, it's always been with older crowds. I've never experienced this kind of boneheaded rudeness with younger and teenage crowds. I was at a screening of Syriana with three really young, baggy pants teenagers in the front row (who I was sure the movie would bore to tears leading to talking/texting) who were totally silent and attentive.

So be forewarned, and if you haven't seen it yet maybe hit a late screening after the old timers have gone to bed.

Sorry, just had to rant.

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Re: A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

#46 Post by sevenarts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:03 pm

My review, very late.

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Fletch F. Fletch
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Re: A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

#47 Post by Fletch F. Fletch » Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:26 pm

Virginia Madsen looks back at working on the film.

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Re: A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

#48 Post by chizbooga » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:08 pm

i know its kind of late to be asking this, but did anyone else find this movie as moving as i did, particularily towards the end? i can't imagine any director having a last film better suited to who they are, or more heartening. in its own way, i think it ranks with john huston's "The Dead"

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Re: A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

#49 Post by HarryLong » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:31 pm

I flat-out adored PHC.
And that reminds me: I must watch it again soon.

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Svevan
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Re: A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)

#50 Post by Svevan » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:38 pm

The whole concept for this film is bizarre to me, but seeing it in execution I thought it was beautiful. The backstage/on-stage dichotomy (also present, in other forms, in Nashville and Gosford Park) was reflective of my experiences in high-school and community theatre, where the drama wasn't actually in the play but in the wings. Goodbyes are built into theatre since the run of a play must end at some point, and the little family (I'm thinking of Fanny and Alexander here) that is formed must dissolve; thus it's a great metaphor for life and death. I revisit this film often.

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