Nashville Obsession

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.   

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Explore posts in the same categories: Altman, Nashville, Pollock, Rauschenberg

3 Comments on “Nashville Obsession”

  1. adamj Says:

    i dig altman too, though i haven’t seen nashville, i really enjoyed gosford park, mash of course, and prarie home companion… i love the sometimes discordant audio effects, where there will be two or three different dialogues happening at the same time (reminds me of dinner with my grandparents), or when a character who is speaking kind of trails off and is basically mumbling to himself (reminds me of myself, i guess).

    the dailiness that can be seen in altman’s films reminds me of ozu a little bit, i think the only time that i have seen a person cutting his toenails on film was in one of his movies. or a scene from ‘a one and a two’ by, an also recently deceased director, edward yang, where a character walks into his den, pauses a moment, and mutters to himself, ‘wait a minute, why did i come in here,’

    mumbling to yourself and poor short-term memory really speaks to me for some reason… wait, what was my point? well, i guess that’s…. hmm… yeah, well, wee-hee there…

  2. Susan Says:

    Wow never heard of “Nashville”. (Making notes)

  3. Citizen D Says:

    I’m going to check out Nashville. I became an Altman fan when, sometime during high school, I rented MASH. I’ve seen several of his movies though not nearly all. Of the ones I’ve seen, my favorite is Gosford Park.

    Anyway, I’ll definitely see Nashville.


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