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A Companion to Robert Altman. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Film Directors

  • ID: 3089752
  • Book
  • June 2015
  • 536 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Companion to Robert Altman presents a wide selection of essays covering myriad perspectives on Altman s life, career, influence and historical context. As one of the key figures in post–World War II American cinema, Altman s work represents an important bridge between Hollywood and independent cinema, film and television, mainstream narrative and art cinema, the movies and a range of other art forms. This book feature 23 essays from a wide variety of experts in the field covering many of these aspects and dimensions of Altman s work including his extraordinary deployment of various devices such as the zoom, multi–track sound recording and the long take, his iconoclastic critical reputation, and his representation of space and place. This volume is particularly significant for the ways in which it shifts focus to specific aspects of Altman s work that have that have been beyond the scope of previous studies including his work in industrial filmmaking and television, collaboration with actors and writers, and his influence on other filmmakers. It draws on a range of approaches to his work beyond the traditional parameters of auteurist film criticism, and represents the first truly extensive and expansive collection devoted to Altman s work.
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Contributors viii

1 It s OK with me : Introducing Robert Altman 1
Adrian Danks

Part One Zoom in: Becoming Altman 19

2 Sponsoring the Hollywood Renaissance: Reappraising Altman s Industrial Films 21
Mark Minett

3 From Alfred Hitchcock Presents to Tanner on Tanner: The Long Tail of Altman s Television Career 44
Tony Williams

4 Just a Station on His Way? Altman s Transition from Television to Film 68
Nick Hall

5 Breaking the Rules: Altman, Innovation and the Critics 92
David Sterritt

Part Two I ve got Poetry in Me : Seeing and Hearing Altman 117

6 The Porous Frame: Visual Style in Altman s 1970s Films 119
Hamish Ford

7 3 Women: Floating Above the Awful Abyss 146
Joe McElhaney and In memory of Tom Hopkins

8 The Multitrack World of California Split 166
Wheeler Winston Dixon

9 The Democratic Voice: Altman s Sound Aesthetics in the 1970s 184
Jay Beck

10 Creativity and Compromise: California Split s Original Soundtrack 210
Gayle Magee

Part Three Placing Altman: Space, History and Genre 231

11 High Hollywood in The Long Goodbye 233
Murray Pomerance

12 Altman and the Western, or a Hollywood Director s History Lesson of the American West 254
Stephen Teo

13 Altman/Nixon/Reagan: Honorable Secrets, Historical Analogies and the Nexus of Anger 274
Rick Armstrong

14 LA and Paris: The Construction of Social Space in the Films of Altman 296
Robert T. Self

15 The Man I Love, or Time Regained: Altman, History and Kansas City 321
Adrian Danks

Part Four Being Altman: Character, Performance and Situation 347

16 One is Both the Same : Fantasy and Female Psychosis in Images and That Cold Day in the Park 349
David Melville

17 Nashville: Second City Performance Comes to Hollywood 369
Virginia Wright Wexman

18 Altman: The Artist in Middle Age 390
Christos Tsiolkas

19 Lawful Lawyer, Vigilante Father: Altman, Masculinity and The Gingerbread Man 401
Tom Dorey

Part Five Zoom out: After Altman 423

20 Staging the Rebel s Return : The Player, Short Cuts and the Precarious Art of the Comeback 425
Dimitrios Pavlounis

21 The End of the Hollywood Hero: Dr T & the Women and Altman s Multi ]Protagonist Narratives 448
María del Mar Azcona

22 The Long Reach of Short Cuts 465
Robert P. Kolker

23 Kicking and Screaming: Altmanesque Cynicism and Energy in the Work of Paul Thomas Anderson and Noah Baumbach 480
Claire Perkins

Index 501

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Adrian Danks is Director of Higher Degree Research in the School of Media and Communication, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (University). He is also co–curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque and co–editor of
Senses of Cinema. He has published widely on various subjects including found footage cinema, auteurism, cinephilia, rear–projection, the film–on–film, Iranian cinema, Australian cinema, film restoration and home movies in a range of books and journals.
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