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Robert Altman

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 1994 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mike Kaplan and John Dorr's illuminating and incisive 90-minute "Luck, Trust & Ketchup: Robert Altman in Carver Country" (premiering on Bravo tonight at 8) is as much about the director as the making of "Short Cuts," the film Altman and his co-writer Frank Barhydt wove so effectively from nine of Raymond Carver's celebrated short stories centering on lives of ordinary desperation. It's no wonder Altman has so little trouble getting top actors to play small roles in his films.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Susan King
Robert Altman's films were audacious. He expanded the boundaries of genres. He gave his actors freedom to improvise and over the years created a stock company of stars. Along the way, he often polarized critics and audiences - and drove studio heads crazy. Not every film he did was a masterpiece, and he had lulls in his career. But Altman was nothing if not resilient, and just when Hollywood had written him off, he would make a dazzling comeback. His experimental style, known for overlapping dialogue and loosely structured stories, has influenced contemporary directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, who was the standby director on the then-ailing Altman's final film, 2006's "A Prairie Home Companion.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 1992 | ELAINE DUTKA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Those who expected director Robert Altman to go mainstream after his success with the anti-Hollywood spoof "The Player" are in for a surprise. Passing up high-profile, higher-budget projects, the iconoclastic veteran used his newly retrieved leverage to get "Short Cuts"--a dark, literate venture previously turned down by every major studio--off the ground.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2014 | By Susan King
Bob Balaban was born, so to speak, into movie royalty. His father and uncles were founders of the Balaban and Katz theater chain of Chicago movie palaces. His uncle Barney Balaban was president of Paramount for three decades, and grandfather Sam Katz was an MGM executive. As a "little nerdy Jewish kid in Chicago," Balaban loved the movies and theater but had no inkling he would be involved in show business. "I was trying to do well in school and hoping I would survive adolescence," said Balaban, currently appearing in George Clooney's World War II adventure "The Monuments Men," which opens Feb. 7. But then he broke his arm at age 10.  "My parents could think of nothing for me to do in the summer, so we got on a train to Los Angeles," said Balaban, 68, by phone from New York, where he lives.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By Susan King
Robert Altman's films were audacious. He expanded the boundaries of genres. He gave his actors freedom to improvise and over the years created a stock company of stars. Along the way, he often polarized critics and audiences - and drove studio heads crazy. Not every film he did was a masterpiece, and he had lulls in his career. But Altman was nothing if not resilient, and just when Hollywood had written him off, he would make a dazzling comeback. His experimental style, known for overlapping dialogue and loosely structured stories, has influenced contemporary directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, who was the standby director on the then-ailing Altman's final film, 2006's "A Prairie Home Companion.
MAGAZINE
April 26, 1992 | HILARY DE VRIES, Hilary de Vries is a frequent contributor to The Times. Her most recent article for this magazine was on Barbra Streisand.
"LOOK, AM I GETTING PAID ON THE 23RD?" HOLlywood's subversive, a real Peck's bad boy, with a chokehold on his phone, wants to know where the money is. Fifteen years of rebellion, burned bridges, self-imposed exile, good movies and bad, and some things never change. Robert Altman, one of the country's preeminent filmmakers, a director on the verge of a comeback, still needs to know if the check is in the mail.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2009 | Richard Schickel
It appears that from the beginning of his career until almost its end (when illness slowed him), Robert Altman never passed an entirely sober day in his life. When he was not drinking heavily, he was smoking dope -- often doing both simultaneously. When he screened dailies on location, he insisted the cast and crew gather to view them in a party atmosphere, with the merriment rolling on into the night. His ability to ingest industrial-strength quantities of stuff that was bad for him fills one with shock, awe and questions.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 1993 | SANDY C. de GRIJS, A UCLA graduate student , de Grijs pursuing a Ph.D in Middle Eastern history with an emphasis on women's history in that area. and
Kenneth Turan, in his review of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," raises concerns about the extensive female nudity in the film, which he terms gratuitous ("Robert Altman Finds His Way to Carverville," Calendar, Oct. 8). I was pleased to see that this was a concern of his, since after seeing the film, it concerned me as well. But after thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that nudity was not, in fact gratuitous, but that it was included for a purpose.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2009 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
I usually try to avoid getting into dust-ups with critics writing in my own newspaper, but I can't avoid coming to the late Robert Altman's defense after reading Richard Schickel's nasty, dismissive review last week of "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchell Zuckoff, a new book about the man who brought us "MASH," "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts," "Gosford Park" and any number of other smart, funny and challenging films....
