Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nashville (1975)

WHO: Robert Altman's signature piece as a director.

WHAT: What is Nashville? Perhaps better to ask, what isn't Nashville? Majestic and subversive, angry and gentle, musical and talky and extraordinarily cinematic, this is a film that seems to have everything you might want from a movie, except for maybe F-14 dogfights (and it's been a few years since I've last seen it, so maybe I'm forgetting a scene when I say that.)

WHERE/WHEN: 1:00 PM and 7:30 PM today only at the Castro Theatre.

WHY: Nashville plays on a double-bill with Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, reminding us of a time when Hollywood made movies that were long for good reasons. These films depend on duration: every can of film is well worth its shipping cost. I'm not so sure some of today's long movies have goods reasons for their length; more like excuses enabled by the DCP delivery system. Anyway, I'm all for a double-bill like this, and hope it's enough of a success to inspire a sequel; I think Cimino's Heaven's Gate and Altman's A Wedding (for instance) would combine for a similar running time.

HOW: The Castro calendar includes this fearsome note on Nashville: "This may be your last chance to see this classic in 35mm at the Castro!"

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