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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:14 pm 
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jesus the mexican boi wrote:
That cunt Jonah Goldberg


I've heard Jonah called a lot of things, but that's a first! =D> =D>


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 9:31 pm 
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I'm just getting into Altman, and there's a lot to get into, and what I've got into has been great. Thank you Mr. Altman for not dying before making all these films.


colinr0380 wrote:
Well that's a pretty awful triple blow. I rewatched Hairspray and 3 Women only a couple of weeks ago too.


What is the other blow from? You scared the shit out of me, thinking John Waters was dead, that would really be awful, looked it up and it's Ruth Brown, not familiar with her outside of Hairspray.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:45 pm 

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Multiple blows.

Betty Comden and Philippe Noiret are dead.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:52 am 
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Mr Pixies wrote:
What is the other blow from? You scared the shit out of me, thinking John Waters was dead, that would really be awful, looked it up and it's Ruth Brown, not familiar with her outside of Hairspray.

Sorry to worry you! It was a message moved from the passages thread. The 'other blow' was Gary Graver, and I'd only just acquainted myself with his work seeing F For Fake and the original Toolbox Murders in the last couple of months.

Although Philippe Noiret's passing since I posted that is depressing too. Criterion has had to post a lot of RIP notices on their site recently. I'll probably rewatch Coup De Torchon over the weekend for his performance (sorry Matt, I haven't got Masques).


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:51 pm 

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Noiret first overwelmed me in Zazie dans le metro. He is also amazing as an a clef Roland Barthes in Techine's J'embrasse pas.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Some Are Great and Some Are Slight, but All Are From a Master


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:43 pm 
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Quote:
Altman's legacy has a richness and depth few could match - and surely no American director from the same period.

Thanks for saying that, zedz. Absolutely true.

Quote:
I still have little idea what my favourite Altman film is or will be, but the one I had to watch last night was Nashville. I was sort of shocked at how definitive that urge was.
This is certainly a contender for The Great American Movie, and it's a perfect demonstration of how innovative, precise and accomplished Altman could be, despite the carefully contrived illusion of chaos.

I often find myself saying that 3 Women is my favorite Altman film simply because I'm a sucker for films depicting dreamy, hallugenic landscapes (no wonder why Satantango leaves me crippled for days, now weeks) and films starring Shelley Duvall. 3 Women contains both! Quite a feast for me. I have to thank Altman for discovering Duvall in Texas because there is NO ONE like her in the world of cinema...and the world. Nashville.. I love this film for so many reasons. I attended Lily Tomlin's reading in Manhattan years ago. What a remarkable woman she is. She constantly expressed deep love for not only her lover Jane Wagner but also for Altman. My deaf partner (you Invunche back off for once!) expressed something that I didn't notice before - Altman used real deaf kids to play Lily's children. He said that it's totally respectable of Altman to do something like that because most directors fail to achieve something like that even today.

zedz, I find it interesting that you consider Nashville the contender for the Great American Film. What do you think of Short Cuts? That film gets to me every now and then. Some folks I know despite this film and I suspect it's because it reminds them of the painful cynicism of the world we're living in today. And how disconnected we can be with our loved ones without really seeing or being able to recognize it.

I'm going to watch A Prairie Home Companion for the first time tonight. I hope I won't cry too hard.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:29 pm 
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Michael if you'd watched Prairie before Altman died you would not have been able to wipe the smile off your face.

Now that he's gone you'll watch it (as I have again twice since then) and still laugh, but also cry - the moment that cracks me up now is the old lady's "eskimo kiss" - I become inconsolable. But then he comes right back with Reilly and Harrelson doing a string of appalling jokes and the tears mix with the tears from laughter.

Listen sometime to the commentary track with Altman and Kevin Kline. Altman is in great form, and when Kline comments about his character, Noir making a sexual proposition to the Angel of Death, Altman says, "Chirst, that's one broad you'd go out of your way to avoid!".

You'll love it. It's his gift of a huge messy wake for us, sweetheart. Not to mention being a flawless farewell to a life in films at the level of Dreyer's Gertrud.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:17 am 
I also agree that Prairie Home Companion is a wonderful film having seen it twice in cinemas. It is a fine way to leave us and very fitting given the film's themes and small-town characters. It's hilariously funny and very moving.

I was appalled recently when I read a writer for the film e-zine, Cinematical, calling the film Altman's least deserving film if the film gets honoured at the Oscars next year as if it will be more of a posthumous gesture than on the merits of the film. It may not be as brilliant as Nashville, Short Cuts or my personal favourite, MaCabe and Mrs Miller but I think it ranks amongst his best.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:10 pm 
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The Onion gets into the act


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:58 pm 
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Quote:
A long fade-out? Not for Mr. Altman

Garrison Keillor remembers a man who was always in full flight.

