Sunday, August 10, 2014

Short Cuts (1993)

Director: Robert Altman
Writers:  Robert Altman, Raymond Carver, Frank Barhydt
Cast:      Andie McDowell, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins, Chris Penn, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Lemmon, Jennifer Jason Leigh

The day-to-day lives of a number of suburban Los Angeles residents.

I recently read someone describing Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Magnolia' as Short Cuts without all its heart. I kind of see why he described it in such a way because Short Cuts is much more raw whereas Magnolia looks a bit too polished and contrived with characters that we don't relate to as much. I think I have read PT Anderson citing Altman as a big influence on him and like the frog rain in Magnolia there is a similar earth quake sequence in Short Cuts but it doesn't amount to much which is kind of exactly the film going for. The characters in it comes from all social classes and not much stress is given to connecting them to a single big event. You just have to figure out how they are all related and it takes its time to establish that. I think this is so far the earliest film I have seen with the multiple characters multiple storyline angle I have seen, at least in English. Coming from a master director like Robert Altman, it is a masterpiece in this genre.  The themes explored is the whole artificiality of urban life in LA, alienation, meanness of modern society which many people cannot comes to terms with (unrealistic fuckers).

Film is three hours long but doesn't feel like it. My favorite Altman film so far but haven't seen Nashville yet.

Rating: 5/5