Spring 2015

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18 CINEMONTAGE / SPRING 2015 by Edward Landler N ashville (no relation to the recent ABC TV series) opened in New York City on June 11, 1975. After 40 years, Robert Altman's satiric tapestry of American society looks more accurate than ever. Holding up the capital of Country and Western music as a prism, the movie observes the fusion of business, politics, entertainment and the media that has become the norm. In its vision of a culture fixated on celebrity, the individual's sense of self and place is as blurred as the lines between community and commerce. The film begins with a populist candidate's presidential campaign van roaming the streets with loudspeakers blaring, "All of us are deeply involved in politics whether you know it or not — or like it or not." The candidate is never seen, but he pervades the atmosphere as naturally as the Grand Ole Opry. The film catches the mingling of these two worlds over several days and nights leading to an outdoor concert sponsored by the candidate at the Nashville Parthenon. Along the way, we view the intermittently interwoven lives of 24 distinct characters, each attached or drawn to the city's music industry. Shot on location and in sequence, the movie constructs a recognizable terrain of dishonesties, resentments, THIS QUARTER IN FILM HISTORY Altman's Grand Ole Soap Opry Nashville. Paramount Pictures/ Photofest

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