By Garrison Keillor, GARRISON KEILLOR wrote the screenplay for the Altman film "A Prairie Home Companion." His latest book is "Good Poems for Hard Times."

November 23, 2006

Robert Altman was 79 when I met him, and he had just finished shooting "The Company" and was happy to sit down with me and talk about doing another movie, "A Prairie Home Companion." We did that, and when I saw him last, in New York 10 days ago, he was tickled pink that he'd gotten financing for a new picture and was in pre-production.

He loved working. He loved almost everything about it: the long brooding over casting options ("casting is 90% of my job"), the scouting of locations, and the hubbub of the movie set with the crew, the extras, the people with the headsets and clipboards, the stars and their hairdressers. He could get impatient — "What am I waiting for?" he'd holler over his god mike from the command post — but his set was pretty loose because he loved actors and wanted them to be happy.

"A Prairie Home Companion" had an all-star cast simply because everyone wanted to work for him. Meryl Streep signed up almost before there was a script, and that put us on the map. Kevin Kline wanted the detective part, John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson wanted to be singing cowboys. We shot the picture in July 2005, and Mr. Altman seemed so frail when I met up with him, I said, "Are you sure you really want to do this?"

I had seen him walk gingerly across the floor, arms slightly out, as if he were on a tightrope, an assistant walking close behind him, and I felt sorry for an old man facing the long uphill march of a movie and wondered if maybe he'd just as soon sit in a sunny garden in Malibu and do the crossword. He didn't wonder about that at all. "I want to go out with my boots on," he said. "I don't want to sit around and wait for it. I want to be missing in action."

He seemed to thrive on work and got stronger through five weeks of shooting, winding up with an all-nighter at Mickey's Diner in St. Paul, shooting an interior scene and then a Hopperesque exterior with Kevin emerging, lighting a smoke, and crossing the rain-soaked street. When the movie wrapped, Mr. Altman retired to his editing room on West 56th Street in New York, and a month later he called everybody to come see the rough cut. He loved sitting in that little screening room in the West Village and watching the thing over and over with other people. When he was working, he was in heaven. He had figured out how to live without regrets. Each time he saw the movie, he saw it new and fresh.

He was a very young bomber pilot in World War II, and perhaps that's one reason he didn't fit into the Hollywood system. When you've flown through clouds of shrapnel and survived, you have less respect for the corporate point of view. And he was a smartass, and that didn't help. But what really made Mr. Altman an independent was the fact that he wasn't about long-term planning or risk management, he was about doing the work. He believed in taking big chances and doing it with a whole heart. He didn't mind being talked back to. He said, "If you and I agreed about everything, then one of us is unnecessary." But he was the captain of the ship. He didn't care for meetings in which people discuss the arc of the story and whether we need a conflict at this point or not.

I had first tried to interest him in making a movie about a man coming back to Minnesota to bury his father, a winter movie. "There haven't been many movies made in winter," I said. "You would quickly find out why there haven't," Mr. Altman said.

He declined. "In the end," he said, "the death of an old man is not a tragedy" — a line so good, I wound up using it in the movie we did make.

He died in full flight, doing what he loved, like his comrades in the Army Air Force who got shot out of the sky and vanished into blue air — and all of us who worked with him are left with the clear memory of seeing an old man doing what he was passionate about and doing it at the top of his game.

In my memory, Meryl and Lily Tomlin are on the set, sitting in front of a long mirror, and Lindsay Lohan is reclining on a couch, and Mr. Altman is sitting in his high canvas chair in the shadows, having just instructed Bobby the cameraman on the timing of the dolly shot, and he says, "Let's do one." A distant warning buzzer sounds, and the assistant director calls out, "Quiet on the set." Mr. Altman leans in and peers at the picture on his monitor, and here we go again. This may be good. This may be the best yet.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:59 pm 
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Quote:
I still have little idea what my favourite Altman film is or will be, but the one I had to watch last night was Nashville. I was sort of shocked at how definitive that urge was.
This is certainly a contender for The Great American Movie, and it's a perfect demonstration of how innovative, precise and accomplished Altman could be, despite the carefully contrived illusion of chaos.

