Why am I obsessed with Bob Altman’s sprawling 1975 movie, Nashville? I watched it back in the 90s and was amused but befuddled by it. Then for some reason I decided to rent it about this time last year and I watched it twice. During that go around, which I blogged about, I started falling in love with the characters. Then a couple of weeks ago I decided to rent it again and have pretty much watched it on a loop off and on since. I finally bought it, along with the soundtrack which is made up of some of the catchiest (and purposefully bad) music to come out of Hollywood.
Altman, who died earlier this year, called himself the “action painter” of movies, referring to a phrase used to describe Abstract Expressionist painters of the mid-20th century like Jackson Pollock whose technique Altman’s crowded and layered style most closely resembles, at least of that group. Personally I would associate him more with someone like Robert Rauschenberg, who shares some of the same visual qualities as the ab ex crowd, but with subtle doses of irony and elements of everyday experience thrown in. I probably shouldn’t be surprised that Altman’s magnum opus would slowly reach out and grab me and keep me coming back over and over again, just like a high octane painting does.