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BREAKING: Robert Altman, AMERICAN MASTER, Dead At 81

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“THE DEATH OF AN OLD MAN IS NOT A TRAGEDY.” –ROBERT ALTMAN, 1925-2006

FROM THE SF CHRONICLE: Garrison Keillor, who starred in Altman’s last movie this year’s “A Prairie Home Companion” said Tuesday that love of film clearly came through on the set.

“Mr. Altman loved making movies. He loved the chaos of shooting and the sociability of the crew and actors he adored actors and he loved the editing room and he especially loved sitting in a screening room and watching the thing over and over with other people,” Keillor said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press. “He didn’t care for the money end of things, he didn’t mind doing publicity, but when he was working he was in heaven.”

Altman had one of the most distinctive styles among modern filmmakers. He often employed huge ensemble casts, encouraged improvisation and overlapping dialogue and filmed scenes in long tracking shots that would flit from character to character.

Perpetually in and out of favor with audiences and critics, Altman worked ceaselessly since his anti-war black comedy “M-A-S-H” established his reputation in 1970, but he would go for years at a time directing obscure movies before roaring back with a hit.

SF CHRONICLE: So Goes The Maverick
NEW YORK TIMES: The Obit

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