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Robert Bernard Altman (// AWLT-mən; February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He was a five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and is considered an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era. His most famous directorial achievements include M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), and Gosford Park (2001).
Robert Bernard Altman
(1925-02-20)February 20, 1925
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||November 20, 2006(2006-11-20) (aged 81)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Known for||M*A*S*H (1970) |
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
3 Women (1977)
The Player (1992)
Short Cuts (1993)
Gosford Park (2001)
|Children||6, including Stephen Altman|
|Service/||United States Army Air Forces|
|Years of service||1943–1947|
|Unit||Thirteenth Air Force|
307th Bombardment Group
|Awards|| Army Air Force Pilot Badge|
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Altman's style of filmmaking covered many genres, but usually with a "subversive" or "anti-Hollywood" twist which typically relied on satire and humor to express his personal views. Actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise. He preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a multitrack recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors. This produced a more natural, more dynamic, and more complex experience for the viewer. He also used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen. Critic Pauline Kael, writing about his directing style, said that Altman could "make film fireworks out of next to nothing."
In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Altman's body of work with an Academy Honorary Award. He never won a competitive Oscar despite seven nominations. His films M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye and Nashville have been selected for the United States National Film Registry. Altman is one of three filmmakers whose films have won the Golden Bear at Berlin, the Golden Lion at Venice, and the Palme d'Or at Cannes (the other two being Henri-Georges Clouzot and Michelangelo Antonioni).