Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Robert Altman RIP

Wow, awful news. Inexplicably, the headline on Yahoo's homepage reads "'The Player' director Robert Altman dies at 81" (was it that big a hit?), although apparently someone on CNN has already erroneously ID'd him as "the creator of the series M*A*S*H." C'mon, cable news, hire some film geeks for the anchor chairs already. I also see someone has uploaded his apparently quite odd film w/ Bud Cort, Brewster McCloud , on YouTube, so guess what I'll be squinting at on my computer tonight before it's taken down?

Among his huge filmography (of which I've seen only a portion - about a dozen or so) there'll inevitably be disagreements as to which are the classics, which are just ok and which are disasters, but McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the Long Goodbye, 3 Women, California Split, Short Cuts, Nashville, Gosford Park and Secret Honor are all great and worth anyone's time, to say the very least. And I'm sure Paul Thomas Anderson will continue to completely bite his stylee for years to come.

And if you're looking for another image to remember him by from his later years, here he is pawing at Lindsay Lohan on the set of Prairie Home Companion:

UPDATE: Well, I watched Brewster. Yeah, it's basically dopey and they don't even try for coherence but it's free-spirited in a way you just don't see much in film anymore. It's definitely Altman in full-on eccentric (and high) mode and has plenty of enjoyable scenes. Maybe the timing has a lot to do with it but I can't help but like it.


litelysalted said...

Pretty fucking sad to think his last film was a Lindsay Lohan movie, right?

You just reminded me to netflix Brewster McCloud. Try "A Wedding..." I saw that one recently and it was pretty excellent.

litelysalted said...

Wait a fucking minute... Why isn't Brewster McCloud on Netflix yet?!?! If it's not on DVD yet shouldn't there at least be a spot to save it?!

Chris said...

To be fair though, that's kind of like calling Short Cuts a Lyle Lovett movie :)

And yeah, that's why I'm YouTubing Brewster McCloud. Who knows when or if it'll ever come out on dvd.

litelysalted said...

LL is the main reason why I've been hesitant to see Prairie Home Companion. So you're saying she doesn't kill it, then?

Chris said...

Oh I don't know, I haven't seen it either. But with those large ensembles he works with it's tough for one actor to torpedo the whole thing (although Andie McDowell comes close in the aforementined Short Cuts, come to think of it)

litelysalted said...

Looking at that photo again, can we rule out the cause of death as something he may or may not have picked up putting his hand so close to the crotch of fire?

(I'm ashamed of myself........ sortof.)

Chris said...

So Altman dies while the dink from That 70's Show survives? The universe is cruel.

bruce said...

Brewster McCloud is a total train wreck. I don't care what every one else thinks. altman even admits he made some real stinkers.

Just stick with the ones mentioned. Also I dont think that's LL leg he is grabbing. Look at the girls arms a little to beat up for the future cutter.