2014, Movies

Altman (2014, Robert Mann)

Calling this a documentary would be something of a misnomer, it’s more of a love letter. The film is not much concerned with who Altman was as a person, it is rather concerned with who he was as an Artist and what his Art means to both the film industry and his family. And it is perfectly willing to tell Altman’s own view of his work as if that is the one we should remember.

I often find this kind of approach problematic, when the subject is maybe not so esteemed, or not so known, but in this case I really don’t mind. Because, of course, I love many of Altman’s films, though I’ve seen probably less than half of the features, and none of the shorts – and none of his TV work either. And I have zero problems with a film that sets out to tell his story through the eyes of the man himself and his family – albeit as admirers, not so much as family – rather than a more objective version of events.

And I feel that way, I guess, because I believe Altman is on the short list of great American filmmakers, especially of the second half of the 20th century, and anything that celebrates his legacy is worthwhile in my book.


  • Directed by Ron Mann
  • Produced by Ron Mann, Bill Imperial
  • Written by Len Blum
  • Starring:
    • Michael Murphy
    • Robert Altman
    • Kathryn Reed
    • Sally Kellerman
    • James Caan
    • Donald Sutherland
    • Elliott Gould
    • Dick Cavett
    • Tommy Thompson
    • Vilmos Zsigmond
    • Matthew Reed Altman
    • Stephen Altman
    • Keith Carradine
    • Richard Nixon
    • Lily Tomlin
    • Robin Williams
    • Shelley Duvall
    • Paul Dooley
    • Wesley Ivan Hurt
    • Christine Altman
    • Gene Shalit
    • Philip Baker Hall
    • Bruce Willis
    • Julianne Moore
    • Konni Corriere
    • Lyle Lovett
    • Mike Altman
    • Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Music by Phil Dwyer, Guido Luciani
  • Cinematography by Simon Ennis
  • Edited by Robert Kennedy
  • Production company: Sphinx Productions
  • Distributed by Epix
  • Release date: August 1, 2014
  • Running time: 96 minutes
  • Language: English

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