Tuesday, November 21, 2006
An American original
Cinema lovers lost a true original today. Wry satirist and uncompromising visionary Robert Altman died at age 81. He directed such films as “M*A*S*H,” “Nashville,” “The Player,” “Gosford Park” and, his final work, “A Prairie Home Companion.” The latter was - appropriately - his soliloquy on death told with multiple voices. I must say, while there were hits and misses, I always looked forward to a new Altman film. He brought out the best and most organic from his enormously-talented ensemble casts. And, while not at the forefront of any of his films, the director seamlessly blended lesbian storylines or actual lesbians (imagine that) into his work like “Prêt-à-Porter” (Lili Taylor and the bald model), “Dr. T and the Women” (Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler) and “A Prairie Home Companion” (Lily Tomlin). For a tiny taste of that signature Altman style, enjoy Meryl and Lily presenting of his honorary Oscar earlier this year.