Shutter Island (2010, dir. Martin Scorsese)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Elias Koteas
Author: Seth Harris
Robert Altman: Chorus of Voices Part Two
1975 – 1979
It could never be said that Robert Altman wasn’t experimenting with his work. After using a very naturalistic style in the early 1970s, Altman decided to transition into a more abstract and more artificially stylistic mode. This period of his career marks one of his most influential works (Nashville), responsible for inspiring present day director P.T. Anderson in works like Boogie Nights and Magnolia.
Hypothetical Film Festival #7 – Not Happy Endings
There are “crowd pleaser” films, meant to deliver an upbeat tone to the audience and make sure everyone leaves the theater smiling. And then there are films like the ones on this list. These movies are pretty bleak from the start and any one in the audience can tell things will not end up alright for the protagonist. But as “down” as their endings might be, they are worth watching and will stay with you for days.
Film 2010 #34 – The Red Shoes
Since 2005 I have kept a list of every new film I have seen. With this film I have hit the 1000 mark. Before long, I’ll probably be hitting 2000.
The Red Shoes (1948, dir. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
Starring Anton Walbrook
Weekend Trailer Roundup
Earthling (dir. Clay Liford) – A small budget film about a woman, Judith who is having complications with her pregnancy. Meanwhile, a crew of astronauts in orbit discover a strange object floating through space. A brown out is cause globally and upon waking Judith and others begin having strange visions and make a discovery about a very important truth.
Film 2010 #33 – The Imposters
The Imposters (1998, dir. Stanley Tucci)
Film 2010 #32 – Ragtime
Ragtime (1981, dir. Milos Forman)
Film 2010 #31 – The Constant Gardener
The Constant Gardener (2005, dir. Fernando Meirelles)
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite
Robert Altman: Chorus of Voices Part One
When I was five years old or younger, I remember going over to my Uncle Wallace’s house around Christmas and everyone was sitting around watching the film version of Popeye. I have faint memories of recognizing a strangeness in that film even at such a young age. I don’t have pieces of plot from back then, what is floating around in the mist of my young brain are the way the characters spoke. They mumbled and talked over each other. The language was what made it strange. I wouldn’t realize until years later that this was how I met Mr. Robert Altman.
Robert Altman passed away in November of 2006, leaving behind one of the most prolific bodies of American film work. It’s said a lot that certain filmmakers are uncompromising and eventually they take a film and follow the studio’s demands, but Altman was a director who truly held fast to his ideas about cinema. There were films, that on reflection, he didn’t feel was his best work, but he always made them how he felt they should be made. He was vocal about his political beliefs, which definitely didn’t make him many fans, and he was very explicit with sexuality in films, but always in an honest, realistic way. It was that desire to capture fiction as close to reality as possible that makes many of his films somewhat uneasy to sit through.
With this four part essay, I plan on taking a look at his filmography and highlighting those signatures that make a film Altman-esque. In addition, I want to look at periods in his career where he veered dramatically from his traditional style and experimented with different modes of storytelling. I’ve seen 18 of his films but that still leaves many others I’ve yet to see. My hope is that you discover a film whose description intrigues you enough to seek it out.
Starring Donald Sutherland, Elliot Gould, Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman, Tom Skerritt, Rene Auberjonois
Weekend Trailer Roundup
Get Him to the Greek (dir.Nicholas Stoller) – Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) of Forgetting Sarah Marshall is back! He’s booked to perform in L.A. and its up to a junior record executive (Jonah Hill) to get him there. Not the greatest premise but I thought Forgetting Sarah Marshall was great so I’m excited about this one.