Robert Altman

Robert Bernard Altman (/ˈɔːltmən/ AWLT-mən; February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He was a five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and is considered an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era.

Robert Altman
Altman in 1982
Born
Robert Bernard Altman

(1925-02-20)February 20, 1925
DiedNovember 20, 2006(2006-11-20) (aged 81)
OccupationFilmmaker
Years active1947–2006
Known forM*A*S*H (1970)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Nashville (1975)
3 Women (1977)
The Player (1992)
Short Cuts (1993)
Gosford Park (2001)
Spouse(s)
LaVonne Elmer
(m. 19461951)

Lotus Corelli
(m. 19541957)

(m. 1959)
Children6, including Stephen Altman
Military career
Service/branchUS Army Air Forces 1943–1947
Rank First lieutenant
UnitThirteenth Air Force
307th Bombardment Group
Battles/warsWorld War II
Awards Army Air Force Pilot Badge
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Altman's style of filmmaking covered many genres, but usually with a "subversive" twist which typically relied on satire and humor to express his personal views. Altman developed a reputation for being "anti-Hollywood" and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style. Actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise, thereby inspiring their own creativity.

He preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a multitrack recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors. This produced a more natural, more dynamic, and more complex experience for the viewer. He also used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen. Critic Pauline Kael, writing about his directing style, said that Altman could "make film fireworks out of next to nothing."[1] Altman's most famous directorial achievements include M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), and Gosford Park (2001).

In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Altman's body of work with an Academy Honorary Award. He never won a competitive Oscar despite seven nominations. His films M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye and Nashville have been selected for the United States National Film Registry. Altman is one of three filmmakers whose films have won the Golden Bear at Berlin, the Golden Lion at Venice, and the Golden Palm at Cannes (the other two being Henri-Georges Clouzot and Michelangelo Antonioni).


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