After being egged on by the proprietors of girish and Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule I'm calling for a blogathon on Robert Altman for March 3, in advance of his receiving an honorary Oscar on the evening of March 5. I am not 100 percent sure what I am going to write about yet, but I know in my bones that it would be a hell of a lot more fun, and way more Altmanesque, if other critical voices joined in on their own sites, creating a cacophony, so that critical monologues overlap and answer each other. (Sergio Leone's Altman celebration is already underway.)
Just pick a title or titles from Altman's filmography, or some other vaguely or tangentially Altmaesque topic, and weigh in. March 3 is the ideal deadline, to give people time to read and process what you've done. But the Altman spirit demands keeping things loose, so I'd say you could post as late as the evening of March 5, when the great man gets his statuette, finally. Just call it Altman Weekend.
As I said in posts on girish's blog, I realize this is very, very short notice and I totally understand if the suddenness precludes a lot of people from participating. But if there was every a time to honor a great American artist with some deep-dish lovin', this is it. So what the hell, let's do it.
I'll take care of the alerting-the-media part; if you want to participate, email me at email@example.com and let me know what you're writing about and I'll add it to the master list of topics.
UPDATE: The second part of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule's Altman career retrospective is online, and worth a read.
UPDATE: And at 24LiesASecond, a marvelous Robert C. Cumbow piece on Altman and Coppola in the 70s.
UPDATE: The Wit of the Staircase on McCabe and Mrs. Miller.
UPDATE: The Evening Class recounts an Altman tribute in San Francisco.
Matt Zoller Seitz is the founder of The House Next Door.