ENTERTAINMENT
December 13, 1993 | WILL BRYANT, Bryant, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, is interning as a script reader with a production company at Disney Studios in Burbank. and
In Nov. 29th's Counterpunch "Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts' Is a Blunt Attack on Women," UCLA grad student Sandy de Grijs chastises Robert Altman's film "Short Cuts" for its use of female nudity in a "disturbing pattern," portraying men as "powerless in the face of women's sexuality and (as a result) women are to be resented and blamed for this." She uses this observation to argue that the film is riddled with misogynistic overtones. This is not the case.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
When people talk of "main street" in their coverage of the Sundance Film Festival, it's not a metaphor, as the small ski-resort town really does have a main thoroughfare that is central to much of the action. It's also the most obvious example of the tension between the growing glitz and the small-town quaintness that is part of the fabric of the event. As the film festival celebrates its 30th anniversary, these photos are a reminder of how truly intimate the event once was - and also how exciting the meetings it creates can be, bringing together critic Roger Ebert with provocateur Michael Moore, or maverick filmmakers such as John Sayles and Robert Altman.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2013 | By Noel Murray
The Wolverine 20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99/$49.99 Available on VOD beginning Dec. 17 Wolverine's tedious origin story having been gotten out of the way in 2009, last summer's sequel gives the fast-healing, claw-wielding mutant more interesting things to do. Based on one of the most popular Wolverine comics arcs - after the surly X-Man's adventures in Japan, where he falls in love and finds a new ally - "The Wolverine" makes...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Sally Kellerman does a mean Marlon Brando. "Sally, don't you recognize me or are you playing it cool?" she mumbles in her best brooding tough guy, mimicking one conversation with the actor when, as a struggling actress, she made ends meet by working as a waitress in a Hollywood eatery in the late '50s. ("I waited on more stars than I worked with in my entire career," she adds.) But that's not where her connection to Brando started. Kellerman, who came to fame as the rigid Korean War nurse Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan in Robert Altman's 1970 comedy classic "MASH," writes in her new autobiography "Read My Lips: Stories of a Hollywood Life" about how she had a crush on Brando as a shy, overweight teenager at Hollywood High.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
I love the smell of preservation in the morning. The rest of the day, too, if it comes to that. So it's a pleasure to announce that the UCLA Film and Television Archive's one-of-a-kind Festival of Preservation opens for business Friday night with a knockout new print of one of the killer classics of film noir, Joseph H. Lewis' "Gun Crazy. " It's too bad the concept of preservation has such a musty sound, because what it means in practice is that today's audiences can experience the most unusual, the most entertaining and exciting treasures from the entire range of cinema's past, all brought back to life by the archive's team of crack preservationists.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 5, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Filmmakers are natural raconteurs — they have to be — at least when talking about their films. There are the money men who must be convinced to invest, the studios they need to sign on for distribution, the actors they want to hire and the press and public they hope will see the finished film and like it. The American Film Institute captures all that and more in "Conversations at the American Film Institute with the Great Moviemakers: The...
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2009 | Susan King
Director Robert Altman, who died in 2006, always polarized critics and audiences with his maverick, freewheeling, structureless style and determination to reinvent genres. In the case of 1973's "The Long Goodbye," Altman took Raymond Chandler's 1953 noir novel and cast it with Elliott Gould playing Philip Marlowe as a shaggy dog of a detective, a far cry from the hard-bitten, grizzled portrayal of the famous gumshoe by Dick Powell in "Murder, My Sweet" or the wry efficiency of Humphrey Bogart in "The Big Sleep."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1992 | KENNETH TURAN, TIMES FILM CRITIC
Never mind what soothes the savage breast, it's anger that provokes it to action. And it is a cool, brittle disdain for the movie business and everything it stands for that turns "The Player," an artful stiletto aimed at the bashful heart of Hollywood, into a biting if considerably overhyped return to form for director Robert Altman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2006 | Patrick Goldstein, Times Staff Writer
Robert Altman once told me, "I've got a short fuse and a big mouth." But the director was also a notorious charmer, both of trusting actors, who'd kill to please him, and not-so-trusting studio executives, who nonetheless gave him the money to make a long, wonderful string of movies that often didn't make enough dough to pay for the paper in the fax machine. Like so many great filmmakers, Altman was often unappreciated in his own time. The critics blew hot and cold. Oscars eluded him.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 30, 2009 | PATRICK GOLDSTEIN
I usually try to avoid getting into dust-ups with critics writing in my own newspaper, but I can't avoid coming to the late Robert Altman's defense after reading Richard Schickel's nasty, dismissive review last week of "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchell Zuckoff, a new book about the man who brought us "MASH," "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts," "Gosford Park" and any number of other smart, funny and challenging films....
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2009 | Richard Schickel
It appears that from the beginning of his career until almost its end (when illness slowed him), Robert Altman never passed an entirely sober day in his life. When he was not drinking heavily, he was smoking dope -- often doing both simultaneously. When he screened dailies on location, he insisted the cast and crew gather to view them in a party atmosphere, with the merriment rolling on into the night. His ability to ingest industrial-strength quantities of stuff that was bad for him fills one with shock, awe and questions.
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