3 Stars out of 4
I feel to really embrace Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion you need to watch his earlier films. You will get a sense of his magic, rhythm, and technique and how this film is just another daffodil in Altman’s garden. Does that make this an important film? No, but it emits the beauty of a life unfolding and a career taking one more humble bow.
Altman was a great director. He loved characters which is why he had so many of them. He was so interested in what they had to say that his dialogue would overlap itself. Altman made works from film noir (The Long Goodbye) to political satire (Nashville). All of them, magnificent or not, had something to say about cinema. His camera was always thinking, which was why it was always moving. A Prairie Home Companion is a recollection of what was so great about Altman. It is a film that comes and goes so passively you might miss it. Don’t. (continue reading…)
4 Stars out of 4
“This isn’t Dallas, this is Nashville. They can’t do this to us here in Nashville! Let’s show them what we’re made of. Come on everybody, sing! Somebody, sing!”
Those words are the final cries and pleads of Robert Altman’s Nashville, a tragic musical painted in the facade of happiness. This is a musical that seems nonexistent today, where people sing in a fake cordial tone when actually exposing their inner depression. Every tune in Nashville is a soulful commentary, nowhere close to the likes of Brecht buy layered in its own gap of reality.
Director Robert Altman (Shortcuts) tells Nashville, a sad, enjoyable, long, but breathless and triumphant piece of cinema, through 40 different stories using 24 actors. His films, Nashville most notably, are known for the ensemble to create this semblance of blissful community and friendly interaction. Sometimes Altman goes so far out of his way to unite his actors, he’ll have a car pile up. Nothing like ensemble in a pile up. (continue reading…)