RIP Robert Altman


Not that many people realise that despite my usually poor form at the now defunct film quiz at The Phoenix Cinema, my major at university was Cinema Studies.

The Cinema Studies department was a part of the Fine Art Faculty which was more used to mature aged students who, even though they did ALL of the reading for the week still asked questions such as, “Is Northumbria in Italy?”, than how Shichinin No Samurai (above) maps onto The Magnificent Seven or the two-tiered system of communication inherent in Wayne’s World.

This brings me to another news story I saw earlier; the passing of Robert Altman. He died at the age of 81 in a Los Angeles hospital, last night. He directed many feature films in a long career stretching back to 1957. Some notable Altman favourites are MASH (1970), Gosford Park (2001) and The Player (1992)

The Seven Samurai (AKA Shichinin No Samurai) had some iconic tracking shots but IMO the best tracking shot that I can think of was in Altman’s 1992 film, The Player. Enjoy its glory below as seen on YouTube.

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