A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #59: Summer of Directors – Robert Altman

Our Summer of Directors continues with Robert Altman, the maverick director whose subversive takes on quintessentially American genres helped shape 1970s Hollywood cinema. Join Alan, Matt and frequent contributor Daniel Thron from fellow film podcast Martini Giant as they discuss three Altman classics: the darkly satirical neo-noir Chandler adaptation The Long Goodbye, the revisionist western McCabe & Mrs. Miller and the scathing quasi-musical critique of American society and culture, Nashville. Why is it that many of Altman’s films can rub viewers the wrong way the first time they see them – or is the wrong way in fact the right way, considering the venom of some of Altman’s satire? What changes for us when revisiting these films? What are the targets of Altman’s critique, and what is its collateral damage? To what extent did the director deplore the world and society he depicted – and how much affection does he have for them? And why oh why doesn’t Shelley Duvall, the perfect Olive Oyl, get more recognition than she does?

You can find more of Dan’s movie takes in our podcast episodes on Steven Soderbergh’s Schizopolis and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and of course at www.martinigiant.com, as well as on YouTube and TikTok.

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