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    The Past, Present, and Future of Real-Time Films Part One

    What do film directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Agnès Varda, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann, Luis Buñuel, Alain Resnais, Roman Polanski, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Louis Malle, Richard Linklater, Tom Tykwer, Alexander Sokurov, Paul Greengrass, Song Il-Gon, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Iñárritu have in common? More specifically, what type of film have they directed, setting them […] More

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    The Definitive War Movies: 20-11

    Top twenty. Now we start to see the more widely recognizable films that people have some emotional attachment to. World War II gets a few mentions in this portion of the list, but this is one of the more diverse sections, overall. We get a mention of the Boer War, the Algerian War, and the […] More

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    The Definitive Movie Musicals: 20-11

    The clear difficulty of identifying the definitive movie musicals is separating the musical itself from the film version. The Phantom of the Opera is, without a doubt, a top ten definitive stage musical. Movie musical? Not so much. Drawing a clear line between the two is what makes this list a little trickier. For this […] More

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    ‘Thieves Like Us’ shows Robert Altman’s relationship with the American South

    Robert Altman’s foray into film in the 70s left him with a body of work densely packed with revered quality which enshrined him as one of the great American directors. M*A*S*H, Nashville, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye and 3 Women would have been enough to designate him a worthy auteur who spoke a certain mystical anti-Hollywood Hollywood language with beams of nostalgia resonating from current cinephiles who wonder “How did they get away with that?”. It wasn’t by fitting in with contemporaries such as Scorsese or Hellman or emulating the previous nouvelle vague that made Altman a mainstay in cinematic history — much of that is due to his unabashed critique of genre understanding, his unique editing, and perhaps unexpectedly, his understanding of his subjects in a matter rivaled only by the likes of Stanley Kubrick. One of such successes lies in a work that receives a relatively diminished praise even from Altman’s most ardent followers: Thieves Like Us. It is the second adaptation of the novel of the same name by Edward Anderson — the first being Nicholas Ray’s They Live by Night — and yet the first to shoot its real subject, Depression-era Mississippi, on location. For full disclosure, I have lived in Mississippi my entire life and am intimately familiar with many of the locations visited and mentioned in Altman’s film, allowing me a (albeit rather weak) privileged lens on his use and message about his location, style, and, through the combination of the two, substance. More

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    ‘McCabe & Mrs. Miller’ and the revisionist Robert Altman

    Coming a year on the heels of MASH, one of his best known films, Robert Altman’s Western McCabe & Mrs. Miller certified the director as a genre revisionist. The opening strains of Leonard Cohen’s “The Stranger Song” lilt underneath a panning wide shot showing McCabe (Warren Beatty in his finest role), unrecognizable beneath bundled furs and astride a […] More

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    ‘Nashville’ and the new American musical

    Often considered one of  Robert Altman’s best films, Nashville subverts and revisits the tropes of the classic Hollywood musical through a revisionist lens. Though musicals still found success in the 1970s, the golden age of the genre was long gone and was due for a revival and re-evaluation. Utilizing tropes from classic Hollywood musicals, Nashville […] More

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    Altman’s Unsung ’70s

    Director Robert Altman had his fair share of ups and downs. The oscillation between works widely lauded and those typically forgotten is prevalent throughout his exceptionally diverse career. This was — and still is — certainly the case with his 1970s output. This decade of remarkable work saw the release of now established classics like […] More

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    New on Video: Robert Altman’s ‘Nashville’

    “With its eclectic cast of individuals from all walks of life (typical for Altman), its sprawling narrative of disjointed personal and professional connections (ditto), and its setting of a distinctly American city around the time of our nation’s bicentennial, Nashville comes across as more than a fictional depiction of characters embodying certain nationalistic traits; it truly feels like the film itself is America in a nutshell.” More

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    Director and Actress Duos: The Best, Overlooked, and Underrated

    Riffing on Terek Puckett’s terrific list of director/actor collaborations, I wanted to look at some of those equally impressive leading ladies who served as muses for their directors. I strived to look for collaborations that may not have been as obviously canonical, but whose effects on cinema were no less compelling. Categorizing a film’s lead […] More

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