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November 21st, 2006


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12:34 pm - 1925 - 2006
M*A*S*H
Brewster McCloud
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
The Long Goodbye
Nashville
3 Women
Popeye
Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
Vincent & Theo
The Player
Short Cuts
Gosford Park
A Prairie Home Companion

In A Prairie Home Companion, Robert Altman's final film (on which, honestly, he didn't do the bulk of the work; Paul Thomas Anderson took up most of the directing duties when Altman didn't have the strength) there's a scene where Garrison Keillor's character is asked to deliver a eulogy on the air for a beloved cast member who's recently died.

"I don't say eulogies," Keillor refuses.
"What if you die someday?" Lindsay Lohan's character asks him.
"Then I die."
"But don't you want people to remember you?"
"I don't want them to be told to remember me!" Keillor protests, as stubbornly and as defiantly as only a Minnesota Lutheran can, then walks out of the room.

Robert Altman has nothing to fear about that. He followed "show, don't tell" to the letter and the body of his work, often screened frame-by-frame by wide-eyed film students, definitely shows how much he'll be remembered and missed. We almost don't even need to be told.



and yes, I do consider Popeye to be one of his flawed masterpieces. so there.

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ayelle
Date:November 21st, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
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Right with you on Popeye. See my most recent entry...
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 05:43 pm (UTC)

"You owe him an apology..."

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My favorite scene in Popeye is the bustling dinner scene at the Oyl family table early on. It's the first time we meet most of the family and the scene is classic Altman right there, with roving camera and overlapping dialogue and a flowing course of action.

The film may not be perfect, but that dinner scene is.
[User Picture]
From:aliiyf
Date:November 21st, 2006 06:50 pm (UTC)

Oh my stars and gardens! Come in before you catch your death of mud!

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I *love* Popeye. My favorite scene is the meeting between Popeye and Pappy. "What squinky eye?"
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)

...and what does my only ofkspring do with it? HE SPITS IT UP! Ptui!

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"We even got the same pipe!"
"You idjit, ya can't inherit a pipe!"
[User Picture]
From:bostonista
Date:November 21st, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
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You forgot The Long Goodbye. It's underrated, but a masterpiece nonetheless.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
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I'll hit IMDB up and throw it into the mix in chronological order (and make sure I did mine right.)

I'll not put up Beyond Therapy, though, if you don't mind.
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From:bostonista
Date:November 21st, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
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I hadn't even heard of that movie. But maybe there's a good reason for that...
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From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
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It was an ill-conceived attempt to bring a Christopher Durang play to the screen. I saw it cause I like Durang and the show is hilarious on stage, but the film just didn't work right.
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From:fancycwabs
Date:November 21st, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Shit.

I met him once at a screening of The Gingerbread Man. He was in Holly Springs shooting Cookie's Fortune and agreed to come up to Memphis for a fundraiser for something. He arrived after the screening, having been delayed for one reason or another, but did a nice Q&A session after the show and shook lots of hands and chatted with everyone.

AFI's top 100 movies list had just come out, and I'd mentioned to my then-girlfriend that we were going to meet one of the directors on that list. She ran down the list, noting possibilities: Speilberg, Lucas, Scorcese, Cameron, Coppola, and when she hit M*A*S*H she said, "Robert Altman--oh I don't want to meet him."

That pretty much summarized our relationship. She went anyway, and enjoyed the movie (which is a by-the-numbers thriller featuring a really bad Southern U.S. accent by Kenneth Branagh), and presumably had a good time.

No relevant point to that story, except to note Altman's graciousness and love for filmmaking, even when showing work that was less than his best.
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:November 21st, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
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Hell, I consider Popeye to be his best movie.
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From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
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You're not up to no good, are you? There's a twenty-five cent Up To No Good tax.

Ok, I'm definitely getting this one out and watching it all over again. Between the Harry Nilsson songs and all the quotes goin' back and forth now, I need it on DVD right now.

God must have landed here
Why else would he strand us here?


Plus, it has Bill Irwin in the role of Man Chasing After His Hat!
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:November 21st, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
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And one sunflower for embarrassing a tax man tax.

Everything is food.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 21st, 2006 08:01 pm (UTC)
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And he's laaaaarge...
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From:aliiyf
Date:November 21st, 2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
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He's got money and respect. (That's true.)
He's better than the rest. (That's true.)
He may not be the best.
But he's large.
And he's mine. (You can have him.)


Why don't I own this DVD? I'm fixing that tonight.
[User Picture]
From:cheezdanish
Date:November 21st, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
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The DVD is awesome. Turn on subtitles. They got nearly 100% of Robin Williams' mumbling. It's a thing of beauty.
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From:sanspoof
Date:November 21st, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Dang. What a shame.

I will now go watch all of the films I can get my hands on.
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From:cursethedark
Date:November 22nd, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
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The only one of these that I've got is A Prairie Home Companion, although I have seen most of M*A*S*H.

I guess I might have seen a minute or two of Popeye, but was more confused than anything, because at the time I'd never heard about the movie. I guess I just wasn't ready for it.
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From:mmcirvin
Date:November 22nd, 2006 01:23 am (UTC)
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Popeye is transcendently strange, which is kind of appropriate since everything having to do with Popeye is inherently strange.

I saw part of it again recently and just marveled at the fact that I was watching a movie about Popeye the Sailor Man that was shot in the style of M*A*S*H.

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