22
May
10

Robert Altman: The Oral Biography

reviewed perceptively by matthew kennedy

It’s standard knowledge that actors worshipped him. Likewise that executives sparred with him, and that he coveted artistic control with uncommon fortitude. His ensembles, overlapping dialog, genre remastering, and penchant for jazz and unillusioned morality go back for decades. So what is left to be said about Robert Altman? Morsels here shed light on a director who’s had his psyche, methods, and aesthetics plumbed for ages. He was terrible at backgammon. Weather fascinated him, and in his Kansas City youth, he flirted with a career in meteorology. Why was the final act of McCabe & Mrs. Miller filmed in snow? According to Altman, it was because it snowed that day.

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