To put it simply the glut of cinematic offerings that we have in this town are downright embracing, but it does allow for many a hard core film fan to see some classic stuff the way it was meant to be seen. Kicking off today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox is "Company Man: The Best of Robert Altman" runs from August 7th through to August 31st highlighting some of the best in the canon of a man who told stories his way and ended up as a true iconoclast in the Hollywood system.
Never the kind of artist who stood out as an auteur, Robert Altman worked his way up through the system and became beloved for his tendency to be a collaborator with not just his actors but with everyone involved in making movies. It truly does take a village to make a film and Altman lived his life and made his movies in exactly that way as he never wanted to be a part of the status quo always challenging old conventions
Starting off tonight with the iconic "M*A*S*H" at 6:30PM, Altman's films ranged from the sardonic, to the emotional and even the political as he challenged convention and at the time did what many thought was impossible, making a Korean War movie that was both funny and serious at the same time while still having memories of the actual war still remaining fresh in many people's minds.
The real event of the retrospective however is on Friday night as award winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond will be on hand to introduce what just might one of the masterpieces in Altman's canon. McCabe and Mrs Miller tells the story of a bargain basement gambler/entrepreneur (Warren Beatty) and a haughty British madam (Julie Christie) go into business as co-managers of a frontier-town brothel. Being shown on an archival 35mm print, this revisionist western has a haunting and tragic beauty to it that my words simply cannot do just to and is a must see for any fans of cinema in general.
The balance of this stacked retrospective is littered with other classics like "The Player" (a personal favorite) and "Nashville", along with more obscure work like "That Cold Day In The Park" and "California Split". It ultimately raps up with some of his last films, "The Company" and "A Prairie Home Companion" just a few scant days before the festival begins.
For the month of August film fans are simply going to have their pick of the litter of new and old classics to take in on the big screen and with "Company Man: The Best of Robert Altman" a Hollywood original is certainly going to be well represented.
"Company Man: The Best of Robert Altman" runs from August 7th through to the 31st at the TIFF Bell Lightbox here in downtown Toronto, please check their website right here for more details.