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April 04 , 2010

Altman on Altman


In Altman on Altman, one of American cinema's most incorrigible mavericks reflects on a brilliant career.

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Robert Altman served a long apprenticeship in movie-making before his great breakthrough, the Korean War comedy M*A*S*H (1969). It became a huge hit and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but also established Altman's inimitable use of sound and image, and his gift for handling a repertory company of actors. The 1970s then became Altman's decade, with a string of masterpieces: McCabe and Mrs Miller, The Long Goodbye,Thieves Like Us, Nashville . . . In the 1980s Altman struggled to fund his work, but he was restored to prominence in 1992 with The Player, an acerbic take on Hollywood. Short Cuts, an inspired adaptation of Raymond Carver, and the Oscar-winning Gosford Park, underscored his comeback.

Now he recalls the highs and lows of his career trajectory to David Thompson in this definitive interview book, part of Faber's widely acclaimed Directors on Directors series.

'Hearing in his own words in Altman on Altman just how much of his films occur spontaneously, as a result of last-minute decisions on set, is fascinating . . . For film lovers, this is just about indispensable.' Ben Sloan,Metro London

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