Tag: Star Wars

May 2, 2016 / / Main Slate Archive

When THE FORCE AWAKENS made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, taking theaters by storm, the world embraced the latest entry into the STAR WARS canon harder than a Wookie. In an age where speculation led to disconcerting ideas about the franchise, the fumes of young Anakin’s pod-racer still filtering through our waking thoughts, the latest entry was an immense breath of fresh air. From the careful directorial guidance of J.J. Abrams, the faithfully assuring story by Lawrence Kasdan, all the way to the redundant yet rousing score by John Williams, THE FORCE AWAKENS was shooting womp rats left and right with precision. What seemed to unearth itself from the confines of the sarlacc pit in what amounted to almost 35 years, were characters that were genuinely likeable, allowing us to let go of a sordid and complicated history.

January 26, 2007 / / Film Notes

by Paul Monticone

“See, death is the only ending I know. A movie doesn’t end; it has a stopping place. That story, those people don’t die then: they live on and have terrible lives if it’s a happy ending, or if it’s a sad ending, they may survive it and recover and have happy lives. So death is the only ending and I deal with death as an ending. The people I have die are usually the wrong people, the ones you don’t expect to die. That’s the way it seems when people die.” (Robert Altman, 1992)

Altman’s quote, initially describing his resistance to narrative closure before digressing into the sort of modest wisdom that marked all of his interviews, sprung to mind on November 2oth. To anyone who takes American film seriously, the passing of Robert Altman was the sort of news that makes the world seem a little smaller and dimmer. Whether one thinks Altman the greatest American filmmaker since John Ford or a self-indulgent provocateur, the vitality and exuberance of each of his films is beyond dispute, to such an extent that the death of a frail, old man, who had just made the perfect swan song, Prairie Home Companion, came as something of a shock. The prodigious output of the indestructible Hollywood rebel had inexorably stopped, and a world without future Altman films is still hard – if not downright depressing – to imagine. To quantify what it is that we’ve lost, we can look to the works he left us, and his films of the 1970s – a decade of filmmaking that many identify with Altman – is the most obvious point of departure.