Monday, June 26, 2006

About Films

A Prarie Home Companion
I was a fan of the radio show because the writing was so incredibly detailed and specific and somehow Garrison Keillor's voice was able to translate that into a uniquely dry and whitty brand of humor. I wasn't however a great fan of the real meat of the show which were the variety acts (with the exception of Guy Noir). I found Robert Altman's film, while low on plot, to be very enjoyable and unique. The performances are great and the music is really good if you like that kind of folkish-americana. While the all star cast does a great job performing as musicians, the real star is of course Garrison, and even more specifically, his voice. But I also enjoyed the photography very much. The camera work will appear very simple at first but it's actually quite amazing the way it effortlessly floats in and around the performers and it seems to always know right where to be. This is particularly amazing considering that the patented Altman style of having actors talking over each other is here in full glory. The overall style works very well with the show's format.


Blogger Brandon said...

I thought the first hour was pure joy. But then it just seemed to run out of steam, and with the guy dying and them trying to be funny about it and all building up to... not the News from Lake Wobegon, but instead a song from Lindsay Lohan, just felt pretty anticlimactic. I think it could've been a masterpiece if they had had the confidence to include a Lake Wobegon story at the end, ten minutes of listening to Garrison Keillor tell a story, no one does that in Movies anymore, not since Bergman. It would've been the transcendental moment.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Bryan Summers said...

I really enjoyed it. Gave me an itch to see more Altman films. So in a few days I'll post a Shortcuts and Gingerbread Man review.

The only thing I didn't like was the Tommy Lee Jones character. He was a statement, not a character. And it was kind of creepy how he left the movie. It left a sour taste in my mouth.

I thought the singing cowboys were great.

12:58 AM  

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