Sunday, March 28, 2010

Short Cuts

It has been at least five years since I last sat through this entire film. It has existed on my top ten films of all time list since I first viewed it sometime around 1997. My memory of the film is exactly how it exists. The puzzle pieces of these broken people living throughout Los Angeles.

Robert Altman adopted a handful of short stories by Raymond Carver. Altman took plots, characters names, themes, and applied them throughout this ensemble cast. A large cast. Something Altman became very famous for after he made this film. I think of Short Cuts as the start of a new path in Altman's career. The path we saw in many of his films that followed (The Player, Gosford Park, Ready to Wear, The Company, etc).

There are two amazing monologues in this film. One with Jack Lemmon. He tries to relay the facts of an affair gone wrong. As an audience we don't know if this man can be trusted. Is this just another trick in a long line of tricks of a dead beat father? Or, is this a final grasp at a relationship with a son?

The second monologue is Julianne Moore, naked from the waist down, telling her husband of a quick affair in a parked car with a gallery owner. As an audience member we are uncomfortable about the raw honesty in the story. The matter of fact details of a drunken fuck. Also, we are left to feel so involved due to the nudity. The way we suddenly feel a part of someone we allow to see us naked.

Altman is incredible with the way he films dialogue. The actors are just voices in this film.


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