Robert Altman

Critical Essays

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About the Book

The life and work of motion picture director Robert Altman (1925–2006) are interpreted from a variety of perspectives in this collection of essays. Actors, historians, film scholars, and cultural theorists reflect on Altman and his five-decade career and discuss the significance of music, history and genre in his films.
Two actors who have appeared in some of the filmmaker’s most important works are prominently represented, with a statement from Elliot Gould (MASH, The Long Goodbye, California Split) and an essay by Michael Murphy (McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, Tanner ’88). The collection ends with an essay on the importance of death in the director’s final productions The Company (2003) and Prairie Home Companion (2006) by noted Altman scholar Robert T. Self.

About the Author(s)

Rick Armstrong is assistant professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York. His written work has appeared in The Oxford Handbook of American Literary Naturalism.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Rick Armstrong
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 205
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4414-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8604-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      v

Introduction: “Diving Off the Deep End”      1

RICK ARMSTRONG

1. Working with Robert Altman      17

MICHAEL MURPHY

2. The Hypertext of Short Cuts: The Jazz in Altman’s Carver Soup      20

KRIN GABBARD

3. “Doing Some Replacin’”: Gender, Genre and the Subversion of Dominant Ideology in the Music Scores      38

RICHARD R. NESS

4. The Company’s Coming: The Hero, the Survivor, and the Victim in McCabe and Mrs. Miller      59

WILLIAM GRAEBNER

5. Brewster McCloud and the Limits of the Historical Imagination      77

MARCOS SOARES

6. Brewster McCloud’s ’60s Hangover      100

RICK ARMSTRONG

7. Hard- Boiled Nebbish: The Jewish Humphrey Bogart in Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye and Woody Allen’s Play It Again, Sam      120

JEREMY KAYE

8. A Cinema of Plenty: Robert Altman and the Multi- Protagonist Film      139

MARIA DEL MAR AZCONA

9. Art and Performance: Consolation at the End of Days      156

ROBERT T. SELF

Combined Bibliography      181

About the Contributors      189

Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Choice.