Friday, December 01, 2006

ROBERT ALTMAN, FILM CRITIC


"Mr. and Mrs. Smith get married, they have problems, they get back together, and they live happily ever after. End of the movie. Two weeks later, he kills her, grinds her body up, feeds it to his girlfriend, who dies of ptomaine poisoning, and her husband is prosecuted and sent to the electric chair for it—but here's our little story with a happy ending. What is an ending? There's no such thing. Death is the only ending."

"Whether it's a bad novel being translated to the screen or a good novel being butchered or how to keep the restroom clean in a filling station, it's all the same thing: You gotta entertain people."

-- Robert Altman

(More talk of film criticism at the Film Criticism Blog-a-Thon running all weekend long.)

3 comments:

Benaiah said...

Hey Dennis,
I like that you included a screen shot from Shortcuts.

In an effort to keep my mind adroit post college, I have started a blog. I have infinite amounts of time to waste so I will probably post a lot. Tell me what you think:

backtobard.blogspot.com

andyhorbal said...

I'm glad you had the chance to put a post together, Dennis! Those are two fine quotes about one of the best examples of the Godardian filmmaker-as-a-critc that I'll be turning over in my mind for a long time, I'm sure!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Benaiah: I can't wait to see what you have up your blogsleeve!

Andy: Thanks again for coordinating all this. My wife found the Altman quotes for me Friday morning and I thought they'd be a perfect compliment to the other post I've got prepared. But, as it's part of Matt's big presentation, I'm waiting until he posts before I stick a version of it on SLIFR. In particular I love the quote about Mr. and Mrs. Smith and death being the only real ending.

Speaking of Altman, I'm sure you've seen Jim Emerson's wonderful post on Lady Pearl and Jonathan Rosenbaum and Nashville...