Tuesday, December 06, 2005


A few days ago, there was a screening on campus of the film Quintet, by Robert Altman. I've only seen two other Altman films, Nashville and Gosford Park, neither of which I was wild about, but from what info I could gather about Quintet, it sounded intriguing, and the screening was free, so I decided to give it a shot.

It was a very strange film, one which seems more like something that would be excerpted on Lost and Found Video Night than like a film, even a critically panned one, from a major director: from the transparently "symbolic" setting, to the bad portentous dialogue badly delivered, to the costumes which made everyone look like characters from a sixteenth-century costume drama. Add that I felt no emotional connection whatever to the hero -- or to any of the other characters, for that matter -- owing both to the bad dialogue mentioned before and to the lack of emotion displayed by Paul Newman who plays him, and you have the makings of a cinematic train wreck. Still, it was interesting to watch, not just for the oddity value but for the ingenious science-fictional sets. The highly dissonant soundtrack by Tom Pierson was also interesting.

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