Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscar Thought: Robert Altman

Oscar Thought: Robert Altman

I love M*A*S*H and Short Cuts. McCabe and Mrs. Miller is also gret, and Nashville is one of those that I still can't get my head around no matter how many times I watch it.

But I was still gratified to see a clip of Popeye in the retrospective montage of his work. Yeah, it's fluff compared to the rest of the body of his work, but I think it best exemplifies something he does that few other directors do well: He creates a world, and a series of rules that govern everything in that world. He creates an environment.

The whole world of Sweet Haven, in the movie, is governed not only by a law of physics, but a law of morality that pervades everything through the movie. I like the creation of an environment, using little more than a cast who understands and believes in it....

Popeye is a human cartoon. And I'm probably on the short list of people who like Popeye. But I maintain that's it's terribly underrated, and I was afraid that it wouldn't get mentioned.

The shot of Robin Williams as Popeye falling into the water at least acknowledges it.


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