I often find myself saying that 3 Women is my favorite Altman film simply because I'm a sucker for films depicting dreamy, hallugenic landscapes (no wonder why Satantango leaves me crippled for days, now weeks) and films starring Shelley Duvall. 3 Women contains both! Quite a feast for me. I have to thank Altman for discovering Duvall in Texas because there is NO ONE like her in the world of cinema...and the world. [/quote]

Actually, if asked a week ago, I probably would have picked Three Women as my favourite Altman, and maybe it still is - we're a sucker for the same things. I think it was also probably my first Altman, though when I taped it off late night TV the tape ran out before the third act (so when I later read synopses of what 'happened' at the end I really cursed the technology).

But when he'd gone, Three Women just didn't seem up to the task of summing up everything he was about. Nashville seemed at the time like the great 'summing up' film, even over a personal favourite like A Wedding (the first Altman film I saw all the way through!). Actually, that would have been an appropriate choice too, with it's extremely pungent "life going on in the face of death" theme.

Quote:
zedz, I find it interesting that you consider Nashville the contender for the Great American Film. What do you think of Short Cuts? That film gets to me every now and then. Some folks I know despite this film and I suspect it's because it reminds them of the painful cynicism of the world we're living in today. And how disconnected we can be with our loved ones without really seeing or being able to recognize it.

I find it impressive, but some way below his earlier triumphs in the same mode (specifically Nashville and A Wedding). It seems to me heavier, both in terms of its structure (having to fit in all of those actual stories, rather than just character arcs and situations) and in its striving for significance. Those earlier ones are so freewheeling and organic. Still, I haven't seen it since it came out, so it's well overdue a revisit.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:18 am 
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jesus the mexican boi wrote:
That cunt Jonah Goldberg wrote this on the National Review blog:


My preferred honorific for him is "colostomy bag."

He specializes in this sort of curt, shallow, ignorant dismissal of anyone his tiny brain perceives as being opposed to his world view. He made a similarly braindead comment about Harold Pinter a few months ago.

Obviously a worthless dope, but one the Los Angeles Times has seen fit to gift with a regular spot on it's editorial pages, so he can't be as ignored as he deserves to be.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:46 am 
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The New Yorker has put up Pauline Kael's review of Nashville:

[quote]Coming: “Nashvilleâ€


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:15 pm 
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From Salon


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:15 pm 
~_~
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[quote="Antoine Doinel"]The New Yorker has put up Pauline Kael's review of Nashville:

[quote]Coming: “Nashvilleâ€


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:40 am 
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A LOT of Altman's movies need re-issuing. Apart from the two Criterions, the wonderfully bizarre Fox five pack and the quite good New Line disc of the Player the rest of the transfers are ordinary to woeful. Even the Prairie DVD seems overly soft to me, although it at least carries Ed Lachmann's gorgeously lit color photography well.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:14 am 

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I long to take another look at some of Altman's films maudit, especially Quintet and O.C. & Stiggs


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:09 pm 
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Quintet is bundled into that Fox box. It's a total puzzle and frustrating as hell!

And we've all been waiting for Brewster McLeod (many threads ago.)

I re-viewed That Cold Day in the Park over the weekend and like it much more than I remembered. Sandy Dennis is particularly fine, as she is in Come Back to the 5 and Dime. Curious, I always loathed her when I saw her movies on first release but I've obviously grown less gormless. I'd also kill for a DVD of Images which I havent seen since first release in 1973 (isn't there an expensive Japanese disc?)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:31 pm 
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davidhare wrote:
I'd also kill for a DVD of Images which I havent seen since first release in 1973 (isn't there an expensive Japanese disc?)


There's a R1 which I recieved the other day, don't know anything about the quality though. It's not too expensive at DVDPacific and you're at least free from any custom charges.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:44 pm 
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davidhare wrote:
I'd also kill for a DVD of Images which I havent seen since first release in 1973 (isn't there an expensive Japanese disc?)


Huh? MGM R1 disc. It's fine. Selected scene commentary by Altman.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:57 pm 

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I've got Brewster McCloud on laserdisc. Now if someone would issue a DVD of Otto Preminger's Skidoo I'd have the complete works of Doran William Canon.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:18 pm 
Big fan of the former president
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Stop Smiling Magazine's complete interview with Altman.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:40 pm 
"Without obsession, life is nothing"
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The MGM disc for Images is excellent. It's actually one of my very favorite Altmans and one that rewards multiple viewings. In fact, I should note that all of MGM's editions for Altman's movies are extremely good A/V wise and all come with featurettes, selected scenes commentaries by the master himself and original theatrical trailers.

OT but I'm also tired of waiting for a Skidoo DVD...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:23 pm 

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Carol Channing, Austin Pendleton, John Philip Law and Frankie Avalon are still alive. They could do the commentary.


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