22 novembre 2006

Signing off

Rai Tre sta trasmettendo Nashville ma ho preferito sintonizzarmi (via Internet, è meglio che niente) sullo show radiofonico che Robert Altman ha immortalato nel suo ultimo film, A home prairie companion, grande affresco di una cultura musicale, umoristica, umana che il cinema - e la radio - ci restituiscono con garbata, sapiente delicatezza. Per questo mi sembra opportuno citare qui la breve eulogia del regista americano che Garrison Keillor, animatore dello spettacolo, ha appena pubblicato sul sito Web della sua trasmissione. "Mi spiace," conclude Keillor, "che il nostro sia stato il suo ultimo film ma so che ha amato moltissimo farlo. E' stupendo avere 81 anni ed essere innamorati."
Ciao, Robert.

To go in full-flight, doing what you love

It is with great sadness that we learned of our dear friend Robert Altman's passing. Here, then, is a note from Garrison.

Mr. Altman loved making movies. He loved the chaos of shooting and the sociability of the crew and actors — he adored actors — and he loved the editing room and he especially loved sitting in a screening room and watching the thing over and over with other people. He didn't care for the money end of things, he didn't mind doing publicity, but when he was working he was in heaven.
He and I once talked about making a movie about a man coming back to Lake Wobegon to bury his father, and Mr. Altman said, "The death of an old man is not a tragedy." I used that line in the movie we wound up making — the Angel of Death says it to the Lunch Lady, comforting her on the death of her lover Chuck Akers in his dressing room, "The death of an old man is not a tragedy." Mr. Altman's death seems so honorable and righteous — to go in full-flight, doing what you love — like his comrades in the Army Air Force in WWII who got shot out of the sky and simply vanished into blue air — and all of us who worked with him had the great privilege of seeing an 81-year-old guy doing what he loved to do. I'm sorry that our movie turned out to be his last, but I do know that he loved making it. It's a great thing to be 81 and in love.

-Garrison Keillor


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