Venice 2014 – Classics
ALTMAN is a tribute to the life and times of filmmaker Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Player, Gosford Park, and many more.) Director Ron Mann take us on a revelatory road trip through the highs and lows of this uncompromising visionary’s career, using rare interviews, representative film clips, archival images, and musings from Altman’s family and most recognizable collaborators.
ALTMAN explores and celebrates the epic fifty-year redemptive journey of one of the most important and influential filmmakers in cinema history. While refusing to bow down to Hollywood's conventions, or its executives, Altman's unique style of filmmaking won him friends and enemies, earned him world-wide praise and occasionally scathing criticism, and proved that it is possible to make truly independent films.
Maverick. Auteur. Rebel. Innovator. Storyteller. Rambler. Gambler. Mad man. Family man. Director. Artist.
The very term “Altmanesque” has come to denote a cinematic style characterized by dark humor, chaotic choreography, overlapping and sometimes murky dialogue, multi-layered storylines, iconoclastic characters, omniscient cinematography, and a seat-of-the-pants ensemble approach to imagining and crafting a film.
A dynamic and heartfelt meditation on an artist, produced and directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential, Twist, Go Further). Featuring Kathryn Reed Altman, Michael Murphy, Lily Tomlin, Julianne Moore, Keith Carradine, Elliott Gould and many more.
Kathryn Reed Altman
To great, stirring effect, “Altman” charts a different course, drawing on a wealth of existing material to tell the filmmaker’s story largely in his own, brashly eloquent words, and through generous clips from his massive, admittedly uneven, always uncompromising filmography. The
result captures Altman the artist and the man, the one inseparable from the other, about as well as any two-hour film could hope to do… Working closely with Altman’s widow, Kathryn, and his frequent producer Mathew Seig, Mann draws on a treasure trove of archival material (family photos, homemovies, unreleased short films and rare behind-the-scenes footage)… Mann also stages original interviews with such close Altman collaborators as Keith Carradine, Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman and Lily Tomlin, as well as longtime fan Paul Thomas Anderson … In a bold formal stroke, he asks each of these subjects — elegantly photographed in medium closeup against a black background by Mann and d.p. Simon Ennis — only a single question: to define, in their own words, the term Altmanesque.
— Scott Foundas, VARIETY