Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Robert Altman...

When we talk about how great the Hollywood movies were in the 1970's the one director who cames to mind over and over is Robert Altman. His independent attitude from the studios coupled with his ability to work within the studios was prevalent in the era but no filmmaker made more high quality films and in such a short period of time when Hollywood was open to such creativity. This would be roughly from 1968 to 1975. In that period he made what was considered his best films including 'MASH', 'McCabe and Mrs Miller', 'The Long Goodbye', 'California Split' and, of course, 'Nashville'.

Fortunately for us, even though Hollywood changed, Altman was never a director-for-hire [except maybe once for 'The Gingerbread Man']. All in all he kept the same creative spirit and every couple of years he made films that gave his fans something to chew on for a while until the next film came along.

The few time I saw Altman at retrospectives or interviews he was always rather modest. He insisted that all he did was set up the scenario for the actors and they did the rest. Like a true master he showed the actors the door and they found out how to walk through it. That's why actors loved him so much.

For the audiences who loved him there really is no replacement director who can step in and give us an Altman-like film. [He was sort of like The Grateful Dead of filmmakers] His sprawlying character driven type of film and his improvisational style of filmmaking was his own. He once was asked what directors influenced him and he said that he couldn't think of any good directors but rather only bad directors because they showed him how not to make a movie. He said he had no perspective on how other directors worked since he had never watched any other directors make movies. He figured the way he directed was the right way because it worked for him.

That's the kind of spirit that can make the best filmmakers. Altman was one of them and he will be missed.

Daily Greencine has some great links on Altman.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Magazine Covers...

- Clip/Stamp/Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X-197X [via exclamation point]

- Graphis

[p.s. I'm on vacation so no access to insert images]

Friday, November 17, 2006

Motion Music...

Antonio Linhares' flash animation to Beethoven's 5th

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Movie Moment...

The dancing chicken scene from Werner Herzog's Stroszek.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


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La Fontaine Fables Choisies Pour les Enfant. Ilustrations by M.B. de Monvel. [via BibliOdyssey]