by GREG KING
The Sydney Film Festival is screening a series of films by legendary maverick director the late, great Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, etc). Michael Altman, eldest son of the legendary film director will be attending the festival to participate in some Q&As following screenings of some of his father’s films.
One June 10, Altman will appear live at ACMI to take us on a very special filmic journey. He will introduce a special collection of rare footage from the family archive, including home movies, behind-the-scenes and on location footage, screen tests and even a family BBQ or two.
Following his presentation, Michael will introduce a screening of M*A*S*H, Altman’s smash hit black comedy from 1970, screening in a digitally restored 35mm print. Set in an army medical unit during the Korean War (an allegorical stand-in for Vietnam), Altman’s darkly satirical film flew under the radar of Fox executives during production but went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards. Alongside stars Elliot Gould, Donald Sutherland, Sally Kellerman and Robert Duvall, Gary Burghoff made a terrific debut as ‘Radar’ (a role he reprised in the TV series spawned by Altman’s film).
A director and producer in his own right, Michael Altman has worked in various capacities on numerous films directed by Robert Altman, including A Wedding, O.C. and Stiggs, Fool for Love, Kansas City, Dr. T & the Women, The Company and Gosford Park. He was an assistant editor on the pilot episode of David Lynch’s groundbreaking 1990 Twin Peaks TV series and at fourteen years of age wrote the lyrics to Suicide is Painless, the theme song memorably featured in M*A*S*H.
An Altman Evening is presented by ACMI in association with Richard Moore.
Video presentation courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
For his Movies At Dusk program on 3WBC 94.1FM Greg King spoke to Michael Altman on the even of his visit to Australia. To hear the interview click on the link below:
Sorry I’ll miss it. Was this Altman’s son who wrote the theme song to MASH? If so, Altman senior used to complain his son made more money from that movie than he did…