McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Ode to Altman)

Robert Altman died on Monday. M*A*S*H was his first hit, way back in the day (the 1970 day, that is). There were many more. And so here are some obits: this one (from the NYT), that one (from The Guardian), and the other one (from the world's most reputable source).

McCabe & Mrs. Miller was one if his several masterpieces. And my personal favorite. And here is a review of it by Roger Ebert.

Ebert also has a series of commentaries and thoughts on Altman, and here are some. And here is an "appraisal" by NYT film critic A.O. Scott. Plus, check out this nice essay about Coppola and Altman in the '70s.


I'm a big Altman fan. McCabe, as I say, is my favorite. I watch it over and over and over. I watched it last night. Someday I'll write an essay abut it. For here, I'll just say "someday I'll write an essay about it" and explain why I'm so enamored with it then. I can tell you though, by way of foreshadowing, that it has something to do with the scene, about 2/3 in, where that punk kid shoots the young cowboy. And how the viewer's understanding of characters is always shifting. And how that's a pretty good representation of how things actually are in the world. And it has to do with McCabe's soliloquy about having poetry in him, he does.

The Long Goodbye, Nashville, Short Cuts, and California Split are spot-on. I don't know why I put California Split in the mix - it's clearly not his best movie, and I'm not sure it generally gets wide acclaim, and I'm not putting it in the mix to make some point about how much I admire under-appreciated films and so look at me. I just put it there because, for reasons that I clearly can't explain, I quite enjoy it.

A regular old blog post. I'm one of you now. (Though my new friend Emily T. MacArthur will be disappointed.)

More like this