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I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Monday, March 06, 2006

Shameless self-promotion

Here is the latest Check it Out column where I gush about one of my favorite Bobs, Robert Altman.

I quote myself: The fact that Altman doesn't already have an Oscar, despite being nominated for best director five times, speaks volumes about his mainstream appeal. He's too cynical, too subversive, too difficult, too rebellious, too artsy fartsy for the discerning tastes of Joe and Jane Sixpack.

Not that this has anything to do with what's really important, which is that Robert Altman is one of the best filmmakers this country has ever produced.

Altman's lack of box office success, even during his 1970s heyday, can be blamed almost entirely on Altman, who has exhibited a willful disregard for audience expectations throughout his career. His films almost never have plots or stars, and seem to ramble along with little in the way of conventional movie structure. Altman likes to replicate the messiness of real life on screen, so he often uses large ensemble casts and has his characters talk over instead of at each other.

10 Comments:

Blogger paul said...

You can't blame "Joe and Jane Sixpack" Altman's low Oscar haul. The Oscars represent a party for the elite by the elite to celebrate the elite. The plebes are supposed to feel honored to watch.

1:50 PM  
Blogger paul said...

*You can't blame "Joe and Jane Sixpack" **FOR** Altman's low Oscar haul.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

When I wrote that Joe Sixpack line, I thought of you and knew you would zero in on it. ;)

I don't blame Joe and Jane Sixpack for Altman not winning Oscars. I blame them for liking crap movies and talking loudly while they play at my local movie theater.

Re: The Oscars, the winners certainly don't represent "elite" tastes. A lot of critics, for instance, hated "Crash." The Oscar reward "important" movies that tend to come from major studios, feature movie stars and have at least some mainstream appeal.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

they play gold lion 10 times a day on KALX right now.

Great article steve. MASH reruns are tops for me. I find so much in that show to connect with.

Oscars.. there's always the years of lore that rewarded major studio movies that had absolutely no important message... titanic... ugh. barf. did that win? i think it did...

the only one of the 5 top nominees i saw was munich, based on your reocmmendation...

2:28 PM  
Blogger paul said...

Fair enough. I'll pass on the bait you left in the last post. :)

Somehow Shakespeare thrived while satisfying the groundlings.

2:54 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

I guess that means kids will be studying Julia Roberts and Adam Sandler movies in 500 years, huh?

2:58 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

steve, did you see all five best pic noms? which was your fave ... or was it not included? have you seen "a history of violence?"

3:11 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

I loved "A History of Violence." It was incredibly disturbing and wonderful. (And pretty cool that it was based on a graphic novel. I learned that from the Oscars. It's an educational program.)

Plus, I have a pretend crush on Ed Harris, so there's that.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

I saw all the nominees except "Good Night, and Good Luck." I liked all of them, though "Munich" is the only one I thought was really great. So, obviously, that was my first choice to win.

I haven't seen "A History of Violence," but I'd like to. I did see "Match Point," which I loved. I also really liked "Walk the Line" and "Hustle & Flow." I was happy to see P.S. Hoffman win best actor, because he's always great, but I probably liked Joaquin Phoenix and Terrence Howard more. Best Actor was pretty stacked this year.

3:16 PM  
Blogger paul said...

Alright... the Shakespeare thing was a weak comment to go out on. You got me... don't kick me in the head.

3:27 PM  

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