Friday, November 24, 2006

Goodbye Robert Altman

I don't always like Robert Altman's films, but they are invariably dense and ambitious and I never had the feeling Altman was calling it in, even his later years. The prolific director died at 81 of cancer this week, leaving behind a mixed legacy of impressively groundbreaking and/or annoyingly messy films.

I loved Altman's HBO television cross-over Tanner '88 written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. It took a fake presidential candidate on the real campaign trail with very droll results. The show had a reprise starring the same cast during the last prez election.
My favorite film was his 1992 inside Hollywood pic The Player - the pitch sessions are classic and hilarious. And Altman's irreverent take on characters running a mobile field hospital in Korea - M.A.S.H. was just so gritty, grim, and funny.


Kevin said...

I'm sure we can all agree that Altman's 1980 film 'Popeye' is among the most common of guilty pleasures...okay, so maybe just for me. RIP.

PauletteFilmsBlog said...

Of course! How could I forget Popeye? And have we heard from Shelley Duvall since? Here's a YouTube reprise of her as Olive Oyl.