In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a presidential candidate, ran him alongside the other hopefuls during the primary season, and presented their media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and TV news. The result was the groundbreaking Tanner ’88, a piercing satire of media-age American politics, in which actors Michael Murphy (as contender Jack Tanner) and Cynthia Nixon (as his daughter) rub elbows on the campaign trail with real-life political players Jesse Jackson, Gary Hart, Bob Dole, Ralph Nader, Kitty Dukakis, and Gloria Steinem, among many others. —The Criterion Collection
An iconoclast whose work acutely attacked the conventions of genre filmmaking, Altman both satirized and revitalized such warhorses as the Western, the musical, and the crime drama, waging war on the sterile artifice of mainstream storytelling by creating a singularly sprawling and deliberately messy cinematic world bursting at the seams with sounds, images, characters, and plot lines. Famed for his inventive brand of overlapping (and often improvisational) dialogue and an acknowledged master of modern camera technique, Altman’s quixotic career has been uneven at best, yet he remains a pivotal figure of contemporary cinema, a true maverick responsible for many of the defining motion pictures of his times. Born February 20, 1925, in Kansas City, MO, Altman was educated in Jesuit schools prior to joining the Army at the age of 18; over the course of WWII, he flew over 50 bombing missions in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies. Upon his discharge in 1947, Altman studied engineering at the… read more
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G ! I just watched this, today, why dose no one talk about this when they talk about Altman. I mean the first two episodes are not really half as good as the last nine. That doesn't mean that it should be right up there with The Long Goodbye and the rest Altman's masterpieces.