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Robert Altman

The American Robert Altman died in the Cedars-Sinai hospital of Los Angeles, Monday November 20, of complications due to a cancer. 81 years old, it had revealed in March, during the handing-over of a Oscar of honor (He never received the famous sculpture), which it had profited eleven years ago of a heart transplant of a woman of about thirty years. “If I calculate well, it had launched to All-Hollywood, you give me this Oscar too early. I still have some for forty years, and I intend well to use them!”
Born on February 20, 1925 in Kansas City (Missouri), formed by the Jesuits, Robert Altman had engaged in the Air Force at the 17 years age and had been useful as copilot of bomber during the second world war. After some jobs, this impassioned cinema had carried out industrial films, had adopted the Hollywood way of life (play, girls, alcohol) and makes its classes on television, carrying out episodes for the series “Alfred Hitchcock present”, “Maverick” or “Bonanza”. The Sicilian George Litto, who became his agent, then describes it like “a whore of rebel”. When it melts its house of production, Lion' S Gate, Altman has a reputation of hard with irascible leather.
His career starts truly in 1970 with M.A.S.H. It carried out two films in the general indifference when he worked hard to turn this scenario of Boxing ring Lardner Jr. (old victim of the maccarthysme), refused by about fifteen directors: a violent satire antimilitarist which occurs during the war from Korea in a surgical antenna where medical students make the four hundred blows.
Horrified by his believed dialogues, the cocktail of blood and fun and this foot of nose to the heroic tradition, the producer Darryl Zanuck asks for cuts but Altman has an ally, Otto Preminger, who requires projection-tests, which the film leaves ovationné. Third with the boxoffice of the year behind Coils Story and Airport, this scathing attack mild nutter receives five nominations with the Oscars and gold the Palm of the Festival of Cannes. Altman becomes the symbol of a new generation decided to pickle America of his assuaging mythologies.
He dynamites the stereotypes, subjects the kinds to a disrespectful play of massacre: in John McCabe (1971), twilight western, the hero is a tenant of brothel in a city in prey with the defects; in Brewster McCloud (1970), chronicle of the dreams of insane flying in America nut, or Images (1972), portrait of a schizophrene, it subjects the action to its poetic research; The Long Goodbye (Deprived, 1973), Philip Marlowe of Raymond Chandler, interpreted by Elliott Gould, is exceeded by the events; We all are of the robbers (1974) depicts of the outlaws reluisants little; California Split (1974).
Hustling the taboos, Altman makes fun of the cops and the puritans, the billionaires and the politicians and ridicules all that Hollywood venerated. “Whoever would drive a car like Steve McQueen in Bullitt, even if it continued Adolf Hitler, should be immediately interned”, says it. His cow-boys walk in snow and mud, its detective wanders as a sleepwalker with a beard hirsute, its accounts scorn the exemplary heroes to be interested in the ways of life.
More set on tables than of portraits, ironic with regard to the destinies individual and impassioned by crowd, it widens her field of vision. Altman is follower of the kaleidoscope and collective creation. In 1975, with Nashville, he invents a style: evoking the life of the temple of the country music at the same time as the primary educations of a presidential election, it follows the trajectories of twenty-four different characters. Henceforth, its frescos paint out the social rites, uncover the company of the spectacle and the dead ends psychoanalytical, draw up the inventory of the generally accepted ideas, sexual disillusions, the supposed masquerades to make the sorting between the order and chaos.
Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976) denounces the lies of an ideology based on the money and the show, Three women (1977) fustigates the control of three lost with the codes of femininity, a marriage (1978) shows a company solidified behind the mask of suitabilities and hiding its tares (adultery, nymphomania, epilepsy, marijuana), Quintet (1979) is a parodic and morbid science fiction. The scenario writer will find the magic of his collective digressions with Short Cuts (1993, gold Lion in Venice), according to Raymond Carver, portrait of a group of Americans exposed during an earthquake.
Meanwhile, there will have been Popeye (1980), anti-Superman of comic strip which reveals Robin Williams, of resounding commercial failures, the ruptures with the studios wearied by its provocations and its refusal to yield with the modes. Robert Altman turns to the independent producers, then folds back himself on Europe, films a ballet (Company), the history of a transvestite who is caught for James Dean (Reviens Jimmy Dean, return, 1992), of the plays (Streamers, Fool for Love, of the dramaturgies in places closed according to Harold Pinter, Sam Shepard or itself), of the televisual adaptations, a delirious monologue of Richard Nixon (Secret Honor, 1985), report-fictions like Tanner 88, where it follows the election campaign of a fictitious candidate to presidential of 1988, or a biography of Van Gogh (Vincent and Théo, 1990).
Never, whatever the endured tests, Robert Altman doesnt give back. His exercises virtuosos give its news regularly: comedy on connected zombies, Beyond Therapy (1987), full of brilliances movements of camera, The Player (1992, Price of the setting in scene in Cannes) investigation into the nauseous slides of Hollywood; turned with Paris and anobli by a princely casting (Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Kim Basinger, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lauren Bacall, Sonia Rykiel and Karl Lagerfeld, which will protest against this procession of a ridiculous microcosm), Loan-with-to carry (1994) size a suit in the middle of the fashion, his writers snobs, its dressmakers effeminate and its mannequins without decency; painting of manners of the gentry of the years 1930, Gosford Park (2002) orchestra the waltz of the Masters and the servants in a “murder party” way Agatha Christie.
This large disrespectful scenario writer was a Homeric character. It is necessary to have seen it opening the door of the de luxe hotel to you where it had a continuation, in slippers and pyjamas bermuda shorts, to await your questions by ordering its bacon and its poached eggs, to fustigate an industry dedicated to the comic strips and the mechanical animals, and to take an air inspired before answering you, coin of currency to the hand. “Pile, I choose humour like valve intended to attenuate the terrifying character of my denunciations, face, I choose the opposite thesis: I am irrepressible a gay dog, rather than a pessimist…”
In 2000, Robert Altman had declared that the election of George W. Bush was “a terrible reverse for the American company”. He had honoured in 1999 in Cookie' S Fortune the universe with the bluesmen with Mississippi. Its last film, A Meadow Home Connection, that the French distributors renamed - as visited by a fatal premonition - The Last Show, recalls the last public recording of a radio broadcast emitted of Minnesota and specialized in the old women songs. He leaves on December 6, and one sees there a woman, phantom in white raincoat, to wander among the singers country condemned to unemployment.

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