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The Evening Class (#110 of 2)

Be Like Bob

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Be Like Bob
Be Like Bob

Here’s one measure of Robert Altman’s influence: asked to celebrate the director’s way-overdue honorary Oscar Sunday with a Robert Altman Blog-a-thon Weekend March 3 through 5, a small constellation of writers has responded by doing whatever the hell they want, in whatever manner and at at whatever pace they please.

Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule has already published a tasty two-part career survey that’s as fractured and idiosyncratic as Altman’s films. (Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.) The Wit of the Staircase has gotten lost in the opium haze of McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Enter the Quiet Bubble for a rhapsody on Dr. T and the Women that coins a phrase I plan to steal: “Screwball raunch.” The Evening Class has an account of a 2003 Robert Altman tribute at the Castro Theater, where Nashville was screened and Altman held court.

Altman Weekend

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Altman Weekend
Altman Weekend

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.