Robert Altman, RIP

Just learned that Robert Altman, one of the great American film directors, passed away today. Altman’s Short Cuts, which I first saw when I was just starting graduate school, is one of the most important films in my “cinematic eductaion,” and I never tire of teaching The Player, especially that tour de force opening shot, in my introduction to film courses.

Update: Here’s the Washington Post article.

Update 2: David at GreenCine has compiled a number of blog entries and articles offering their memories of Altman. And here is the video of Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin introducing Altman before his honorary Oscar in 2006.


  1. McChris Said,

    November 21, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

    Oh that’s sad news indeed. Altman’s work is some of my favorite.

    Speaking of The Player,did you see this David Bordwell post on favorite opening shots where he lists the Altman film as one of his. I was surprised to see no mention of Touch of Evil, particularly since the dialogue mentions the Welles film directly.

  2. Jim Said,

    November 21, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

    Chuck, I remember seeing Short cuts because of you–I also remember watching a load of Altman films together after Short Cuts came out. It’s sad to think that he’ll never make more.

  3. Francois Lachance Said,

    November 21, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    Did you catch Altman receiving the Honoury Academy Award presented to him by Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep? Pure Magic.

  4. Chuck Said,

    November 21, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

    McChris, I saw Bordwell’s mention of The Player in his discussion of opening shots and even thought about mentioning it here. Like you, I was surprised that there was no mention of TOE.

    Jim, I immediately thought of our discussion of Short Cuts and our screenings of McCabe, MASH, and several other Altman films. I’ll certainly miss his movies.

    Francois, I didn’t see Altman receive the award live because I was flying home from a conference, but I just found it on YouTube.

  5. Laura Said,

    November 21, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

    Very sad news.

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