a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

YouTubing-To-Obscure-Shameless-Self-Promotion Wednesdays: "Retirement? You're Talking About Death, Right?"

So, earlier today I was casually worrying about what I was going to post on my obligatory YouTube Wednesdays. Let's just say the site really needs the flood of Altman material that's doubtless en route.

I have no eulogy. You can throw a rock and you'll hit one, maybe even three. I won't even link to any, lest I pretend to single any out. I feel no need to try to coax words to explain why I will miss a filmmaker who was in my top tier, and whose Hands on a Hard Body movie I was eagerly anticipating, even if it had only been in pre-production. And I really can't conjure up words to explain what it's like to live in a world where there will be no new Robert Altman films.

That said, there are plenty of Altman films which even I haven't seen, and some which even you haven't seen. (I counted about 10, plus a whole fuckload of TV work, his The Caine Mutiny and McTeague adaptations among them.) I eagerly anticipate, for one, the well-belated reassessment of his '80s, play-adaptation-heavy period. Ditto his television days, before M*A*S*H.

I leave you with lists.

Upper Echelon
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
  • The Long Goodbye (1973)
  • California Split (1974)
  • 3 Women (1977)
  • Tanner '88 (1988)
  • Gosford Park (2001)

  • Images (1972)
  • A Perfect Couple (1979)
  • Popeye (1980)
  • Kansas City (1996)
  • The Gingerbread Man (1997)

    Ones I Most Desperately Need to See
  • Countdown (1968)
  • Brewster McCloud (1970)
  • Thieves Like Us (1974)
  • HealtH (1980)
  • Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
  • Vincent and Theo (1990)
  • Tanner on Tanner (2004)

    And because no Altman break-down would be complete without it:
  • Overrated or Just Not Very Good (Yet Well Worth Seeing, Natch)
  • Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's Lesson (1976) [but great visuals; squint hard and it's just as good as those from the same epoch]
  • Quintet (1979) [though something tells me this becomes a masterpiece on third or fourth viewing]
  • Streamers (1983) [so far the only Altman I flat-out just don't like]
  • Secret Honor (1984) [okay, not really, but it does has a chasmic gap between material and execution]
  • The Player (1992) [also not really, but I've always found the central conceit a little on the glib side]

    R.I.P., dude.

    And now, Le Weekly An actual film cover issue yields an article on the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and Sharon Pinkenson, its frizzy, golden-haired head. Meanwhile, a new, fancier spread for the film section debuts along with an interview section lorded over by moi; first out of the gate is an intervew with actual-Amerindie god Andrew Bujalski that I had to cut well, well down. (Forgive the name, by the by.) A review of his Mutual Appreciation follows. Ditto Rep.


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